This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kellogg’s Frosted Mini Wheats. All tips, opinions and thoughts are my own.
The essays have been written and re-written, edited and edited again with new eyes. Transcripts have been sent and received. The SAT and ACT have been taken and scores reported. Recommendation letters have been composed and submitted.
And by the end of the week, my baby girl will have officially applied for college. Now, THAT is a big day…for her and for me as her mom.
After that last “submit” button is clicked, we play the waiting game, watching the mail to see that much-desired acceptance letter. I know she’s qualified. She’s done everything she could in school – good grades, club leadership, volunteering, mentoring, and now a teaching internship. It has been amazing – tough, yes, but also incredibly rewarding – to watch her reach her potential. She has thrived. She’d pushed herself. And she has grown.
How to help your kids reach their full potential:
Helping her grow to her full potential (and continue to grow!) has not happened over-night. No matter what stage your kids are at, you can help them today to reach their full potential. Here are a few things we’ve done:
- Foster independence: One of goals I set as a new mom was to teach my kids to do things on their own as soon as possible. Even with little things like putting their folded clothes into their own drawers or putting away the clean silverware, show your kids that you believe in them – that they CAN do it! When they realize that they can do the little things, and that someone believes in their abilities, then they are more likely to be confident to try bigger things without fear.
- Try new things: Sometimes it’s important to step out of your comfort zone and try new things. You never know what new love or talent you’ll discover as you stretch beyond what you normally do. This tip applies to kids and adults of all ages.
- Keep the communication open between parent and child: One of the best experiences I’ve had as a mother of teenagers has been seeing them comfortable enough to come to me to share their joys, their worries, and their successes. Because I’ve kept the lines of communication open since they were young, they know that they can share anything with me. We’ve been able to grow and learn together because of it.
- Give kids responsibility: Nothing teaches kids about “real life” than a little bit of responsibility. My older kids are responsible for their own laundry (want clean clothes? You know where the washing machine is!), they take turns cooking dinner for the family, and they babysit the younger siblings as a family duty, not a paid job. Demonstrating responsibility in a “safe” environment at home will help prepare them for bigger responsibilities as they get older (like driving a car or getting an apartment at college! Eek!).
- Encourage kids’ interests: No matter what kids are interested in (as long as it’s something safe!) you can find ways for them to learn and grow by encouraging their interests. Check out books, watch videos, and help them learn all they can about whatever it is that gets them excited. Let them feel like an expert. ALL learning, even if it’s not a traditional school subject, helps kids grow. And learning to love the process of learning something will pay out in huge dividends in the end.
- Set goals: Teach kids NOW how to set goals and follow through with them. Make charts together, come up with incentives and reminders, and talk about how to accomplish goals both big and small. Imagine how much better off they’ll be as future adults who know how to follow through on a goal!
- Don’t give up…most of the time: We’re always told to never give up, to stick with things til the end. While it’s important to stick with commitments, I believe it’s important to realize limitations and to not push something that doesn’t “fit” just for the sake of not giving up. Sometimes it takes some exploring – trying a new sport or a new instrument, for example – before you find the things that your child is passionate about.
Frosted Mini Wheats has a great visual called Morning Matters with tips for helping kids find enriching activities beyond the school day. Click on the image to download the full-sized PDF.
Visit Scholastic.com/PCBigDay for tips, articles, and activities to do with your kids. EVERY day can be a BIG DAY. Follow the conversation on Twitter with Scholastic’s @ParentandChild and hashtag #PCBigDay
What are YOUR tips for helping your kids reach their full potential?
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