I have an aspiring academy award winner living under my roof. Beautiful to behold, passionate and sensitive, she has the verve to make it for sure. This Sunday we went to an audition coaching class, and time after time I heard the producer giving the same commands to every person attempting the lines, correcting them on their posture, encouraging individuality, and pushing them harder. Boy, she sounded a lot like me.
“Stand up straight!” ”Don’t keep touching your hair!” ”Stop rocking when you stand!” ”Speak clearly, we can’t hear you when you mumble!”
She was very good at giving honest feedback. She told people what they had done right, and what they needed to work on. She was encouraging and constructively criticizing.
Probably the most important thing she continued to repeat, though, was this:
“This is your safe ground. Feel free to be who you think the monologue is! I may sound like I am being tough, but it is only for your good!”
The entire afternoon was a poignant picture of parenting, truthfully.
You see, this audition coaching class was FREE. This coach spent three hours of her time, training tomorrow’s talent because she truly loved her business and wanted to help people get a little further down the road to success. In parenting, the pay may not be so great, but the rewards are mind blowing. When you consistently encourage your child, and give honest constructive criticism, you will help them get so much farther down the road, and the results are compounding. A few years ago, I would be constantly correct the older girls on personal habits, mannerisms, and posture, at times they would give me this look like “PLEEEEEEEEEEAAAZZZE.” (Lord knows they would never SAY it!) But man…they could get real tired of me smacking their hand away from their mouth as I walked by when they were biting their nails!
But you know what? Now, they say THANK YOU MOM. All the time. They now help me encourage and train up the younger ones, saying that momma knows best, and if the young ones want to grow up and influence people, then it would definitely be best NOT TO EAT LIKE A BARN ANIMAL. If you want to lead people to Christ, they need to be able to understand you, SO SPEAK CLEARLY. There are a thousand small things when it comes to habits and mannerisms that add up to the making of a fine young man or a beautiful young lady…and it takes constant repetition, constant reminding. And always you must continue to tell them, “because I love you and I know God wants to do great things through you, I must correct these distracting mannerisms. I am not trying to nag you, I am loving you the best way I can by forging you into the sharpest arrow in the quiver!”
Folks, good posture, clear speech, and solid non verbal communication takes years of training and tons of effort on your behalf…but please, do it. Do it. And like this producer, be kind yet relentless…and see your children win opportunity, favor, and influence beyond your wildest imagination. The academy award will be chump change by comparison.