A superhero can be defined as “a person possessing extraordinary powers.” Who’s to say that all children aren’t extraordinary in their own ways? Every child has a gift or a talent that makes them special. They are blessed with purity and innocence; something most adults wish they could have. Children can be strong, fearless and have no regrets. A child has the ability to persevere through the unthinkable and still change and grow into the responsible person their dreams are made of. Some people wish they were super or had special powers, but there are plenty of true superheroes all around us.
A few weeks ago I had an “aha moment”. My teen son had assisted in doing some chores earlier in the day on our family work day. As he passed by me later that evening I called to him and said “Thank You for your help today.” He paused for a second and said “are you kidding? I asked what did he mean by his reply and he said “no” I’m serious I thought you were kidding.
As the weather warms up, spring arrives and the families in our communities get busy enjoying the weather and all the many activities it has to offer. We over commit to activities and we get busy. My “aha moment” reminds me that no matter how busy you get, take the time to admonish each member of you family. Model an attitude of gratitude and one that is uplifting. It is so easy to take the lives that are so near and dear to us for granted, as I have learned from those who have gone before me. Our children are young for only a short time and before you know it they are on their own and you are left to ponder how we did as parents.
Take some time today and affirm those who are dear to you. Encourage them, thank them, and build them up. You may be thinking “well they don’t encourage me!” As I respond to this as I do too many of the children I work with two wrongs don’t equal a right. Only you can bring change to someone’s life, so go for it. Model it, and watch it change countless lives.
When was the last time you said something to build someone up?
Like many parents we have a tendency to try to save our children from discomfort and negative experiences. Some experts would call this being a helicopter parent, hovering near by ready to swoop in and save the day. Unfortunately, this practice sets the child and the parent up for failure over the years. The child learns that my parent will save the day no matter what poor choices I make. It may seem like not a big deal when they are little but it’s quite different when they are 22 years old or better yet in the 40’s. The parent on the other hand will find themselves anxiously awaiting the next calamity when they will need to foot the bill or fix the situation.
A healthy parenting tool is to begin by asking yourself whose problem is it really. Then instead of engaging the problem, ask the child in a loving way how they could fix it? It amazes me how resourceful children are. When given the opportunity they can solve problems and figure out how to fix situations and make things right. Depending on their age they will need some coaching but they will not need you to save the day. They just need the opportunity, support and love. A little bit of discomfort because of poor choices can teach us a great deal that can help us in the real world.
A hidden treasure of time can be found in many homes throughout our community. That treasure is meal time. I recall growing up and the many stories that were told, experiences shared and relationships developed all during a meal time. Every evening we sat at the table and had dinner and of course how could I forget the special Sunday routine of eggs and toast. As I have grown older I have realized that for most families it is difficult to have a meal a day together a week. If we do we sit at the table fighting the hand held electrical devise, TV, or everyone eating in their rooms. This time can be a treasure if prioritized and made routine in a household. Here are a few things that some families have done to prioritize meal time. Some families schedule 3 nights a week without compromise when everyone is together. Meanwhile other families have established a no technology zone during meal times. One of my favorites is the, everyone gets to share 10 minutes of their day and the parent is the moderator. A family can do one or all of them; it is amazing what one can learn during meal times and how family values can be passed on. Take time out of the business of life and schedule a creative dinner time. Whereas a family unit you can experience real life engaging one another, encouraging one another and empowering one another. I can recall a man who inherited a coin collection. He didn’t know what it was worth so he took it to a change machine and turned the coins into cash. He later found out that the collection was worth thousands of dollars but he only got $32 dollars. He didn’t realize that what he had was so valuable. Take time and treasure your time together.
“If the future of our society is our children, then the key to that future rests primarily with parents and teachers” (Michael H Popkin. PH.D., Active Parenting Now)