Aim for Achievement

“Always aim for achievement, and forget about success.”

— Helen Hayes

We live today in a society where celebrities are lauded and admired – sometimes for very little reason.  Their affairs and misbehaviors are much bandied about by the yellow press found in the supermarket check out lanes. But what have they done to further the cause of civilization or education or philosophy or arts?

In the mid-fifties (and people haven’t changed so much since then basically), Judy Holliday starred in a movie called It Should Happen To You. It also starred Peter Lawford and a very young Jack Lemmon.

The premise of the movie is that Judy Holliday, playing an ordinary young woman named Gladys Glover, wants to “make a name for herself.” She simply wants to be famous – not necessarily for doing anything noteworthy, but simply to be famous.

Eventually she learns how hollow fame for nothing really is. The climactic scene occurs when she is about to christen a military airship. Her soliloquy demonstrate her complete change of values from fame to accomplishment.

Have your young people from ten years of age on up watch it with you sometime. It will spark conversations about doing and being.

Teaching our children to accomplish starts when they are young. Potty training is an accomplishment. Putting the toys back in the toy box is another. Hanging up clothes, straightening the bed, carrying dishes from the table to the sink, all these are accomplishments that deserve our attention and our praise when carried out.

“Can you help me carry these dishes to the sink? Then we will have time for a game of Chutes and Ladders before you take your bath and go to bed.”

It’s a simple request, but it can spark cooperation and a sense of importance in a youngster.

Recognize that when your child is learning to make his bed, it will not be perfect. But if you help him in the beginning, he will learn to do it himself. As he becomes more proficient, the bed will be neater as time goes on.

Being a parent is all about teaching children to accomplish things. It requires patience because the first accomplishments may be incomplete or awkwardly done. We’re looking for accomplishment here, not perfection.

In the end, accomplishment or achievement leads to the ultimate success – self-satisfaction for a job well done.


Differences and Listening

As any parent of more than one child knows, no two children are alike. So while the rules of the house remain constant, the approach of the parent to upholding those rules will vary from child to child.

Children can be rebellious, strong willed, docile, timid, fearless, curious, apathetic and a whole host of other adjectives can apply.  Once you have figured out your child’s temperament, it’s up to you to design the most effective way of directing that child’s energies.

I don't want to!!!



With a strong-willed child, you might offer a challenge. A timid child will perhaps respond better to a solicitation of help.



But with all children, listening to their hearts in what they say and do, acknowledging their personalities, and respecting their differences will yield a more satisfactory outcome.

Let us know in the comments what parenting techniques have worked well for you.