PowerGems For Parents from Winners and Role Models
PowerGems on Parenting compliments of Winners and Role Models Shortcuts
I saw my nine-year old neighbor this afternoon, walking as if the world's burdens weighed upon his young shoulders. When I asked him why, he repeatedly insisted he was fine, and turned away with a droop to his step. His posture belied his words. It was a powerful reminder of two conclusions that resulted from an experiment involving 140 sets of parents. Maybe it can help you help a child today, provided you understand that there's a catch to reaping the fruits of this life-changing action for your child's future.
Fact: Children rarely grow up to do as they are told.
Fact: Children INVARIABLY grow up to do as they are shown.
My mother would yell, "I'll break all your fingers if I ever catch any of you with a cigarette in your mouth," as she lit yet another one of her twenty daily cigarettes. Do you think it is a coincidence that I entered the U.S. Air Force yelling about minor things and smoking a pack of cigarettes every day? Not likely. Most kids grow up wanting or needing to be like their parents in any number of ways. Remind yourself that whatever it is that you do and say most often each day, you can depend on your child picking up that habit as well, whether it's speaking to strangers in a pleasant voice, or throwing a hissy-fit over minor issues.
You cannot successfully teach children merely by telling them. They're natural mimics, just like all creatures, who follow the majority of the herd. As adults, we might not like this. We'd rather have children simply do as we tell them to, right? However, since you have trusted only those people who do as they say, why should your kids think otherwise? Not a chance. They tend to trust those who walk their talk. You know it, I know it, and still we hope that our kids will approach problems in a calm, intelligent fashion, even when we ourselves are screaming and shouting, which solves nothing. True, or not?
Only one thing determines your child's long-term respect for you. It absolutely depends on how consistently your actions match the way you speak. You want your kids to be good problem-solvers? Don't tell them. Show them. You can best teach them to calmly approach a problem with a problem-solving attitude of your own. Teach them by doing it, not by preaching it and then flying off the handle in twenty minutes because they didn't clean their room.
Most of us know the keys to success. We learn them by the age of ten. The largest challenge of my professional life has not been the presentation of new information. Very little in the way of 'new' knowledge is needed; only more action on what we already know. That's why you are urged, even pleaded with, to try seeing it from your kid's point of view, even momentarily. Is a hug so expensive? Every time you give one away, they more than double in value. Not a bad return, hm?
That kid was in a fog of loneliness today… from a parent. Just in case, can you spare a hug?
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