Learning Strategies By / Lee Li Li (Psychology lecturer of Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman)
Looking into Nurturing Ambition in Children
Does your child have ambition?
If he has, how do you work out the ambition with your child? If he has none, how are you going to assist your child to start his exciting ambition?
A child may or may not be naturally ambitious and if he is not, ambition can be acquired. It can be a cultivated skill that will last a lifetime. It is something very exciting if your child has ambitions. As we know, ambition makes us ambitious, driving us forward to achieve our life goals in a passionate way. Ambition is the energy that fuels the execution of our goals and will be a natural consequence of well-developed concentration or as one expert puts it: "It's the driving factor that separates those who do something with their lives, and the rest that choose to sit and watch life pass them by".
As parents, you can help your child to set goals by encouraging him to dream. Avoid comments like, “Who do you think you are? Stop dreaming!” Say things like “If you know what you want and work hard towards it, you can achieve anything in life!”
Anything Is Possible For You
“Anything is possible for you” has to be a prominent theme at home and it seemed to flourish as a result. Today’s hectic schedules make it hard for parents to stay in touch with their children. You cannot help a child achieve his dreams if you do not know what he is dreaming about.
Ask your child what he loves to do and why he loves it so much. He will be thrilled to tell you -- and you may learn things about your child you never knew.
If he says he wants to be an astronaut, do not pour cold water on his dream. Instead, help him read stories about space flight. Share things you love to do. You can talk about how you chose your own path in life. “I always knew that I wanted to help people learn, so that is why I became a teacher.”
When your child faces some failures along the way, be there to remind him that a failure is just lesson to be learned. He should keep dreaming big.
Expose Children To New Things
If possible, challenge the children, expose them to new things, whether it is through travelling, meeting new people or buying them a new book, and do not forget to celebrate their success with them.
One of the most important things to remember is that a child that needs to be challenged does not simply need more work; he needs more challenging work or activities that are outside or an extension of what he is doing in the classroom.
According to a report, Inspiring Children: The Impact of the Summer Reading Challenge, which can be downloaded from the Reading Agency Website, the summer reading challenge is the biggest UK annual promotion of children’s reading. This is not a competition, but a personal challenge offering reading inspiration and incentives to encourage children into libraries and the enjoyment of reading. The collectable folders, stickers and incentives appeal to children’s collectors’ instincts. Children complete the challenge by collecting all the stickers to complete the frieze on their folder, for which they receive a certificate and a medal.
By allowing your child to focus on a particular goal, whether it is a home-work, or a special project, it will focus your child's attention and develop his concentration. For children, reading not only makes them literate, but also serves as the origin of their dreams and ambition. Reading and studying open the gate for children, who are full of curiosity, to a colourful world.
To Belong vs To Be Needed
At birth, children are primed for social activity. They yearn to create relationships — to relate, communicate, collaborate — and have a basic need for belonging and feeling needed by others. Cooperation is a key part of relating to others and forging meaningful relationships. Through team building and collaboration, a child learns to respect others and to control his own immediate needs and impulses.
Children grow up to be more confident if they regularly play with other children. They also learn how to influence others. When children are playing out there with their mates they learn and grow to know more about the world around them. By knowing more about the people and the world around them, it will be much easier for them to know themselves and think of what they want to be in future.
Hero worship is a great way to focus ambition, because it will encourage your child to find out how his heroes did and what they did to be successful. Hero worship has existed "forever". A child or even an adult will have a need to worship someone or something "greater than" themselves. Whether your child choose to worship an external God figure (like a saint), or a hero figure from a comic strip or movie, or the movie stars themselves, the concept is the same. We look up to someone else, someone other than ourselves, as "better than us" or "higher" than we are in our esteem and opinion.
Of course, parents have to supervise and guide their children in looking for their heroes in order to avoid any unnecessary negative role models.
Ambition is more to life than money.
Some parents prefer to push their children to set high-earning careers as ambitions. This will actually spoil the purpose of ambition as the energy that fuels the execution of one’s goals.
With proper guidance of ambition shaping, there is not a problem for a child to earn in future. Many people have skills and ideas that others in the world do not have and could make use of. These skills and ideas can be used to make money online and create riches for the person.
All they need to do is to find a way to use these skills and ideas to help others and to market them so that those who need it can find them. Just about everyone has something that can make them money online. Finding the ambition to move forward is the most important step towards making the dream of wealth come true.
The period of time when a child figures out what his aspirations are seems absolutely critical. It defines the rest of his life. It can go one of two ways, and the direction it goes seems very dependent on his environment.
There are always changes in a child’s ambition. As parents, you just have to accept the changes positively. If yesterday's budding education minister becomes today's budding teacher, please do not frown. It could simply be that your child has been thinking and recognizes that teaching is more achievable. He will settle down with his true ambition one day as long as you are there for him.
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