If your child finds the perfect guitar chord, the one that sends shivers up their spine, the one that makes music accessible…tell them to turn it up. It opens a world of possibility. Encourage it, even if you only hear out of tune sounds and an off beat melody.
When your child puts paint to paper, it’s not too important if you see the next Monet or not. Most of the world’s greatest artists are never understood or liked anyway. Support the vision that they see when they are moved to create.
When their skateboard trucks finally lock into a grind, or when a flick of their foot finally lands them on top of a kickflip, be there to give them a “hell yes!”, not the smug look of a coach, disappointed it wasn’t clean enough for them to have gotten a “10” in the olympics.
Once I was told “I always thought you could have been a….”. Well it doesn’t really matter what they thought I could have been, what matters is that if they had told me then, it might have been the push I needed to have actually been it.
Look, I don’t believe everyone needs a ribbon for participation. I don’t think every kid gets a medal, but if we don’t encourage and build up our kids, who will? If everyone that played a guitar chord “wrong” never made music there wouldn’t be punk, or hardcore or hip hop, or ART.
There are enough people in the world to tell our kids they don’t deserve the number one spot. There are enough people in the world to let your kids know that they won’t get an award for participation, but our kids only have us as parents and if we spend more time building them up and nurturing their interests, it’s surprising how much that encouragement means to them and how many successes it will lead to.