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The years of early childhood represent the most fertile period for creating true champions of your children. This is the time they are most receptive to knowledge, learning by example and absorbing all that happens around them like a sponge absorbs water.

What is a champion?

The dictionary defines a champion as “one who is clearly superior or has the attributes of a winner”.

Think about the following tips:

1. Try to build self-esteem.

This can be done by spending lots of time with them, listening to them, playing with them, participate in their fantasy games and role play. Puppets, stuffed animals and similar items can help here.

2. Read to them.

All children love hearing good stories. The benefits are obvious – it creates a closer bond between parent and child, it improves vocabulary, it builds imagination skills etc… As the child develops reading skills they will learn to become avid readers for life – a wonderful goal!

3. Encourage them to develop their own interests.

This can include many things physical or mental- sports such as swimming, tennis, karate, athletics – or reading, painting, chess etc… If you detect real talent in any one area, then encourage them to develop it! Talent in a competitive sport can be nurtured – gently and wisely – thereby increasing the child’s feelings toward success, competition and winning. The child should learn early in life about the competitive spirit, that losing is a natural part of life and should be viewed as a learning experience; encouraging them to try harder next time, to reach for a higher goal.

4. Create a fun filled “family culture”.

Communication should be open and hassle free with children getting fun and satisfaction from within the family rather than any outside influence. The goal of all communication between family members should be the reassurance that the love and appreciation – and respect – are always present – and unconditional. Don’t forget the grandparents – they can be a great hit with the kids and usually are pleased to share their time, patience and experience with them – not to mention being a very positive role model!

5. Plan ahead.

Trips to fun places like the Zoo, Amusement Park, cinema, boat trip, picnic, cycling trip etc. are all family events that kids love and really look forward to. Part of the fun of any activity is in the planning. Often there’s as much fun in the anticipation as in the event itself. If you have the chance get everyone along to take part – brothers and sisters, other relatives or friends. This builds a sense of identity in the child, enhancing self confidence and creating a deeper sense of “family”.

6. Set an example of excellence.

Involve your child at an early age in household activities – cutting the grass, washing the car, caring for pets etc. with a positive attitude that lets them know the importance of their work and doing a job the best way possible.

7. Teach them to have faith and believe in themselves.

Teach them that their success has no limits if they believe in their own abilities. Encourage them to realise their true potential.