Has fear undergirded your decision to simply NOT try? Have you ever been so afraid of failing at something that you simply let it pass? Many of us have most likely experienced fear of failure at one time or another. The reality for us in those moments is ‘fear can be immobilizing,’ causing ‘paralysis,’ and a subtle internal resistance to moving forward.
Imagine, if you and I as adults have experienced these feelings of fear, how much more impacting are they for our children and teens?
Often the first step in helping our children walk through their fear of failure is first walking through our own.
What are our perceptions of failure? How do they impact our personal views of embracing or avoiding failure? How are our views of failure being ‘imparted’ to our children?
There is significant diversity in how people view failure. Someone may view failure as something to be avoided, while another may whole-heartedly embrace failure as a part of a greater learning experience. The latter are happy to embrace the words of Miss Frizzle, ‘It’s time to take chances, make mistakes,’ while the former cringe at the very notion.
When you consider failure what is your perception about it?
How has your thinking been shaped in viewing failure?
What impact is this having upon yourself, and your family?
Until next time remember, it’s what you do after you get up that matters.
Your friend and Pro-Active Parent Coach
Our oldest daughter Katelyn is in her second semester of grade 10, has turned 16, and is preparing for her drivers test tomorrow. Man how time flies! Reality has set in, she will be leaving home soon, very soon and beginning post secondary education. As her Mom, my emotions are mixed with these following thoughts.
I’m sad because my oldest girl soon will no longer be a permanent fixture within our household. She will be out managing life on her own. Yet, at the same time, I’m excited at the possibilities that await her and the thoughts of what God has in store make me smile.
All of this has me taking stock of what “things” we still need to impart to her as she matures toward responsible adulthood.
There are so many ways we can prepare our children for life outside our home. Such as; personal care, house keeping, food preparation, and financial stewardship just to name a few. In my mind one of the greatest areas of preparation is allowing them to take responsibility for their decisions and working healthily through any problems they may face. In other words, not taking responsibility back from them if we see ‘trouble’ on the horizon.
Allowing our children to take responsibility and coaching them (as opposed to telling them) through some of life’s more difficult areas will help them succeed when they are ‘out on their own.’ We have a wonderful opportunity to create a home environment that fosters growth in responsibility and maturity. Giving them a great place to experiment, fail, and grow in their decision making and problem solving skills. Home can be a place to try again. As parents we have an awesome opportunity to invest in our children’s lives in a way that naturally prepares them for life outside the home.
In what ways are you beginning to foster growth in responsibility for your child as they mature?
Until next time,
Realize that your child will be gone before you know it
Selflessness. Commitment. Sacrifice. These three words come quickly to mind when I think of Lynn (my lovely wife and the mother of our three children) and the other moms we know. Moms work hard and often do not receive the recognition they deserve and/or time for themselves.
I’m reminded of our recent flight to Winnipeg and the stewardess spoke of the unlikely event of an emergency. “Should the cabin pressure drop,” she continued, “oxygen masks will fall from the overhead compartments. Parents with small children, ensure you secure your own mask first before helping your children.” In effect what she was saying was simply, take care of yourself, so that you can take of your children. You won’t be any help to your child if you pass out yourself.
There is a great truth for parenting found in that simple instruction. We care best for our children, when we have taken care of ourselves.
Many moms juggle providing care for their children, helping support the household’s finances, preparing meals, ensuring everyone is clothed and groomed, sustaining healthy relationships with other adults, all the while trying to maintain a sense of sanity. Motherhood can be hectic.
One simple way we can help Mom is by offering her time for herself. Yes, that might mean that we, the men, have to care for the children ourselves but that experience in itself may help us better understand just what Mommy experiences.
The following are three simple benefits of giving Mom a regular night out and/or time apart.
a. It gives Mom time to refresh and restore herself. It’s healthy to take a break. You can encourage her to do so without guilt.
b. Mom can cultivate and grow her adult relationships without being interrupted by the constant calls on her attention. In light of this, resist the temptation to call/text/locate her during this time.
c. Mom will appreciate your initiative and understanding of her personal needs. That in itself fosters health within relationship.
