In this week’s parsha, we learn of Moshe’s experience by the burning bush. Moshe’s modesty is evident; he doesn’t want the job of leading the Jewish people out of Egypt because he does not feel that he is the right man for the job. Hashem, in turn, gently and forcefully encourages Moshe and ultimately convinces him that he is the right person to lead the Jewish people.
This story teaches us so much that we can take to heart as parents. Encouraging kids to do their best and fulfill their potential is part of our job as parents. We all want our kids to have confidence and feel competent. Eventually, all children leave home and they need skills in order to manage their own lives. When we encourage kids when they are young, we help them gain self-esteem and develop positive self-images. We hope that this will help them throughout their lives. Children who are more confident and self-assured are better able to handle the big and little challenges of life. They are able to face their problems and focus on solutions. They are able to understand their role and mission in life; they might even be the next Moshe.
How can we encourage our children?
Here are four ways we can encourage children to keep on trying:
(Adapted from Reachinginreachingout.com)
Be quick with encouraging remarks
“You can do it. Keep at it.”
“You should be proud of yourself” Last time you got a C on your test. You studied and brought your grade up to a B.”
“How about trying this puzzle again? You can do it!”
“You look frustrated about your math homework, what would help you keep on going?”
Keep phrases handy to help kids get back up after a mistake
“We celebrate mistakes! It’s a great way to get better at almost anything!”
“Mistakes are a great way to learn new ways to do things.”
“We don’t get in trouble for mistakes in this house.”
Encourage children to enjoy the process:
“Riding a bike can be tricky. It might take a lot of practice to figure it out. Each time you try it you will be one step closer to learning how to do it.”
“You did five of your math problems, only five more to go.”
Be a role model
“I finally learned how to work my new computer program. I kept on asking questions of my instructor and talking to my friend who knows the program. It was frustrating but I am glad I kept on trying!”
“I knitted my first scarf. The stitches were uneven at first, but the more I knitted the better I got! I am so excited!”
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.