How to Raise an Every-Day Olympian, Part 2

Feb 12, 2014 by



See Tuesday’s blog on characteristics of an Olympian. Today, we will apply those characteristics to our own Every-Day Olympians.

As parents, we all have high hopes for our children. No parent says, “I hope my child is a failure.” Or “I want my child to be mediocre.” We all want our children to be the very best they can be. So whether they become an Olympic athlete or not, all of us have the ability to raise Every-Day Olympians.

Vision: Help your child establish a vision. It may be as simple as passing 3rd grade to more ambitiously becoming class president. They need to know there is a goal out in front of them that they are working towards. Help them define that goal. Rather than telling them what their goal will be, let them state what it is so they take ownership of their goal. Then find ways to keep that goal always before them. Make a sign for their room. Right it on their bathroom mirror. Put a note in their lunchbox that states their goal. Periodically, they need that reminder and even an evaluation of how they are doing in reaching their goal.

Passion: Get to know your child. What is their passion and how can you feed it. Allow them to be the person God has designed them to be. To reach some goals, you may need to tap into their passion in an outside of the box way for them to reach it. For example, let’s say their vision is reading so many books by the end of the school year. You may have in your mind to go to the library, get a stack of books, have them quietly sit at the dining room table every night and read 100 pages. But that may not be their learning style. Maybe they read better digitally – on an I-Pad, Kindle, or computer. Or maybe they need music playing while they read because it helps them concentrate. (This one is absolutely foreign to me, but many kids today study better with music playing.) Let them read subjects they are interested in – ones that capture their imagination and make reading easier for them. Whatever your child’s passion, you can make adjustments to use that passion to reach their goal.

Hard Work: Insist on your child setting daily goals to reach the vision and sticking to them. Make those goals a priority of the day. Help them through the rough times. Establish some treats or rewards for reaching their daily goal. Help them to learn the principle of work before play. Everyone can always find time to play, but we must get our work done first. And as we work, we give our very best effort to everything we do.

Family Love and Support: Be your child’s loudest cheerleader. They need to know that no matter what happens, you will stand behind them supporting their efforts and loving them through whatever the outcome. And when they fail, because we all fail at one time or another, they can depend on you to help pick them up and move forward again. A child should always be able to expect love and support from their parents and family. Without that, they will question their worth and ability to reach their vision.

Sacrifice: While in most cases the sacrifices each of us makes may not be as costly as an Olympian, we still must give of ourselves for our children to reach their goals. They may have to give up time with friends or school activities so they can focus on whatever goal they are trying to reach. You, as parents may have sacrifices, as well. Maybe you need to sit down and help your child do their homework or drive them to dance class. Whatever your child is striving for must take a certain level of priority by the child and by mom and dad for it to be accomplished.

Lastly, you, as the parents, must be living out these 4 areas in your own life as a model to your children. More is caught that taught. Your kids need to see that vision, passion, hard-work, and family love and support and sacrifice are part of your every day life, too. Be the best Olympic model for your kids you can be.

You may or may not be raising an Olympic athlete. But every parent has the opportunity and responsibility to raise an Every-Day Olympian.

What can you do today to help your child become an Every-Day Olympian?

~Jim and Jerolyn

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