Suggestions on How to Help Your Child Realize His or Her Dreams from the book, "My Child, My Gift" by Madeline P. Nugent B.S., M. Ed.
~ Praise your child for jobs well done and efforts sincerely made, even if they are not totally successful.
~ Create situations that will help build your child’s self-confidence and self-worth. Capitalize on your child’s talents.
~ Even though you could do something more quickly, allow your child to do it so that he or she learns his or her capabilities. Sometimes this means watching your child struggle even though you want to help.
~ Avoid the pity pot. Pitying your child will not help. Respect your child and use his or her strengths for encouragement.
~ Do not baby or allow your youngster to get away with behavior you would not tolerate in other children.
~ Ask your child’s input on decisions that involve him or her. Implement you child’s ideas as much as possible.~ Overestimate rather than underestimate what your child can do. If you raise the bar, your child might reach it. Try and see without frustrating your child.
~ Teach your child personal care skills. This may mean allowing some things to be done less perfectly than you can do them. It may also mean some adjustments such as short hair cuts or using slip-on shirts and Velcro zippers.
~ Give your child chores. Only expect as much perfection as your child can achieve.
~ Within reason, adapt the house to your child, but remember that other family members live there also and that your child will have to live in a society that his not 100% suited to his or her needs.
~ Integrate your child into society. Help him or her deal with questions and responses. Teach how to interact politely with adults, to make purchases, order from menus, and negotiate streets as much as possible. Teach your child survival skills as can be learned. These are skills adults need also.
~ Encourage your child to make friends. You may have to bring your child to other children or bring them to your child. Teach your child the skills needed to be a god friend.
~ Help your child to understand and accept personal differences as the source of abilities and insights other youngsters do not have. Help your child share his or her talents with others.~ Encourage hobbies and special interests so that your child uses leisure time wisely. These could be hallmarks of recognition and sometimes of income.
~ Incorporate some structure into your life. Schedules work well, even if you cannot always meet them, because they keep you focused and help your child anticipate what is coming next.
~ Think radical new thoughts. Society has set certain educational goals for every child. Maybe you child can meet them. Maybe not. Brainstorm ways to develop your child’s skills. If society expected everyone to be auto mechanics, many people would be failures.
~ Allow your child to make choices and take responsibility for them. If the choice was good, the child will obtain the rewards, if poor, the child will suffer the consequences which he or she needs to deal with himself or herself. We mature by making decisions and living with their results. Being self-determined is more important than any functional ability.
~ Foster a sense of humor and perspective in your child.
~ Do not allow others, including grandparents and other relatives, to pity, coddle, excuse or belittle your child. Expect them to treat your child as you do. Reject any other behavior.
~ Support your child’s dreams. Instead of thinking and saying that your child could never achieve his or her fantasy, say and think, “If you really want to do that, we will look for a way to make it happen.” Most outlandish dreams fade with time, but the reasonable ones persist. Your child will understand better than you do what is reasonable for him or her.