As we grow up and push towards our goals, whatever they may be, it is easy to get hyper-focused on attaining them. In a family home, bills have to be paid, children's expenses have to be accounted for, and cars need to be maintained. All this takes energy and consistent effort. For most of us, this entails working hard week in and week out. Everything costs money, except unconditional love these days.
In pushing harder to keep ourselves afloat it is not hard for important priorities to take a back seat. The father that has to travel far for work loses out on family time. Children grow day by day and begin to form there understanding of what it is to live a life and how to go about doing so. The parents, for better or for worse, are the models on how to do this. The kids take example and follow suit. Generation after generation patterns are established and entrenched. The legacy of parents comes alive in the youth to a great extent and life repeats itself.
However, patterns can be broken and remolded with mindful awareness when we stop ourselves and take a look inward at what we are doing outwardly. Asking ourselves internal questions and communicating with our spouse creates awareness of what is working and what is simply taking the family ship into nowhere land. It is quite possible that I am incorrect, but our values show up in what we invest ourselves into. These values or lack of them transfer down to our offspring. Stopping the work engines and recalibrating our values routinely to invest in our kids is an investment in the future that pays big dividends. How we go about this is key though.
Youth need to be made strong from the inside out, not the outside in. This implies nurturing their hearts and minds with not just our time, but with a knack for communicating to them without words how important they are. I work with one family who has their child on a contract. Things are improving and the parameters set forth are showing up positively in the changing behavior of their child. Children NEED guard rails to know what is acceptable and what just won't fly in the home. The nurturing, caring parent creates the new atmosphere in the home by how they GO ABOUT holding their kids to the contract. Instead of coming down hard and impatient, using a firm, but kind approach resonates far more positively in their child. In this sense, the parent is on a journey with their children. With each home being different, some parents will find this more feasible to achieve than other households. Undoubtedly, it takes great mental and emotional energy to create and maintain a healthy environment for kids to grow up in a balanced way. Parents who experience difficulty in attaining a happy home should be brave enough to get outside help. It is okay to do this. he goal is not to try to go it alone, but to better the parenting process so that the children benefit in the long run.
As a private Special Educator, one of my duties sometimes is to come in and support families with an eye to empower their hands and help re-clarify how to best achieve this reality. Investing in youth is an investment in ourselves and in our community. Breaking patterns that do not work and setting in better one's shows the children that we are flexible enough to change course. It signals to the youth the value of not just speeding through life, but taking time to make sure things are done right.
This is the growth mindset.
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