Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Celebrating a Child’s Strengths

Life is one big classroom. I have always believed that learning is not, and should never be, confined inside the school setting alone. The same goes for the pursuit of excellence. Not making it to the honor roll doesn’t mean a child can’t excel in other areas.

Personally, I am not too keen on putting too much pressure on my kids to earn medals and get high grades in their report cards. Yes, I encourage them to do their best but I don’t feel overly disappointed when they score lower than expected in exams or don’t come home with accolades after a scholastic competition.

What I better want to see in my children is the genuine enthusiasm to pursue their passions and hone their skills, academic or otherwise. My eldest son has already shown so much potential in the field of visual arts when he was just a mere toddler. He continued to focus on that as he was growing up. When he decided to take up Digital Media Arts as his course in college, my husband and I gladly gave our full support. In the span of a few weeks since school started this year, our firstborn’s transformation from being a high school student getting average grades to becoming an excelling freshman in college was amazing! Now free from the high school subjects he thought were utterly boring, I observe how eager my son would now tackle his assignments and projects because they are in line with the things he truly wants to do.

My other two sons, on the other hand, showed a lot of promise when it comes to writing around three years ago. They were invited to write for Manila Bulletin’s Funpage section and have been contributing articles there ever since. I feel very blessed that these kids were given that chance to already show what they can do at an early age. To help them hone the writing craft, I make sure I provide them with books and magazines they’d like to read and offer guidance when they are writing their drafts. I also remind them every now and then that becoming a good writer always starts with being an avid reader.

Aside from providing children the basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter, as well as giving them other tools they need to boost their energy and creativity like multivitamins, books, and art materials, I trust that when parents nurture a child’s God-given gifts at home through constant encouragement and ample attention, the knowledge and skills learned, as well as the discipline and determination gained as they go along, become a way of life that eventually radiates towards everything else that a child does anywhere.

And in my opinion, those are the right steps towards empowering kids to reach the top of the class called life.
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