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How do we help kids achieve their full potential in life? We all want it for our own kids, but helping them do that is not always easy! And sometimes what they want to do is not culturally acceptable! The cultures we live in set the standards of what is ok. We follow those standards and accept them without question often. Sometimes we need to be bold and break those culturally accepted norms! (This is a sponsored post. I am being compensated for my time in writing this but all thoughts are my own.)
We got to watch an amazing movie called The Eagle Huntress. It is a true story about a young girl named Aisholpan who lives in Mongolia. She definitely breaks the norms of her culture! She wants to be an eagle huntress.
In Mongolia it is a man’s work and a tradition that has been passed down from father to son for centuries. Women did not do this and no woman had for twelve generations! Many of the eagle hunters in her country strongly rejected the idea of a woman taking part in this ancient tradition, so Aisholpan was so brave! Her father was courageous as well for teaching her and allowing her to follow her dreams and talents.
The film is breathtakingly beautiful! It is filmed in the Mongolian Steppe. I was awed by the scene of Aisholpan climbing down a mountain cliff with a rope. She then captured her own fledgling eagle from the nest while the mother eagle was circling overhead. An eagle can only have one master, so she captured and trained her own. After many months of training with her father, she enters the Golden Eagle Festival, a competition against 70 of the greatest eagle hunters. And SHE WINS! We literally cheered as we watched this part!
Watch the trailer to see more!
What I loved so much about this movie was the message of teaching and allowing kids to do what matters most to them even if it breaks the typical standard of want your culture believes to be right. I think we as a people (at least in their country) are getting better at that in general, but it is not easy! I want my kids to grow up and be what they want to be whether it is something people accept or not! This film brought about some great discussions with my kids. So today I will share what I think works to help kids achieve their full potential.
How to Help Kids Achieve Their Full Potential in Life:
- Let them explore their passions. Everyone has things we love and are passionate about. Kids need a chance to explore them and learn more about them to really discover their missions in life.
- Help them identify talents. Sometimes we don’t know what we are good at without a little direction and guidance. Encourage them to try new things (or work hard at things they excel at) and that can lead to the one thing they love!
- Let them make decisions for themselves (to an extent!) Obviously kids need direction. But, there is growth that happens when we choose things for ourselves. It empowers us and helps us realize we are in charge of our lives and the direction in which it goes.
- Do not criticize their attempts. We all know the stories of parents who stifle their kids dreams because they don’t like the choice they made or because it is different than we wished for them. Let them do what they love. Let them learn for themselves.
- Let them fail. Failure helps stretch us in ways we would not otherwise. We all need a few hard failures in our lives to make us stronger people!
- Help them understand the power of practice. Hard things require practice. Without practice and endurance we will never be really good at anything. But we need to learn the skills of practice!
- Give them opportunities for growth and stretching. I love how in the Eagle Huntress, she was enrolled in the competition and it really stretched her! It gave her greater motivation to do better.
- Teach kids to be proud of their talents and abilities. Help them to not be ashamed or compare themselves to others, but to be empowered by who they are. (Just not in a boastful way.)
The film, The Eagle Huntress comes with a companion study guide (you can find that HERE) to use to teach kids ages 12-17. It is a great guide to help kids think critically about the film and discuss the different challenges of our day and how to overcome them. It covers topics such as building identity, belonging, roles in society, gender stereotyping and personal empowerment.
There are so many beautiful lessons to be learned from this film. Kids learn about different cultures and how differences are beautiful. Kids can learn lessons of bravery and strength. They can learn about the power of pursuing dreams despite the challenges that may arise.
The Eagle Huntress, available on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital is an extraordinary true story about family, tradition and the courage it takes to soar. The movie is narrated by Daisy Ridley and features the song “Angels by the Wings” by Sia. It was roduced by Daisy Ridley & Morgan Spurlock.
Check it out with your family!
How do you teach your kids these valuable life lessons?