Tuesday, August 22, 2017

DISCOVERING AND CULTIVATING OUR CHILDREN'S POTENTIALS

Every child comes into this world with latent God-given abilities and giftings.
All our children have potential for greatness.
According to Psalm 127:4 it is our responsibility to provide our children with the necessary guidance in order for them to follow the right direction towards fulfilling their potentials.
Truth be told, this task requires great concentration, wisdom, insight, sensitivity, faith and loads of time.
Children's potentials are simply limitless; so we need to begin to see them as potential achievers.
This was what Jochebed the mother of Moses did. Hebrews 11:23.
She saw that the child was a 'beautiful', and 'proper' child. Guess how old Moses was at this time? Just about three months old!
This means that what Jochebed saw was not just the child's physical beauty but his potential!

God knew He could trust her to help nurture and unleash Moses' potentials, so He gave Moses back to her through Pharaoh's daughter!
Looking at how Moses' life turned out, we can safely conclude that it was during those early, formative years that his potentials were cultivated.
Parents, please take note that a child will only believe about him/herself what his/her parents believe about him/her.
According to John Maxwell "a child has no clear picture of himself. He sees himself only in the mirror of his parents' evaluation of himself,"
That is how important parents' role is in cultivating their children's potentials.
Before I proceed I'd like to mention a couple of things parents need to beware of if they intend to help children achieve their full potentials in life.
- Avoid forcing your children to run your own agenda and fulfill the dreams that you were unable to realize.
Just like you came here with your own divine assignment from God, each child also comes into this world with a clear God-ordained path for them to toe in order to realize their full potentials.
-Ask/enquire from the Lord what His plan/assignment is for the child. Please read Judges 13:8 &13. Very profound!
- It takes time and concerted effort to fully unearth a child's full potentials. Like raw diamonds, their true colour may initially be hidden underneath the dirt of flaws and ineptitude; but with patient engagement over time their true worth and colour will come out.
So, following is a list of practical steps that will help in discovering and cultivating your child's potentials.

1. OBSERVE WHAT COMES NATURALLY TO YOUR CHILD.
- What are they good at?
- What do they excel at?
- What do they enjoy doing?
- What captures and sustains their attention more than anything else?
- Where do they like to play?
- How do they like to play?
- How do they behave around other people?
- How do they behave on their own?
If you pay close attention to the above questions you will discover a certain pattern that could be a pointer to your child's potentials and assignment in life.
For example, by observing how your child behaves and carries on around other children, it is easy to spot those with leadership tendencies, those who are good at negotiating, the peace-makers, the caring ones, the loyal ones etc
So, be observant and take mental notes when you are around them.

2. LISTEN TO WHAT THEY TALK ABOUT.
- What do they talk about often? 'I like....' 'I want to...' 'Mummy/Daddy can I.....' 'Can we.....'
- What questions do they ask you and others?
Most times, you can catch the flow of their interest by the things they say or the repeated requests they make.

3. POTENTIAL CAN BE DISCOVERED THROUGH PEOPLE WHO INFLUENCE YOUR CHILDREN'S LIVES.
- Those who witnessed their growth and spend time with them e.g. school teachers, Sunday school teachers, guardians, relations, domestic helpers etc
Discuss with them and ask them questions about your child. Do that with an open mind. Avoid being judgmental of their intentions or accusing them of not liking your child. Even if that is obvious , still pay attention for substance or else if the need ever arises in the future for your attention to be drawn to a genuine issue concerning your child, they will not inform you because they fear your reaction.
NOTE: Please be careful to listen for FACTS not just opinions. This is because the people could be biased as a result of not understanding your child's peculiarities. Or they could interpret facts wrongly.
For example a choleric child could be labeled stubborn or a melancholic child labeled uncooperative and so on.
Cut through the externals of perceptions, culturally-ingrained beliefs etc. and listen for substance and facts.

4. PROVIDE LOTS OF OPPORTUNITY FOR THEM TO DISCOVER THEMSELVES.
This includes family activities, trips, church and school activities, extra-curricular activities, games, holidays etc.
Give them correct exposure in the direction of their strengths and interests with the intention of giving them a head start at honing their unique skills.
Even the kinds of toys you get them should reflect their areas of strength and interest.
For example, deliberately allow them access to trusted adults who are excelling in your child's area of interest. They will be inspired and can aspire to excel too. Your children can also ask questions and get answers from them.

5. Commend them SPECIFICALLY about their abilities. Don't just generalize your compliments but make them specific e.g. 'you are great at reading. Well done!' 'Your work is always neat. Keep it up!'

6. SUPPORT them in their skills, hobbies and academics.
Your son who is 'obsessed' with wires and metals may bend all your metal clothes hangers out of shape for example. Or your daughter who loves to read may make you keep buying or borrowing story books from the library. Or your child who wants to be a pilot may insist on seeing the pilot in the cockpit whenever you travel!
Do your best to support their dreams within the limits of reason.

7. ENCOURAGE them. Ask them questions and listen to them without judging. Listen with a view to understanding them.
Find out what their fears and concerns are regarding their interests.
 That way you will be able to provide guidance for them. Let them know they can become successful in their chosen path if they are willing to pay the price and work at it.

8. BE A WORTHY EXAMPLE AND ROLE MODEL by discovering and walking in your own potential.
Let your own life preach the gospel of purposeful living. This will impact them most powerfully.

9. TEACH THEM CONFIDENCE; to believe in themselves. Let them know that they need to with God on their side, they can do all things.
Study with them the lives of Biblical achievers like Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:1-15), David, Esther, Joseph as well as contemporary young achievers whose stories are available online and so on.

10. PRAYERFULLY KEEP THEIR OPTIONS OPEN.
Avoid insisting on one path or only one option regarding their education, profession, career, interests etc.

11. By all means avoid the temptation of COMPARING THEM with their siblings or others. Every child is different and even though they are all meant for glory in the end, their paths to that destination may be different.
Study habits, rate of assimilation, retention and recall all differ from child to child. Teach each child to work hard and make the most of their own peculiarities for success.

12. BE PATIENT WITH THEM.
Don't give up on any child. Ever! Keep guiding, correcting, instructing, disciplining. Mentoring and encouraging them. It will pay off some day.

13. Pray WITH and FOR them.
This is most crucial.
Commit them and their ways to God. Pray them out of the devil's will and into God's will. Prayerfully monitor their destinies. From time to time, ask them if they need you to pray for them regarding any issue they may be struggling with. Teach them how to spiritually engage with God for His intervention in their affairs too.

Our children will excel!

10 comments:

  1. Good morning mummy, thanks for your thought concerning families. I have learn to keep faith and concentrate on the strength of my child via your continues teaching. God bless you.

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  2. Mummy thanks for the words.
    I believe God with the help of the Holy Ghost to continue in training them in the way of the Lord, so they fulfill God's plan for their lives.
    Thanks ma, fresh oil for greater impact

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  3. Mummy thanks for the words.
    I believe God with the help of the Holy Ghost to continue in training them in the way of the Lord, so they fulfill God's plan for their lives.
    Thanks ma, fresh oil for greater impact

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  4. God bless you ma! For the embodiment of wisdom.

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  5. Good Morning Mummy,
    thank you for this wonderful message. God will continue to keep you for us ma.

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  6. Kwabena Owusu-Boateng

    Such a great spiritual meal for the tutelage and training of our children in the way of the Lord. So blessed Ma and I believe same experience shall be felt as it is cascaded to other friends and colleagues in the Lord.

    More grace for greater impact in Jesus name

    ReplyDelete