Ways to Help Your Kids Reach Their Potential

Help your kids reach their full potential.As parents, we want nothing but the best for our children. More than the jobs they'll have, we care about the people they'll become and the mark they'll make on the world. We see nothing but the best in them (even if they do sometimes slam the door or throw a tantrum). How can we help nurture our children and encourage them to reach their potential?

Help, don't do.

When we're rushing out the door in the morning, it can be easier for me to tie my daughter's shoes myself. It's faster if I write the word and let her underline the vowels on her homework assignment. I can just clean her room myself and save myself the stress. But just because something is faster, easier, and less stressful for mom doesn't mean it's the best option for your child. Resist the urge to do things for your kid that they can do themselves. It may take longer, may be frustrating for you, and may not be done quite right-but the lessons your children learn will help them for the rest of their lives.

Encourage, don't flatter.

I've been guilty of flattering my daughters. I don't mean to do it. It simply comes out of my mouth. Instead of over-the-top flattery, help your children reach their potential by encouraging them. There's a difference. Encouragement is honest, factual, and beneficial; flattery doesn't do much but boost your child's ego.

Volunteer, don't spectate.

One of the best ways to encourage your children to reach their potential is to help them get up and make a difference. What can you do and where can you go? The possibilities are endless. Consider volunteering with Special Olympics, at a local animal shelter, or even a soup kitchen. Don't simply send the kids out to do the activity with a group of friends or on their own. Instead of spectating, participate with your child. Show your kids what truly matters. Family volunteerism helps children see the big picture, which can in turn help them find their strengths and achieve their potential.

Nurture, don't push.

Has your child found a sport they love? Is there a school subject that's your daughter's favorite? Does your son have an instrument that excites and entices him? Nurture your child's talents and interests, but don't push him. While gentle encouragement is a must ("yes, honey, you do have to practice your violin tonight if you want to be ready for tomorrow's concert"), pushing your child may have the opposite of your desired effects. What does your child love? Encourage them and they'll rise to their potential.

Content by Kelly Herdrich.