Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
Over the years of my practice, I have seen numerous instances where my client has related that they were not affirmed by their parents. This takes many forms- from outright abuse, to neglect, to simple failure to nurture the dreams of their children.
Again, I am not one to push onto parents all the failures in adulthood that my clients face. We are all aware that even with childhoods that were less than perfect, we still have the choices and opportunities to become successful adults. Of course, clients who have had the trauma of abuse have a terrible burden to overcome, but indeed, many of my clients have overcome in spectacular ways.
However, parents need to recognize that their children have dreams, and often the talent and ambition to back that up. Our job as parents is to help identify those dreams and talents of our children and nurture them any way that we can. Just letting a child know that he/she can achieve their dreams, no matter what they are, is a huge encouragement. It says, “I believe in you!”
Kids look to their parents for validation, in some form, their whole life. Let’s make sure that they do not feel that they have to work hard for our love and affirmation. Just like God loves us right where we are (and He does), we need to clearly convey that to our children regularly. We need to express to them verbally and non-verbally that they can reach their dreams, and that we believe in them.
Prayer: Lord, help us to identify the dreams and gifts of our children and the next generations, and to nurture those dreams, Amen