"I can't say something in particular, it was everything about her, her character, how she treated us, how she loved us. I dedicate my goals and my triumphs to her. I want her to be here but she left us before she could see me succeed. I would have brought her to Barcelona." Lionel Messi

He is regarded by many as one of the greatest players in the history of football. He is an all time top scorer for FC Barcelona, five times FIFA world best player with 33 club trophies and 2 UEFA best player awards to his credit.

But there were two big model champions in Messi's life. His father, Jorge Messi and his late grandmother, Celia Cuccittini. His father coached him while he played for the local club, Grandoli, and his grandmother accompanied him to his matches. They patiently went through the burden of seeing their ten-year old son play with growth hormone deficiency but persistently did all they could to ensure that this career-threatening medical condition did not stop Messi from becoming a champion.His father's health insurance covered only two years of growth hormone treatment. Heaven soon rewarded their patience and persistence. FC Barcelona agreed to foot Messi's medical bills and the condition has since become history.

Whether it's an inspiring teacher, a powerhouse father, or a courageous mother, every child needs a champion. The reason is simple. Every child is more likely to grow into a champion as they consistently observe a model champion in their lives. They learn more from observation than communication but both make a formidable combination.
Champions are winners and they have a winning attitude. Nelson Mandela once said, "I never loose. I either win or learn." That's a winning attitude! Children need champions to model a winning attitude for them to excel as champions and the goodnews is that we can be a champion for every child! All we need is to know and cultivate these attitudes.

Lionel Messi says,. “I start early and I stay late, day after day, year after year. It took me 17 years and 114 days to become an overnight success.” Patience and persistence are winning attitudes of champions and Lion Messi is a model champion with a winning attitude. While patience keeps us calm in the face of difficulties, persistence keeps us going until success is achieved. Patience is that calm response we give to that child who comes home with an annoying result, and persistence is the continued deliberate efforts invested in understanding the reason behind the poor result as well as in providing all the child needs to do well in school. A proactive response to a lower-than-expected result models patience and persistence and boosts the child's academic performance while a punitive response harms the child's self-esteem and worsens the problem.

Discuss with the child's teacher to find out what could be responsible for the child's lower-than-expected performance and where to get the best learning materials. Employ the service of a good home tutor if you don't have the time to put the child through with school work.                                      Create a learning-friendly environment at home, encourage the child to go to bed early and do assignments regularly. Encourage any slight improvement in school work no matter how small and consistently model positive learning attitudes for that child. Always be willing to learn something from that child. It exemplifies the importance of learning.

Children want to see us remain calm in difficult situations because it makes them feel safe. Patience and persistence model a winning attitude and presents us to children as model champions. We can be the champion every child needs to become a champion.

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