Empower Your Child: Don’t Let Them Play The Victim

Pauline Rumm

It’s most likely you’ve heard cliches like, ‘I would have been successful if my parents had sent me to school abroad’ or ‘If I’d been given the American visa last year, I would have made it by now’ or ‘I don’t have a job because I don’t have the right connections’ or ‘Things would have worked out right if my siblings had supported me.’ This is what people on the road to failure do; they blame their problems on everything and everyone else but themselves.

In all fairness, some people may have experienced one or more upheavals and drawbacks in life as a result of being affected by other people’s decisions, or being involved in unexpected natural disasters that life throws at them. However, try not to make it a reason for you to go through life making excuses, apportioning blames and complaining. As parents, we can not afford to let this happen to our children. Letting them complain and give excuses all the time make them out to be victims.

I like how Daniel Brown puts it in his book, 5 Biblical Keys To Your Most Abundant and Prosperous Life- ‘When you see yourself as a victim, you give away all your power. Excuses turn you into a victim by stripping you of all your power’. Do you want your children to become utterly powerless and incapacitated to make success of their lives? Of course not, but, if you keep setting the wrong example by apportioning blames and complaining all the time, they may just start doing the same. Leave a legacy that your children will be proud of. Remember, children are mostly products of what they see and hear.

We must teach our children to deal with issues with the best of attitudes. Except you are lying in the hospital, wired to a life support machine, you have the power to change your life. The greatest scientist and physician of all time, Albert Einstein, had a learning disability. Helen Keller who was deaf, mute and blind earned a Bachelor’s degree in Arts. She turned out to become one of the greatest women activist, socialist and author. What about Tanni Grey Thompson, who is the greatest disabled sport star of all time? Despite being on a wheelchair all her life, she won 16 medals at the Para Olympics. If your son complains about being too short to join the basketball team, let him know that there are other sports he can be great at. That is not to say that your son can not be successful at basketball because of his height. Record has it that the shortest basketballer in NBA 2011, Earl Boykins, was five feet, five inches tall. His height is considered short for the regular man, let alone playing alongside 6 feet, 7 inches tall guys. You can imagine he would have been told countless times that he was in the wrong career.

Children ought to be taught that, ‘A lazy man complains of his tools’ and the best way to teach them is by example. Also, reinforce good values like hard work, diligence and tenacity. Let them know that it’s not how many times they fall when they try that counts, but being able to rise again, regardless of the obstacles.

For the complaining parent, here’s a start- take stock of your past in relation to where your life is right now, admit your mistakes and take responsibility. Take steps to make the necessary changes that will transform your life. Remember, your child learns by watching you.

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