At an audition earlier this year, I had the fine privilege of watching several young, talented individuals put their best foot forward in hopes of receiving encouragement and constructive criticism from an acclaimed broadway actor/singer. I enjoyed every minute of their attempts and improvement. Of course I most thoroughly enjoyed watching my third oldest, Bliss, sing a song near and dear to her heart…it actually brought me to tears.
Truly, the teacher made it easy on the children. Reminding them he was still learning, even after all his vast experience. He gave them gentle, yet honest direction and feedback. He encouraged them to search for a personal experience or feeling and bring it into their performance. He really pushed them to BE the best version of THEM, and then told them that the practice room was a safe place to express themselves fully.
Moms and Dads: You must make your home that kind of haven.
The type of place the child can BE who they are, and yet know they can trust our honest feedback is coming from a place of love, of wanting the best for them. Let them search out the best version of THEMSELVES, their truest motivations, and challenge them on it respectfully. Remind them, YOU are that safe place. Their secrets, their personality, even their silliness is just fine with you!
We have a future politician, who can argue convincingly almost any point from either side. We have a missionary who could just as easily be a stand up comedienne. We have an actress/singer/writer who was born in South Florida but speaks with a british accent. We have an olympic triathlete who has serious endorphin issues. We have a Bible teacher who speaks with such love and grace. Obviously, my list can go on and on…but the point is this:
These children will become these things because they have been given the freedom to be themselves and practice their purpose while having a safe haven to nurture their dreams.
They get encouraged, and still receive constructive criticism and direction coming from loving–not pushing–parents.
Make your home that safe place–to just BE.
There will be decades of fighting who the world wants them to be, pushes them to be, tells them they must be…but until then, build up their confidence of who THEY are right under the safety of your own roof.