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Monday, 15 January 2018 13:07

Encouraging vs Pushing

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With young children we encourage them to try new things and for the most part they are quite receptive to this. As they mature and turn into pre teens and teens, what one may view as encouraging can quickly be turned around to say you are pushing them.

Where is the line between encouragement and pushing???

Encouraging kidWe want our children to continue to explore the world. We want it to be their world and for them to make their own life as an individual. They are still naive to most of the world so as parents it is our role to help guide them and expose them to options to explore.

What if they don't want to explore though? What if they are happy to not try new things, to not get a job, to not reach out to the wider world? What we see as encouraging in order to expand their horizons they can easily be perceived as pushing them. We can see their potential, yet they are not self driven.  

We each see and view the world differently dependent on our past experiences, our own perceptions and from some unique internal perspective. 

How hard do we encourage/push our kids into the world. Each child will react differently. Some will be risk takers and driven, others will be cautious and hesitant. For some we need to hold them back, others it is baby steps. 

How we encourage is going to depend on the child. We will not always get it right, and what works one day will not work another. Sometimes we can hold their hand all the way. At other times they need to take the plunge themselves, and that can be extremely scary and daunting. 

Our conversations are to include acknowledgement of the emotions and feelings that work with the action. The reasons, the possible outcomes, the encouragement.  Seeing a child's potential is great, but ultimately they have to want to do things for themselves. Let them believe in themselves and know you have their back regardless of the outcome. 

Nobody likes to feel pushed and out of their comfort zone yet it can be the way we grow as a person and it can open many doors. Be conscious of what is going on for that young person and recognise it is about them, not you.  It is about knowing that person as an individual and working with their personality and traits. Selectively pick the times to be gentle and the times where a bit more assertiveness is needed. 

I want my children to explore the tremendous opportunities of the world, to feel confident to extend themselves. I don't want them to be knocked down or pushed and effectively close more doors in the future. What I say and do today will affect their future, I need to be consciously aware of the words I use and the tone I adopt in various situations. 

To my children, I encourage you to try new opportunities and reach your amazing potential. 

Read 819 times Last modified on Monday, 22 January 2018 09:43

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