Our kids are involved in many different things. They play multiple sports, are involved in other extracurricular activities, and have a wide variety of interests. Sometimes they achieve a lot, others they don’t achieve as much. One evening while volunteering at their Awana club, I learned something about why their “achievements” or lack of them is not where my focus or emphasis should be.
For those unfamiliar with Awana, it is a Christian youth club that functions similar to Cub Scouts where kids are awarded for Scripture memorization, service, and other activities. While in our group time, the youth minister asked for six volunteers: three girls and three boys. He paired them up girl/boy and gave each pair a box full of candy. They each had the same instructions and were sent to different areas throughout the church. Their instructions were to ask every single person they saw if they wanted some candy. If they said yes then they’d give them a candy bar. If the person said no then they were to quickly move onto the next person. The results varied. One pair came back with a full box as they couldn’t give any candy away. One pair gave away half of their candy, and the third gave away all of their candy.
Their task was a comparison of God calling people into ministry. Some will be highly successful, others will have some success, and others will have little to no success. What he said next was his key point. He asked the following question, “Who am I more proud of?” Answers varied, and he finally said, “I’m equally proud of all of them.”
Our kids achievements are something we should be proud of, but that shouldn’t be the only thing. He went on to explain that their reward was not based on their achievement, but instead, their willingness to try. And each was able to have a share in the candy that remained. That is a powerful lesson in parenting. Our kids achievements are something we should be proud of, but that shouldn’t be the only thing. If we only focus on our kids achievements or lack of them, then their self-worth will come from that. Their self-worth should come just from who they are. They are unique and special in their own way. And they are your kids which is a cause for great celebration.
In today’s “everyone gets a trophy” era, it can be a fine line. But our job as dads is to love them, let them know their value, and let them know no matter if they try and fail or if they try and succeed, we love them just the same. When you let your kids know you love them and you’re proud of them, don’t always make it achievement based. Love them and express how proud you are just because who they are.
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Do you know why I love you?”