When I was six years old, my mother took me to the dentist for a routine checkup. I must not have been doing something right because I distinctly remember my dentist discussing the possibility of trying something different to help protect my teeth if he didn’t see any improvements during my next visit. From that day on, I decided to do the best brushing job ever twice a day–and without my mom having to remind me to do it! At my next checkup, my dentist was so amazed, he said no further actions were necessary due to my improvements. I was so proud of myself for taking the initiative to set and reach my goal. I don’t know where I learned this sense of determination at such a young age, but it has stuck with me ever since.
I see the same spirit of determination in my oldest daughter, Faith. She had waited until the last day of auditions for the school musical to tell me she had to memorize a set of lines and a song in order to audition. I was astounded. I couldn’t believe she had wasted the opportunity to perfect her lines and singing during Christmas break. Fortunately, she knew the song; however, she did not know any of the lines. I generally try to be optimistic with my children, but I didn’t see how in the world she would be able to memorize her lines the morning of the audition. So, I told her she could try next year, but I didn’t think it would be fair to go to an audition unprepared. She cried and cried. Then, she did the unthinkable. She went to her room after getting ready for school, and she studied those lines. Before I left for work, she was actually able to pull it off! I was amazed at her tenacity and devotion.
What is the moral here? Why am I telling you all of this? I want you to know two things. The first thing is that children listen. They are listening and watching us adults. We are their heroes, and they want to please us. They really do want to do well. This is absolutely powerful when you think about it. The second thing is that even children can do anything they set their minds on. We need to plant seeds of greatness, hope, and tenacity into our children. Teach them how to dream, how to set goals, and how to put in the work into making those desires come to fruition. Who knows? Your child may be the next mayor, the next teacher of the year, the one to find a cure for a disease, or even a future President of our great nation!