Set an example worth following

NADINE Daly gazes into her daughter’s eyes and is shaken by a surge of excitement and fear.

Little Eve, just five years of age, is about to start big school.

For children, as for mum and dad, the day brings a Molotov cocktail of emotions.

It’s a bittersweet moment for parents – proud to see their children reach such a momentous milestone – but frightened about the daunting new challenges their little ones will face.

The learning highway will throw Eve and her classmates plenty of curve balls between today and 2025, when they graduate from high school.

What determines whether they progress to university or flunk out is as much about confidence as it is DNA.

As all teachers will tell you, the emotional and intellectual are inextricably linked.

Learning is fuelled by confidence; kids don’t learn ahead of the confidence they possess and without it, they will eventually stop trying. 

Most of us can think back to a time when a parent, teacher or coach showed more faith in our ability than we had in ourselves.

They gave us permission to explode the myth of our own lack of ability.

Consequently, we tried harder, kicked some goals, and then did it again. 

If a teenager catches a glimpse of their potential, has a modicum of academic success and grows in confidence, there’s almost no chance they will drop out of high school.

Through their achievements, they have fundamentally changed who they are.

So the call to action for parents is simple – invest in your children by building their self-esteem.

Find the one thing they are most gifted at and encourage it with every ounce of your energy.

Children also learn by watching us, which means parents should lead by example in every aspect of their life.

As Ghandi said: “I must be the change I want to see in others.”

Your children will become what you are; so be what you want them to be.

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