We all know it’s important to teach our kids basic skills and the ones that we choose to start with vary from family to family. Such teaching can include the things that reflect our family values such as kindness and generosity. Other teaching focuses on the mechanics of life: telling time, basic household chores, personal hygiene and the like. Most parents do a pretty good job balancing the two.
But how much time do we spend on teaching those remarkable success skills most of us don’t learn about until later in life? What about goal-setting, visualization, Law of Attraction, contagious gratitude? Aren’t these the things that really set people apart from the pack?
Success stories begin with a dream and are accomplished by setting goals, hard work and sacrifice. On the other hand, I don’t subscribe to the school of “you can do anything you want.” We’re not all born with identical talents and abilities and it’s not fair to pretend that we are.
So how do we support our kids’ imaginations without stepping on their dreams?
First, recognize that being invited into our kids’ rich imaginations is a privilege. When we notice and value their skills (without being too pushy) we’re opening a door that encourages them to do the same. And teaching them the name “visualization” brings a level of adult importance not always associated with “day dreams” or “fantasy.”
Asking some (just a few) questions about what they see, hear and feel at various points in their story about hitting the game winning home run, winning the science fair or coming back to earth after space travel will help them practice the vivid mental and emotional skills vital to making visualizations work well. The answers can also give you valuable insights into what motivates this particular child: is it accomplishment? Teamwork? Exploration? Public accolades? A combination?
And, speaking of a question or two, have you incorporated that type of reward into your parenting toolkit?
Speaking of visualization…. Did you know that Raising Good Grown-ups is now available on Kindle?