My dad’s probably the sole reason I’m playing tennis, in that it was his love of the game that kept us from drifting away from it. He definitely pushed us along, and I know I needed that.

—Mali Vai Washington

It’s not always the easiest thing to know what our children need, or how far to push them. What spurs one child on might cause resentment in another. We just have to gauge it as best we can. Perhaps the teacher or instructor has some worthwhile input—let’s ask. We might also try a schedule change, lightening up a bit but not pulling out totally. Our child might also benefit by having a partner, someone her age whose enthusiasm and participation would bolster her own. Then, again, if we were hoping for a star basketball forward but our child is set on pouring his energies into the student council or the debate team, we must recognize these other interests as areas for our child to excel in in a way that is meaningful to him.

Call to Action:  On this day, I will take five minutes to think about the specific needs of my child and how best to cater to them.

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