Creating a human is easy enough, making sure that they turn out kind, compassionate, mindful adults is a lot more complicated. 12 years ago, my life did a 360.
My daughter came into this world and I finally grew up! I knew I needed to be the change I wanted to see in her. So, I started to make massive changes in my life to become that role model.
First, I started to absorb every personal growth book that I could get my hands on. I took what resonated at the time, practiced and made it into my personal traditions. This way I had the knowledge and tools to teach my girl from the get-go.
She grew up with the Universe at her beck and call (thanks to the Secret) and absolute faith in the something bigger. When she wanted something, she practiced the Law of attraction (Ask, Believe & Receive). She has seen the rewards over and over again.
At 12, she put together a bucket list and created a vision board. This she picked up from observing the merits of my own success in using these tools.
Love, kindness, tolerance and most especially empathy was put forward at every opportune moment.
For example, if she related a playground bickering story – I always honed in on these values when discussing and putting into perspective these events.
Self-confidence, body image, a strength of character and the ability to take risks are symptoms of a well-rounded child. Shaming and criticizing your little one will have alternative effects. When my child behaved otherwise, I stifled my anger by using this simple method:
Treat your child as you would a colleague at work. You won’t shame, bully or shout.
You will guide and assist in getting the desired results. You will coach and mentor. You will make sure that your colleague is given the right training and tools.
You will continue to monitor and performance manage.
When your child needs guidance, it needs to be handled in a similar manner with utmost respect and from a performance management perspective. But don’t forget to add in that extra tonnage of love.
This I truly struggled with. I have given my child the absolute best of everything (within my means). Tons of unnecessary toys, latest gadgets, clothes and just about anything she wanted. I loved receiving the joyous hugs and thank-yous in appreciation.
However, once the gratitude of receiving was over, the act of purchasing was swiftly forgotten. There was no return of service in exchange for gratitude. In fact, my girl felt entitled.
Entitlement is great – she believed that she was deserving of privileges and special treatment.
This is in line with the mindset of successful people.
On the other hand, entitlement could lead to a person being self-absorbed; believing that the world revolved around them. To resolve this, the attitude of gratitude became the forefront of our everyday life.
On the daily ride to school, we each had to declare 5 things we were grateful for. Nowadays, just before dinner, we write down one thing that we are grateful for on a piece of paper. This goes into our family gratitude basket.
Every Sunday we take turns to read them out loud. This puts us in an awesomely positive frame of mind for the week ahead.
A decade later my son was born. Once again I did a life-makeover. But this is for another post.