Are our children proud of their accomplishments over their character?
Do you ever just aimlessly scroll through social media? I admit, I tend to waste more time than I like on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. I don’t stop too often but something caught my eye the other day. You know how sometimes people you don’t even know show up on your feeds? Well that was the case here. It was a picture of their kid (like most of us moms proudly post! ☺️🙋) and below was a list of all their accomplishments. It was fun to read but something didn’t sit right. I wasn’t sure what it was so I just stopped and stared at the post. Then I understood!
What was being highlighted and bragged on was accomplishments over character. Now don’t get me wrong! I love sharing what my kids do! Isn’t that just part of being a parent? It is amazing how proud I become over every little thing they do! However, at that moment I was a bit convicted in my own heart. How many times do I talk about what my kids can do instead of talking about the qualities they hold?
Here is my thought, follow with me. If my little one is awesome at baseball and we celebrate and talk about all those great games, points made and how well he has trained, won’t his identity possibly become centered on that? Then what happens if he has a terrible game? He misses all his hits, or even entertains the bench the whole game. I wonder what his thought process would look like. I wonder if he will feel unworthy of celebration and bragging rights?
What if instead we focus on our little one’s ability to persevere or the self discipline it takes to practice and play a game? Then when things don’t go as well as we hoped they will still hold the confidence that they are person of character, not just a person of accomplishments. See the pic above? Know why this sweet little boy is so proud of his medal? He was told before his ‘showcase’ that he would not get to keep his medal based on whether he performed well or not but rather the characteristics that stood out while he performed. He would get to keep it because I knew he would try his best, not give up and would push through when he felt shy about going in front of everyone! And that he did! I will add that he did perform well too 😉
I know my kids wont always be the best at school, sports, or even life in general. That is the beauty in life- there is ALWAYS someone better and that is okay! As parents, we should equip our kids to handle the times they aren’t the best with the confidence that they are still a person of integrity, compassion, empathy, service, etc. My kids are still young so I get the honor of watching parents who have gone before us and learn from what they do. There have been so many good examples in front of us that we hope to take even a sliver of their parenting knowledge! One parent’s wisdom given to us was to physically write down the top 5 character traits you hope your child will have. Visit this list often and review how well we as parents have modeled and taught it in our home. This was an activity we did for our 3 kids and we really enjoyed doing it together while dreaming of the unique person they will each become.
This isn’t meant to be some long, researched post of the ins and outs of accomplishments over character and how that plays into our children’s identity. Instead, it is just a little something that struck my heart last night and I thought I would share. It’s raw and not polished but here it is. ☺️ Maybe you will leave a little encouraged as I have been!
How do you ensure to take notice of the CHARACTER your child displays instead of their ACCOMPLISHMENTS?
Thanks for taking a ‘snippet’ from our world!