Tuesday April 13 2021

Help Your Kids Work Towards A Bright Future – Part 2

The Value of Learning

After understanding they have value, kids need to believe in the merit of growth and learning. To inspire this belief, wise parents model their own love for learning and Truth. They also identify lessons, hobbies and activities that will interest their children and develop their love of learning. Paying attention to your children’s learning and development pays great dividends. 

Know Your Kids and Their Passions

Recognise how your kids’ strengths and interests are constantly developing and changing. What is important to them and worth persevering through? What dreams and goals do they have for the future? How will learning new skills and knowledge be a part of those goals?

Help kids to connect their studies with their personal passions. When your kids have to write reports or do projects, help them choose topics of interest to them so they’ll be far more motivated for that assignment. This helps to continue fuelling competence in schoolwork and presents an ongoing motivation to learn new things, even if some of the material isn’t quite as interesting. 

Learning is not just important in school. Learning also matters in jobs, hobbies, friendships and family relationships. The belief in life-long learning—that growth and improvement are always possible—is absolutely critical for young people to develop a vision for their future. Make sure to model this.

Creating a Roadmap for the Future

Have frequent conversations with your children about how you each view the future. If you’ve talked pessimistically about the future, apologise. Likewise, if your kids have expressed negative views, try to determine the source of the negativity and talk about what’s real and accurate. Help your children realise that their future can be bright when they know who they are and they apply themselves. Character always matters. 

Looking Ahead

Most young people today are multitalented, multi-passionate and multi-interested. So old questions like “What do you want to do when you grow up?” and “What do you want to major in at college?” are not effective ways to motivate them toward the future. Try these questions instead:

What problems do you want to help solve?

With today’s ever-present media and technology, children are more exposed to the world’s brokenness and are often interested in solving problems. Knowing what they care about can help you create a vision for their future. You’ll be able to implement activities and lessons that nurture the belief that learning matters. So seeing how problem-solving can leave the world a better place deepens children’s understanding of their own value and gives them hope for their future.

Who would you like to serve?

People matter to children, so asking about serving specific people groups can elicit meaningful responses to help you plug in to their interests and concerns.

What makes you sad? What brings you joy?

Getting children to talk about their heart’s responses to difficult situations can help you show them how they can use their skills to make a difference. In a similar way, knowing causes of joy can help children determine how they want to invest themselves. So choosing tasks and causes they care about motivates them even when learning is challenging. 

Knowing your children—their values, confidence level, strengths, interests and goals—helps you more effectively fuel their motivation. You are affecting their future!

Extracted from Dr Kathy Koch – ‘A Bright Future’