I remember that I had the privilege to be taught by a teacher who knew how to bring the best out of his students. You knew from the way that he engaged my class that he is there to not just do a job or to teach a subject. He spends time way beyond the rest of the teachers in order to ensure that we constantly aim for goals and to push us to achieve them. That teacher motivated me big time – and it had a positive impact on me.
So a big question to us dads – have we motivated our kids? Kids get can feel down and out, just like we adults. They will occasionally find the going tough. If you are like me, you would have heard your fair share of “But dad, I don’t think I can do that”, or, “Dad, I don’t think I am good enough …”. What will you say to your kids when they say that to you?
Well, I would like to suggest a few simple ways to inspire and motivate. By the way, motivate constantly and not just when you sense that they feel defeated.
1. Share your experience
I am sure you can think of more than a single occasion you were motivated by someone or some circumstances to do something? What made you do it? What caused you to push yourself?
Nothing beats the real examples from one’s own dad with a good measure of home-brewed dramatization thrown in. You will be surprised at how our kids enjoy knowing what we have been through.
2. Share Inspirational Experiences of Others
Share stories of those who despite having all odds and the seemingly unfair circumstances they are in, continue to live life to the fullest and continue to press on.
I cannot think of a better example than Nick Vujicic, born in 1982 without arms and legs and for most of his childhood days had to deal with bullying and self-esteem issues. However Nick learnt to deal with his disabilities and went on to obtain a double bachelor degree majoring in accounting and financial planning. In 2005 he was awarded the “Young Australian of the Year Award”.
Today, Nick is a well-known motivational speaker who has travelled to 20 different countries. Watch the video below with your kid if you can.
3. Affirm and Encourage
Do not underestimate the power of affirmation and encouragement. Let your kids know when they are on the right track, and gently prod them along. Let them know that failure is not necessarily a sign of weakness
4. Some words of caution
Motivating your children does not mean that you inculcate an a spirit of greed or success at all cost or at the expense of others. At the end of the day, what matters more than anything else is that you build their moral fiber. It is their ability to go against the odds, to never give up, to fight till the end, to live courageously that should define them and be their hallmark of success.
What are you waiting for?