The following is an extract from a wonderful book titled ‘Wonderful Ways to Love a Child’ by Judy Ford.

We all need encouragement.. you do and so does your child. In some ways we are all helpless little people trying to cope with a complex world. The rules change practically every day and it’s hard to keep up. No one needs encouragement more than children. There are so many pressures and temptations that they need all the support we can give. Whatever they try to do, stand behind them. Let them know you believe they can accomplish their goal by saying, “I think you can do it.” Acknowledge their accomplishments, however small.

Be careful not to confuse encouraging with pushing. Too often I see parents who are actually discouraging their child by pushing the things they care about rather than letting the child fulfill his or her own desires.

Don’t try to persuade your child to follow your dreams by saying, “I’d rather you become and engineer,” to her desire to become an editor. When you encourage, you inspire your child to be herself. If she has a dream, tell her it’s a wonderful dream…no matter what. Don’t knock it and don’t put fear into her by saying, “There aren’t that many jobs for astronauts.”

Children have goals and ambitions of their own. Your job is to cheer them on. And don’t forget to recognize their efforts. Such words as, “I trust you to know what is right for you,” are music to the ears of children and echo the message: It’s okay to discover who you are and to find out what you’re about. With such uplifting coaching from you, even when they have a setback, they won’t be pessimistic for long.

Love them and believe in them totally. Use words like, “Whatever you are wishing for, we wish for you.” With this kind of loving backup, you will be a light of inspiration guiding your children as they become what they are capable of being.