Show and Tell Parenting

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Every parent I know has helped their preschool or Kindergarten child get ready for “Show and Tell”.  Remember how it was such a big deal for the child who wanted to bring their favorite or special “thing” to share with their classmates?  Not any old thing would do.   Thought and care went into the selection process.  On the day of “Show and Tell” the children all bring their items to the front of the room and they show them off then tell you what makes it great.  I think we as parents need to adopt this same concept when it comes to parenting.  Let me say it another way.  Children and teenagers need to see big things happening in order to dream big dreams.

I believe that parenting should be purposeful…even strategic (Worth mentioning here that being strategic is very different from being forceful).  Every child is born with unique talents, skills, and interests.  The job of a parent is to recognize, protect, and nurture these special gifts. The job of a parent also includes building self-confidence, providing opportunities for children to thrive, and allowing children to learn the value of hard work.

Parents are a child’s first teachers.  In the simplest form, “Show and Tell” parenting means instead of lecturing your kids about not reading let them see you read for leisure, buy them books as presents, take them to the library and don’t forget to read together as a family.  This is the same parenting concept Robert Kiyosaki speaks about in his book Rich Dad, Poor Dad.  Mr. Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad exposed him to business concepts, business deals, and business partners which allowed him to learn by doing.  He is a multi-millionaire because of the parenting he received.

“Show and Tell” parenting is what Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, in my opinion, do amazingly well.  Willow and Jaden Smith are quickly becoming superstars.  Their parents have shown them a lifestyle with no limitations and where excellence is the goal.  Let’s be real, there is enough money in the Smith household that this preteen sibling pair don’t have to work but work they do. At the age of 10 Willow has released her second single (sure to be a hit) called “21st Century Girl”. (I love her hit “Whip My Hair” by the way.)  She has also been in the movies Madagascar 2 and I Am Legend.  Mr. Jaden’s resume’ includes the movies The Pursuit of Happyness and The Karate Kid.  (Did I mention how much I LOVE The Karate Kid?)  Yes, yes, yes, Will and Jada either co-starred in the movies with their offspring or their production company developed or produced their work BUT the performances were dynamic.  I don’t call it nepotism; I call it providing a platform for your children to shine or “Show and Tell” parenting.  Willow and Jaden weren’t put in front of the camera or microphone until they had mastered their craft. (Isn’t that how Tori Spelling became a household name?  Why else would Melissa Rivers be popular?)

“Show and Tell” parenting doesn’t just apply to your biological children.  Take some and pass it around.

 

Nicki Sanders, MSW, Chief Visionary Officer
The Teen Toolbox provides youth portfolio development and civic engagement and academic enrichment opportunities to help teens set goals for life after high school and create a road map to reach those goals through its PACKAGED FOR SUCCESS™ Programs.

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