Your support means the world to your child, so if he tells you he wants to be a supermodel when he grows up, you’ve got to choose your response wisely. Many parents think there are only two options: either explain in no uncertain terms that his dream is next to impossible, or shower him with enthusiastic encouragement despite knowing he’s likely to fail in such a cutthroat industry. The first approach may leave him quite disappointed, but he’ll learn a valuable lesson in forming realistic goals and expectations. On the other hand, the second approach will give him a surge of self-confidence and motivation… isn’t that more important?

Striking a balance

Children are surprisingly resilient. They don’t need you to sugarcoat everything because they can handle the truth—as long as it’s delivered appropriately. To do this, an article on Psychology Today recommends the “Three Ps”: practice, patience, and perseverance. Just telling your children the sky’s the limit isn’t very constructive because it fails to teach them the value of hard work and determination. The article states emphasis should instead be placed on improving skills through practice, enduring challenges through patience, and working past obstacles through perseverance. So to help your son achieve his goal, communicate the importance of practicing posing, walking, and developing a solid portfolio. Tell him he’ll have to be patient as his body grows and changes, and as he works his way up in the industry. Finally, make him aware that he will need to persevere through loads of rejection and the pressure to make his body look a certain way. Repeating these powerful lessons will arm your children with the skills and mindset they need to succeed.

More parenting advice

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Also published on Medium.

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