I am a huge believer in teaching our children that the sky is the limit. That they can do anything and achieve anything. That anything is possible. Some kids are just born leaders with a clear-cut vision for their future.
Others are not, and may not know what they want for their future even until adulthood. The point is though, that they receive the tools and the encouragement that their future can be whatever they want it to be.
I think the things children are told about themselves and the world is exactly what they will believe and continue to do so into their adult lives.
Studies show that words of encouragement, when used right, can have a powerful positive effect on children. This is because positive reinforcement can teach a child to repeat the praised behaviour.
Benefits of Encouraging Kids:
- Using the right encouraging words can improve children’s self-esteem.
- People with high self-esteem are found to be happier and mentally healthier, whereas those with low self-esteem tend to be psychologically distressed and perhaps even depressed.
- Increase intrinsic motivation to achieve.
- Enhance perseverance.
Last week, a 10-year-old boy wrote to the boss of Australia’s biggest airline to seek advice. In a handwritten letter to Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce, who is from Dublin, Alex Jacquot introduced himself, said how old he was, and then appealed to Mr Joyce to “please take me seriously”.
“I want to start an airline,” he said. “I have already started some stuff like what type of planes I’ll need, flight numbers, catering and more.
“I’m the CEO of the airline, which by the way is called Oceania Express. I’ve also hired a CEO, a head of IT, a head of maintenance, a head of on-board services and a head of legal.
He had three important questions to ask Joyce:
“Number one: Do you have any ideas of what I can do? Seeing as you are the CEO of Qantas I thought I’d ask you.
"Number two: do you have any tips on starting an airline? I’d be very grateful to know what you’d have to say.
"Number three: I’m thinking about, as you are, about an A350 for Sydney/Melbourne to London flights.”
"Seeing as it’s a 25 hour flight, we having a lot of trouble thinking about sleep. Do you have any advice?”
Mr Joyce replied to the boy’s letter on February 19th.
“Thank you for letting me know about your new airline,” he said. “I had heard some rumours of another entrant in the market, so I appreciate you taking the time to write.
“First, I should say that I’m not typically in the business of giving advice to my competitors. Your newly-appointed head of legal might have something to say about that, too.
“But I’m going to make an exception on this occasion because I too was once a young boy who was so curious about flight and all its possibilities.
“My number one tip for starting an airline is to put safety front and centre. And do everything you can to make travel as comfortable and affordable as possible for passengers.
“Now, to your troubles thinking about sleep on 21-hour flights. This is something we are grappling with too, as we embark on Project Sunrise (which is our plan to fly passengers non-stop between the east coast of Australia and London).
“To help with sleep, we’re looking at different cabin designs that give people spaces to stretch out and exercise. We want to think up as many ideas as possible to make the journey more comfortable for all.”
My Joyce concluded his letter by inviting the boy to a meeting “between myself, as the CEO of Australia’s oldest airline, and you, as the CEO of Australia’s newest airline”.
Alex was over the moon when he received Alan’s letter.
We are sure he’s counting the days until he can go visit the CEO and see how a real airline runs.
We’re so glad that an important business person like Alan took the time to encourage a kid’s dream. And he is Irish!! Never forget that today’s kids are tomorrow’s future, so a small act of encouragement really goes a long way!
Laura Doyle, Mum of 4. Kyle 9, Noa Belle 4, Briar 2 and Milla 12 months. Breastfeeder, co-sleeper, coffee drinker. Staying positive and inspired by the chaos of it all. Follow her on Instagram.