Homeschool Musings: Encouraging Your Child to be Better!

Having a child is nothing short of amazing, exhilarating, exciting, fulfilling, frustrating, confusing, and unnerving all at the same time.  I know the scientific explanation for how babies “get here”, but I’m still in awe that I carried a living being in my womb for 9 months, and that my daughter arrived perfect and whole.

Thus, it’s understandable that I feel a deep sense of pride and accomplishment when someone says, “She looks/acts just like you!” or “She’s your mini me!” I’m proud that I see myself in her and others do as well.  Not until recently did I realize that I don’t want her to be my mini me…I want her to be better. Oh, I’ll still take the compliment, but the goal isn’t to make a replica of myself. I’ve been given the amazing blessing to shape a person who can do all that I’ve done and more. Trying to make her just like me would be doing a disservice to her and the world.

You see my daughter is amazing! She’s funny, thoughtful, creative, decisive, loving, tenacious, ambitious…I could go on. I can’t wait to see her surpass me – breaking barriers, setting new standards, and creating new paths. Her very existence pushes me to be even better because I’m her mark to beat. She will begin where I finish and she will go places I’ve dreamed about. Yes, she will do that, and so much more I cannot fathom because that is the Point! That is the Why! That is the Goal!

Ways To Encourage “Better”

Everyday as parents we should be focused on guiding our children to being the “better” they are destined to become. How do we do that? Here are three suggestions:

  1. Let your child try something difficult and encourage them to keep trying throughout their learning curve (the time it takes to master or obtain a skill). Don’t let them give up too easily. Communicate that while everything doesn’t come easily, giving up too soon won’t allow you know if you can complete the task or not.
  2. Talk to your child and let them lead the conversation. You’d be surprised what your child is thinking about and what they want or need to share with you. Giving them your full attention speaks volumes and creates a level of comfort.
  3. Don’t force your way of doing something on your child (i.e., you have to put a puzzle together a certain way, play a game one way, or complete a craft in a specific manner). It’s difficult not to impose at times – especially when your trying to be helpful, but exploration is necessary. Let your child try his or her own way first (when possible and applicable), then interject as needed.

What are some ways you’re helping your child achieve his or her “better”?

Dr. Tiffany McKinnon-Russell is the Founder of Thoughts Of a Homeschool Mom, a blog and resource center for new and existing homeschooling families. Connect with Dr. Tiffany today at

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