“I’m thankful for Carolyn (his six-year-old daughter) and how she is really good at math. I’m thankful for Angela (four years old) and how she is always so helpful to everyone without being asked.”
When it was our daughter Jannie’s turn, she talked about additional great traits of our wonderful granddaughters.
I was touched! What great parents to recognize the individual talents and gifts of their children, and to express them in a way that builds their self-esteem and confidence.
I was left wondering if they had heard a couple of the same speeches I had over the last few weeks. They said they had not—which left me feeling that great parenting just came naturally to them.
Terri Flint, employee assistance director at a major hospital chain, spoke a few weeks ago at the annual NAMI Utah state convention about how the worst bosses ignore their subordinates, the “next-to-worst” ones criticize them, and the best help them recognize their strengths and empowers them to use those strengths for the benefit of the organization.
A few weeks before that, Henry Eyring, a religious leader spoke of how parents and other leaders should help youth recognize their God-given gifts with which they were born.
I had great parents, but during my difficult teen years, I felt that they were continually criticizing me. My dad told me once he thought that I’d make a good house painter for a career. That’s what I did for summer jobs as a teen. I have great respect for house painters, but that was very far from my career aspirations. I felt that he didn’t see my talents and strength. He didn’t take the time to know me. Looking back, I think this contributed to my issues with depression and low self-esteem that I battled much of my life. Perhaps that’s why I was impressed by what I’ve heard and seen the last few weeks.
Looking for the gifts and strengths of others and helping them see them is important in all of our endeavors. This builds individuals and it builds organizations.