Have you ever had one of those moments where you're watching your child do something really well -something you never thought they could do? Or, a time when you knew they would do well, but they knocked your expectation out of the park, all because they were encouraged?
As moms and dads, I bet you have.
I recently had both of these experiences as I watched my sons perform in the "Newsies Jr." summer musical. I was so impressed at what a cast of children pulled off in 10 days. The show had a lot of songs, lines, and choreography to learn! It even had an intermission, ha!
I almost held back one of my sons from getting this experience all because musical theater hasn't ever been his "thing." For my oldest son, this was a summer camp he jumped at the chance to do, which wasn't surprising to me. When we signed all three of our kids up for summer camps, I didn't even ask my middle son if he wanted to try out for Newsies. As we started listening to the Broadway soundtrack (over and over and over), my other son asked if he could try out.
Thankfully, we decided to let him.
I learned a few valuable lessons from being an audience member that weekend and some takeaways that left my heart so full and proud of our Covenant community.
- Take advantage of all the areas of expertise your children are privileged to receive here at CCA. Sign them up for things they haven't tried before, and trust teachers will draw out their gifts, interests, and talents. At CCA, students have the opportunity to shine on the fine arts stage, the classroom, and the football field. They are encouraged to pursue multiple disciplines. Click here if you want to learn more about why CCA is different from other schools.
- Show up and cheer loud for all the kids, even when it's not your child's "time to shine." Supporting each other is a gift. And in fact, scripture tells us to "encourage one another and build each other up" Hebrews 10:24. I love watching children shine at our school and giving them a pat on the back when they've earned something worth recognizing. I hope my kids do the same for their peers.
- When it's your child's turn to receive the applause on a stage, sports field, academic awards ceremony, music concert, art show, or other, celebrate with them! Get on your feet, cheer obnoxiously and let them know you are proud of them. And then teach them the importance of looking behind them to give credit to all who helped them get there.
- Encourage your kids to work hard even when they aren't the winner, lead role, or sports star, or don't make the honor roll. It's okay for our kids to be challenged, to experience defeat, disappointment, and natural consequences. Ecclesiastes 3:4 reminds us about seasons and the fact there is "a time to weep and a time to laugh. A time to mourn and a time to dance." Click here to read about a time when a student didn't get a part in the play and what they learned through the experience.
- It's good for us, as parents, to experience a glimpse of our children's potential to carry us through the hard moments (or weeks, or years) of feeling like they just aren't reaching it. I think it's the Lord's way of encouraging us to keep doing the hard work. Keep praying for teachable moments and moments of victory! One of the things I love about CCA is the support of the body of Christ in the challenging moments and the shining ones.
Your child has many gifts and talents worth recognizing. Sometimes they'll be in big moments. But more often, they'll be in the small moments. Those are worth celebrating as well.