What is the Value of an Eagle?

point-of-eagle

 

Several years ago I was actively involved with the Boy Scouts of America. One evening I was talking to a young man trying to motivate him to finish the requirements for his Eagle Scout Award. He was approaching 18 and needed to hustle if he wanted to earn it.

Richard asked a question I had heard many times, “What will earning an Eagle do for me?”

I responded, “You can put it on your resume when applying for a job or on your college application or it can help you if you join the military, etc., etc.” I was confident that would be the end of it, but Richard was not impressed.  “I have heard all this before,” he said, “but I am involved in other activities that will help me achieve all that. So why do I want to become an Eagle?”

This young man had me. He was an above average student, full of confidence, an athlete, and a student leader.

At this point I had an epiphany. I had not been like this young man in the slightest way. I had not been a good student, I hadn’t had much self-confidence, I hadn’t been an athlete, and being a student leader had never been on my radar screen. I could not answer him.

I pondered this question for the next few days. It bothered me. I wondered what value did earning this award have for me?

After much thought I realized that earning my Eagle was the first time in my life that I set a big, long-term goal, worked hard, and accomplished it.  That was the first time I really tasted the sweet taste of accomplishment and knew that it was worth all the effort!

The resiliency concept in this example is helping our children understand the value of achievement through goal setting. The goals should be their goals and not our goals. After deciding what they want then we, as parents, should help them reach these goals. Self-confidence and personal strength will be the results of their efforts.

I realized that this is the benefit I received by working hard to earn my Eagle Scout Award.


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Anne's Corner

By Anne Evans-Cazier, LCSW

A big mistake many parents make is wanting their child to set goals to accomplish things that the parents want, not goals that are really meaningful to the child. This is a real shame because setting and working towards goals is such a great way to help a child feel and be more capable and confident. So help your child set and work towards age appropriate goals that THEY value. Under the age of 8 children think more concretely and then their thinking slowly becomes more abstract.  They will have more success if they set goals that are specific and a bit of a stretch, but not so difficult that they are unrealistic. Does your 6 year old want to play baseball at recess, but never gets picked?  Help them set and work towards a goal to spend 10 minutes a day playing catch or to practice batting the balls you pitch until they get 5 hits.  Gradually increase the time or number as they gain experience and skill. Does your teen dream of making it big on the stage?  Help them set meaningful goals to get ready to try out for the school play by reading lines together for X number of minutes or memorizing X number of lines per day. Have fun and enjoy the process along the way : )

2 Comments

  1. test
    Gordon and Susan on February 4, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    We are going to send these stories to ALL our children, so our grandchildren can benefit. I like how you jointly share thoughts of each of these articles.



    • test
      Calvert F. Cazier, PhD., MPH on February 5, 2016 at 9:51 pm

      Thank you. We appreciate that.



Anne's Corner

By Anne Evans-Cazier, LCSW

A big mistake many parents make is wanting their child to set goals to accomplish things that the parents want, not goals that are really meaningful to the child. This is a real shame because setting and working towards goals is such a great way to help a child feel and be more capable and confident. So help your child set and work towards age appropriate goals that THEY value. Under the age of 8 children think more concretely and then their thinking slowly becomes more abstract.  They will have more success if they set goals that are specific and a bit of a stretch, but not so difficult that they are unrealistic. Does your 6 year old want to play baseball at recess, but never gets picked?  Help them set and work towards a goal to spend 10 minutes a day playing catch or to practice batting the balls you pitch until they get 5 hits.  Gradually increase the time or number as they gain experience and skill. Does your teen dream of making it big on the stage?  Help them set meaningful goals to get ready to try out for the school play by reading lines together for X number of minutes or memorizing X number of lines per day. Have fun and enjoy the process along the way : )