Thursday, November 5, 2009

Motivation and a 7 year old

So, I have this incredible 7 1/2 year old daughter. She's one of those kids that you look at and are amazed. She is a talented soccer player, a skilled artist, a smart student and to top it all off, she is a born leader.

Most things come easy to her--she doesn't have to work very hard to be one of the best at whatever she is doing. Therein lies the challenge. Because she is so good at things, she has learned that she doesn't have to apply herself very much in order to do enough to get by.

As a parent, I want her to strive to do her best--if that is a "B," then I'm truly okay with that. But a "B" is not her best--in most cases. She has an excuse for everything, and while I don't want to brow-beat her, I want her to live up to her potential. This has been a learning process for me--I used to want the best kid. Now I just want my kid to do her best.

So how do we motivate her to want to do her best? We pray for her and with her. She sees both Brian and I striving to do our best. We don't put unrealistic expectations on her. So what else is there? How do you motivate a child without tearing down or inflating her self-esteem?

If it truly does take a village to raise a child, then we have an advantage--the DFW area is a bit bigger than a village. What do you do to motivate your child? What would you do if your child were like mine? I'd love your thoughts...

1 comment:

Chasity said...

Well, Addison is a lot like that too -- always has been. Smart, competent, caring, responsible, dependable. My downfall was the more I saw these attributes in her - the more I expected (as well did others). She has always been taller than her peers too - so that didn't help. It took my husband, Addison's stepdad, to point out that she's only X years old. Just b'cs she seems and looks older ... the maturity level is just not there yet. She just turned 13 and we are still having some of the same issues. I was a good student, so is Addison. I made A's - I expect the same from her. But, I'm like you -- if I know she truly tried her best - and she gets a B, I can deal with that. However, if she makes a C on a paper, we have to go over it together and she loses TV time.

I'm just trying to instill in her the desire to do well, to want to make the best grade in the class - there's nothing wrong with that. What I need to work on with her (as I'm working on myself too) - is that EVERYTHING we do is done for one purpose - to glorify God. That we should always do our best - He has put us in the EXACT place we should be.

I'm not saying this is going perfectly smooth. On several days - from the time I pick her up at school, until we get home - she's not talking to me. But we work through it. I am always reminding her that I have enough friends, I don't need her as one. I'm mom. Period. And it's my job to guide her as much as I can.

I have also found that a routine is the best for her ... we come home from school. Have snack. Then it's HW time. She also gets money for her As ... which seems to be a good motivator as she is saving up for a new Mac.

I probably got off track a bit - and of course I'm a bit windy ...