I was overwhelmed this week when my oldest daughter, Skylar, sung at her school’s talent show. Skylar is one that has loved music literally from birth. When she would be crying and nothing would calm her down…music did. It got to a point that we just decided to play music every night as she slept and she loved it.
From the first day that she could talk, Skylar would sing with any music that she would hear…whether she knew the words or not! Now at seven years old, she begs for songs to be played while we travel anywhere and she just blows us away with her angelic voice. I cannot express just how at awe I felt as I saw my little baby get up in front of hundreds of people and just sing lights out!!
When I was by myself later, I could not help it…I cried. I could really sense my Dad’s presence. He always loved to hear Skylar sing. He never told her to be quiet or shut up. In fact, he would sing with her…even if he did not know that words to her songs :-). This is something that Dad was really amazing at… Feeding into our talents by encouraging us in anyway he could think of.
When I was growing up, Dad would play catch with me. He was always really careful to not overdue my arm but would start close and work his way back little by little…day by day. He would not make fun of me if I dropped the ball or would throw it horribly. He would just encourage me to keep doing my best. Well, as I was entering high school, my best friend, Brent, was already playing on the baseball team and wanted me to try out for the team. To be frank, I was scared to death. I just did not think I was worthy of being on a team.
The week of tryouts Dad got home from work and as always he could tell something was on my mind. I told him about baseball tryouts. He told me that I was an awesome baseball player and that I should go for it. I was scared for several reasons. Dad looked me eye to eye…mano e mano and said “Look Son. All things are equal on the field. You can hold your own against anyone out of the field. Just go and throw the ball. You will be on that team. Period.”
It really gave me confidence to try it. You guessed it… I made the team!!! As parents we should always be looking for ways to feed into the talents of our children. Do not make your parenting model all about the no’s and the do not’s of life but also make it about hope…inspiration…empowerment. Alicia and I have decided to feed into Skylar by putting her into voice lessons and let her walk out her dream of singing. What about your children? What can you do to encourage them today? If you will just do it, it will rock their world forever!!!