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Unleashing the tiger in your child

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Do you have a child who struggles to shine or stand out?

I had such a child.

School and sport, which were the staples of that child’s early life, always presented challenges. They got there, but not without struggle. Their confidence sagged as they struggled to so what what everyone else seemed to do so easily.

BUT Scouts was their thing. Once they discovered this they wanted to spend as much time there as possible. So my wife and I helped & encouraged them to become an active participant in the Scouting movement. It was the one place where they felt confident.

The pussycat in school became a tiger in the outdoors.

We then tried to transfer the feelings of confidence they experienced in Scouts to other areas of interest. (“You said you couldn’t build a flying fox yet you managed to follow the instructions easily. You were pretty stoked when you did it. I reckon you can do the same with that science project.”)

So if you have a child that often struggles in mainstream areas and activities, here’s your challenge:

1. Help them find the place or activity where they feel confident.
2. Help and encourage them to spend as much time there as schedules and interest will allow.
3. Look for ways to transfer that feeling of confidence to other places and activities.

As kids become older their world expands offering more opportunities to find their ‘thing.’

BUT I have a theory that they need to find their ‘thing’ before they reach fifteen as many teens narrow their options then, choosing the one or two activities (student, surfer, sportsperson, smart alec) that will help define their identities. Fingers-crossed they’ll have some positive options to choose from!

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