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As a parent, you can see your child’s potential. Yet your son may get caught up in self-doubt and struggle to see past obstacles.

There are endless opportunities available for our children and it can sometimes be difficult to assure them that they have the ability to learn about their capabilities and achieve their goals . By following these useful tips, you can help your son realise his full potential.

Teach commitment

Teach your son to be committed to activities, classes, sports and jobs. Highlight the importance of seeing things through to the end and not quitting in the middle of tasks. It is important that you not only teach commitment by word but also by example. Let your son see you complete a task from start to finish. For example, start a difficult puzzle as a family and set a goal to have the puzzle completed by a specific date. This is where you can teach your son the importance of executing a task right through to the end. It’s vital that you set a good example and demonstrate the value of commitment.

Provide positive reinforcement

Let your son know you are proud of him. Acknowledge him when he has done something well, even if it is something minor – he will appreciate this more than you realise. Whilst acknowledging success is important, don’t sweep mistakes under the rug. Highlight when your son has made a mistake and discuss ways to improve next time. Constructive criticism is all a part of positive reinforcement as it helps your son to continue to learn.

Provide opportunities

Encourage your son to take advantage of new opportunities like a new sport, subject offering or cocurricular activity. If he doesn’t show an interest toward something, sit down and discuss different ideas that might spark his curiosity. Pay attention to what he talks about and how much enthusiasm is displayed. It might be as simple as asking him how his day was and making note of the things he was most animated about. Ask him what he learnt at school and encourage him to constantly try new things. Encourage him to get out of his comfort zone.

Set goals together

Setting small, medium and big goals together as a family will help your son to realise his potential over time. Goal setting teaches responsibility of his own behaviour and develops a powerful lifelong tool. An example might be to set a goal to complete three chores around the house each week to earn a weekly allowance. Another idea might be to set a goal of reading an extra fifteen minutes each night to help increase his English grade by ten percent the following school term.

The key to helping your son realise his full potential is keeping feedback constructive, finding activities he genuinely enjoys, and allowing him to experience the satisfaction and intrinsic reward of achieving goals that he set for himself.

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The Scots College is a proud member of the following associations.

The Presbyterian Church (New South Wales) Property Trust T/A The Scots College, Sydney Australia
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William Elder


Mr Alan Elder was born in Scotland and migrated to Australia with his parents at a young age. He attended The Scots College for all his schooling, graduating in 1944. He played 1st XI Cricket and was a member of the College Cadet Unit. After leaving school Mr Elder studied accountancy and retained a life-long love of the College, especially the Pipes and Drums. Mr Elder never married, however the significant bequest he left will allow his Scots family to remember him through the Lang Walker Business Centre.