“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” – Albert Einstein

For many of us, Albert Einstein is revered as a genius who changed the world with his advanced theories. Yet despite his incredible intelligence, he was labeled as mentally retarded by his teacher. According to him, Albert Einstein was unteachable.

Fortunately, Einstein’s mother didn’t see things that way. What the teacher saw as unteachable, his mother saw as a boy too intelligent for the adults trying to guide him. Her choices helped shape him into the man he would become, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist. Imagine how different the world would be if he hadn’t had his mother there to show him he was limitless.

While we may not all have tiny Albert Einsteins running around, (or do we?) nearly every parent has experienced that eyebrow-raising moment when a teen or even a very small child says something particularly profound. Yet often, our kids limit themselves through negative self-talk and simply believing that they can’t win. This is an unhealthy way of looking at things, and if it becomes a habit it could have a negative impact on their lives.

Luckily, there are plenty of things we can do to help our children find their strengths and change their viewpoint to be, “I can!” Helping our children gain confidence and realize that they are limitless can be an exercise in patience, but it is well worth the effort. Here are a few things you can do to help your child as opportunities present themselves.

pay attention to opportunities
The best time to encourage your child is when they themselves are motivated. If you hear your child saying they wish they were faster at running, or that they could win a contest at school, take that as a teaching moment. Give your child the support they need to succeed so that they have all the tools they need to tackle the problem.

don’t abandon them
Setting and achieving goals is hard. Even adults struggle with this task. When you tell a preteen who is just barely learning about the adult world they need to get scholarships and choose a career path, they may well give up in the face of so many challenges. While asking a kindergartner to do a simple project on their own may seem less difficult, it can feel the same way.

We’ve all been at a new job with a steep learning curve, and had to deal with that one trainer that expected you to be an expert in three days. Be there for your child, and let them know you are there to help, always.

help them have realistic expectations
No one becomes an expert overnight. It takes thousands of hours to truly master a skill, a concept that may be a little hard for children to grasp. It’s fairly common for kids of all ages to spend 2 or 3 days seriously working on a skill, only to become discouraged when they are not perfect immediately.

Studies have shown that seeing parents struggle before eventually achieving a goal can be one of the most helpful ways to not only give a child realistic expectations but to encourage them as well. Even children as young as 15 months are more likely to try harder at their own work when they see an adult who has to struggle in order to succeed.

No matter how old your child is, it is helpful to take a look at your own life to see how you can help. Do you work hard to achieve new goals? Do you challenge yourself regularly? If you don’t, you might consider taking on a new challenge in order to lead by example.

the next Einstein?
Just as Einstein went on to be one of the greatest minds in History, with his Theory of Relativity, many other individuals were able to see beyond what existed in their realities. Through sheer creativity, persistence, and ingenuity, they contributed HUGE advancements in science and technology.

Look around you today at the innovations that have improved the quality of our lives and added conveniences that were science fiction in the past. The device you are currently reading this on is proof in itself! Furthermore, according to a report published by Dell Technologies, 85% of jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t even been invented yet!

Children ARE limitless. Their future will shape the face of the world, and it can’t be understated how important assisting them is. If your child is reluctant to take on a new goal, help encourage them with these tips, and let them know every day that they can do anything they set their minds to.

books that encourage our kids to feel limitless
Reading children’s books with our little ones is a wonderful way of sharing examples and reinforcing the message of just how limitless they truly are. A few we think do a wonderful job of both these things are Inventors Who Changed the World by Heidi Poelman which is part of the Little Heroes board book series and introduces some of the world’s greatest minds and their amazing contributions throughout History (Leonardo da Vinci, Marie Curie and Thomas Edison to name a few), What Do You Do With an Idea? by Kobi Yamada is a personal favorite that follows the journey of a little boy who learns the amazing things that can happen when you decide to embrace an idea instead of being afraid or ignoring it, and of course we cannot leave out the awesome classic Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss which empowers kids of all ages to seek out opportunities and possibilities no matter the highs and lows that may come.

We also cannot rave enough about Big Life Journal! They are a great resource for assisting parents in helping their children have a growth mindset. With this program, you are set up for success through tools that help your children with resiliency, encourage confidence and instill the love of learning.  

coloring fun
Please enjoy this free Tot Tails coloring page to help share this message with your child.


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