A Child’s development cycle goes into overdrive after their formative years.
From that moment on,they’re in a hurry to put their Big Boy/Girl pants on, get behind the wheel of that Monster Truck, and cause some serious street panic.
But it is also the time that these little grasshoppers develop their reasoning skills and start piecing together the fundamentals of life. They know that the “truth is out there” and they’re now more determined than ever to uncover it.
So your mission Mighty Parent, should you choose to accept it is quite simply is to be the conduit that transfers this wealth of information over to them as effectively, as honestly and as briefly as you can. And in doing so, you’ll be making an immeasurable contribution in shaping their destiny.
Remember, though, the answers you provide should be as brief and as pointy your pinky. At the same time, refrain from sharing opinions, hearsay, and false information in any form as they can drastically negate their growth potential.
Do you recall the time when people believed that the World was flat and that wandering too far off into the deep blue sea would result in them falling off the face of the Earth for good? Well, that one belief kept us trapped within the confinements of our own shorelines since the dawn of time until recently.
In addition to playing the role of their personal voice-activated Search Engine, you would also be entrusted with the role of molding and nurture them into wholesome human beings, full of vibrancy. happiness, joy, wisdom, love, potential and zestfulness.
Most Parents set about fulfilling this duty with the aid of their trusty sculpting tools, a couple of megaphones and a bottomless supply of lemonade. But that’s not much different to putting out a match with a high-pressure fire hose.
Isn’t it any wonder that many individuals in our adult population are “broken” or “fractured” in some way? In fact, if you look very closely you may even notice a few of these hairline fracture marks right in the middle of their foreheads (visible only when frowning).
So, what is the right approach then?
The approach is quite simply to “show them” how living is done.
There’s a reason why Eagles soar way up high in the Skies and rarely show up at our workplaces carrying lunchboxes. That’s because Eagles don’t let their Kids grow up on TVs and Doughnuts. Instead, they take em out to the edge of their nests to feast on those magnificent mountainous views, give them a few minutes to bask in the Glory of Creation and then give em a well-calculated placekick on their butts to get their “life training program” underway.
Obviously, they’re on standby to swoop down and grab their Babies if either their Wings or Parachutes fail to work.
But they don’t wait too long because the Mama and Dada Eagles know that waiting too long would not only make them vulnerable to a whole range of threats including poisonous possums and flying koalas, but it also eliminates that Golden time window of development and growth. And once that time Window has passed, it’s no different to starting up a car that’s been sitting in front of a TV watching all kinds of mind-boggling Soap Operas for years.
Humans much like Eagles were never designed to wait around for life to unfold before they get out there and wonder what the heck they’re supposed to do. Rather, they’re supposed to learn life as it unfolds.
That’s not to say you drop em somewhere like a hot potato and let em figure things out on their own. While it’s necessary to give them a taste of real sunshine, rain, and a few snowflakes to make things interesting, it’s just as important to protect them as best you can. But don’t mistake that to keeping them wrapped up in a baby blanket for too long.
1. Give them a taste of your World
Most Parents leave the role of their Child’s life preparation to our Formal Educational System. But anyone who’s being through the system knows that much of what they teach in school rarely gets applied in the real World.
Sure. They mean well. And the knowledge does help expand our minds and our horizons. Also if you’re looking to advance into specialized areas such as Law, Medicine, and Engineering, the formal education system is preferably the way to go. I mean, if you wanna become a Dentist, you can’t exactly practice a few tooth extractions on your house Cat and claim to be fully qualified.
Aside of that, Children learn all about life and how to live through what they’re exposed to and primarily from what they see and hear from their Parents. And when those “teenage storms” have passed and they’re left to their own devices, looking at the way they live would ironically be so much like looking in the mirror.
So, the only way to give your Children a real chance at life is by giving them a taste of your own. And you can do that just by getting them involved in your day to day stuff around the home, at work, at the Bank, at the mall to wherever your legs take you. And if you’re not happy with the way things are right now, show them anyway and then let them see what you’re doing to change those circumstances.
What they see they’ll do too, whether it’s right or wrong, good or bad. At the same time, tell them why you do what you do. That way, when they’re juggling between choosing the path of least resistance (as humans always do), the reasoning you give them will automatically push them into the right path.
2. Give em both Sunshine and Rain
Roses need both Sunshine and the Rain. Nothing less would do.
But often times we tend to replace the Sunshine with a floodlight or a candle and the Rain with some lemonade or few energy drinks. Or we just juggle between the two. Sometimes it’s not by choice but often times it is.
But here’s the problem with that from a Child’s perspective:
Children who grow up without a biological Mother suffers from distress and feelings of abandonment. It can also severely affect gender development in Boys.
Likewise, children who grow up without a biological father have a greater tendency to grow up angry and turn to drugs. They also have a 90% greater chance of going to Prison.
3. Give em the gift of unconditional love
Most Parents claim that they love their Kids unconditionally, but as soon as they break one of their 10,001 terms and conditions, the earth starts to rumble and the toupees start flying.
Then the love they experience from their Parents for the next two hours (or two weeks) is about as sweet as sour milk.
All that Blame and Criticism do for a Child is cripple their self-esteem, ambition, growth and
sense of security. When a Parent is upset with their Child for whatever reason, the only subtext they hear is “we don’t love you anymore”, regardless of what’s been said. And once this conclusion has been drawn, they’ll look for other ways to fill that hole in their soul, which often shows up in the form of drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, food and physical intimacy.
On top that, the trust relationship they once had with their Parents is severed. This quickly becomes apparent by the number of Guinness World Records they break every week for lying.
4. Avoid double standards
The life you live should at all times be the life you want your Kids to live, right down to the tiny freckles at the tip of your nose.
So, if you tell them not to do something and you do the exact opposite when they’re not around or when they’re asleep, then it’s only a matter of time before their super sleuth detective skills eventually give you away. And then later in life, they’ll run the same double standards on their own Kids, just the way they were passed down to them.
5. Make punishment the last resort
Your home should be a safe haven, free of judgment for your Kids to walk into, during their highs and their lows. But it should not be the where they park their getaway vehicle after each Bank Robbery they pull or the place where they hold Kidnapped Kittens and Puppies for ransom.
Forgiveness and leniency are vital components to effective Parenting. But only forgive crimes they confess to, the rules they break in “tiny doses” and the crimes that appear to have taken an emotional toll on them. If they feel bad about doing something, they’re already beating the crap out of themselves over it, all on their own. So, why join in?
Just as important as forgiving wrongdoings is forgiving mistakes and errors of judgment. If your Kid accidentally tripped over your new giant sized TV screen and shattered it to a million and one pieces, don’t tell them what you think about their Parents. Instead smile broadly and help them clean up the mess. Then go and kick one of those Stuffed Animals you keep around for Anger Management in your own time.
But when the punishment does become a necessary evil (mainly as a way of preventing it from reoccurring), instead of going down that dreaded “death by lethal tickling” route, resort to always make the punishment fit the crime.
So, if they broke your curfew restrictions several times during the week, you can ban a few of their outdoor activities or restrict access to one of their favorite TV shows/video games or some other privilege for a while.
But take all emotions out of the process. Administer it like you would administer a penalty during a game. You don’t see the referee breaking down into an Adult Tantrum in order express his/her displeasure about the incident. No, they just impose the penalty and move on.