As parents we try to help our children become successful. We teach them to set goals, work hard and achieve the best. Sounds simple enough.
Well, reality is, just like every other aspect of parenting teaching our kids to find success isn’t always an easy task. Let’s face it there’s a fine line between encouraging success and simply pushing kids too hard. How, exactly, do you encourage kids to have goals but, at the same time, remind them that they may not reach each and every one of them?
As the mom of a 12-year-old boy I find that many of the lessons I try to teach come in the form of sports references. Ironically, this weekend, I came across two quotes that were simply worth sharing.
The first was on Tewksbury Congregational Church’s billboard. The sign, which is updated regularly, generally contains words of wisdom which, oftentimes, are not entirely religious in nature. This particular day the sign simply read, “Don’t bunt, aim out of the ballpark.”
Ok, potentially good advice when a player steps to the plate but, more than that, an analogy that reminds us that life isn’t always about taking the easy way out. Aiming out of the ballpark doesn’t guarantee success but it certainly means that you can walk away knowing you tried your best.
Next on the list was a quote from a letter that departing Red Sox player Kevin Youkilis wrote to Red Sox nation. As part of his final goodbye Youkilis took the opportunity to share on last bit of advice, “And to all those kids out there in Red Sox Nation, I can give you my Dad’s advice. 'Life is like a throw to first base, always aim high.'"
Again, a baseball analogy, but words of wisdom that remind kids that that it’s ok to have a lofty set of goals.
In my eyes the key to both of these quotes is one simple word, AIM. Let's face it kids, much like adults, need to have a plan and “aiming” or setting goals helps them to head in the right direction.
Nobody purposely aims towards failure. It is, however, a lack of goals and absence of direction that often stands in the way of success.
Does aiming guarantee success? Of course not, but “aiming high” or “aiming out of the park” does mean achieving the number one goal that I want my own son to always remember. It means trying his best even when odds are stacked against him.
Is every hit a homerun? Absolutely not, but every swing can potentially be a homerun swing. As a mom I want him to know that it’s all a matter of giving it your best shot and not being afraid of failure