Within the next couple of weeks there will be a movie “Mom’s Night Out” released which looks like it will touch on this topic in a fun filled way. Hmmmm, why not enjoy this as a couple and see what you take away from it.
Enjoy the trailer. Looks like it will be a good one!
What if you could know there was a way to ensure that your children would be healthier, excel in school and avoid drugs and premarital sex, would you want to find out what it was? What if it was as simple as eating meals together? Would you do it? In the Journal of Adolescent Health they did interviews with over 18,000 adolescents and found that the kids who ate together as a family were much more likely to eat healthy than those who didn’t. Other studies found that teens who stayed away from drugs, alcohol, smoking, and premarital sex were the ones who ate five or more meals a week together with their family. Research from the University of Michigan found that eating together as a family was the key predictor of a child’s academic scores and problematic behavior; the more meals eaten together, the better the grades and the behavior. All that for just 30 or more minutes a day sitting together around a table!
What is the magic taking place when you eat together as a family? Recognize that you are setting a good example (I hope!) of proper eating habits and manners. You will model things like portion control, menu choices, listening skills and positive conversation. In this day and age, often it is not just children who need to learn how to cook, many parents as well. So many of us grew up in the fast food, eat on the run generation where eating out was the norm. Rarely did either parent take time to plan, shop, read labels, cook or cleanup. We now recognize that these important life skills have many hidden benefits. It’s never too late; in fact it is excellent to learn together!!
What makes for a healthy meal? First of all is the atmosphere. This is the time to turn off the TV, the computer, the cell phone, etc. and actually look at each other instead of a screen. Pleasant calm music and an attractive table setting can make it feel like the special time that it is. This is not the time to be critical or disciplinary but rather curious and enthusiastic about what happened in everyone’s day. What was the thing you liked most about today, what was the most challenging, are good open ended questions to elicit conversation. Sharing about current events along with different perspectives and opinions is a fun and educational activity.
Secondly, we want nutritious and delicious food to be served. Thanks to search engines like Google, you can find all kinds of fast and easy healthy recipes. This is where you can put the kids to work. Let them search and help you plan menus. Incorporate fish, lean meats, vegetarian and even vegan meals into your diet. Protein is just one part of the meal, next comes salad, the key to a healthy dinner. Mix together plenty of different color greens and vegetables along with some healthy fats like avocado, olives, or nuts. Steamed or roasted vegetables are also needed to make the meal complete. If some don’t like a certain vegetable, maybe try cooking it in a new way. Lastly, if you have growing kids, they will need a complex carbohydrate such as brown rice, quinoa, lentils, or whole grain breads, muffins, or pasta.
Begin incorporating daily family time at the table and you will be amazed at the positive transformations materializing right before your eyes. These healthy living strategies will not only help your children succeed, but will provide the whole family with profound memories that will be cherished and passed on from generation to generation.
Mrs. Parlette is an author, speaker, mentor, and nutrition educator with Healthy Living Strategies, LLC. Nancy has a Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition and is certified as a Natural Health Counselor. Her passion is to get people excited about living, confident in their purpose and overflowing with vibrant health so they can live it out fully! She wants to transform America, one family at a time, to a nation that is energized for living with nutrition. Learn more about Nancy at www.nancyparlette.com or contact her at HLS@nancyparlette.com .
Failure isn’t so bad if it doesn’t attack the heart. Grantland Rice
Many people wrestle with the internal emotions that whisper or more often shout, “I am a failure!” If entertained for a pro-longed period of time it will evidence itself in a deteriorating confidence and increase in doubtful thoughts about themselves.
At the heart of the deteriorating confidence and increasing self doubt is one central question, “Am I a failure?”
We all know and would readily admit failure is painful. Moreso than some of us would like to admit. These feelings are heightened when others tease, ridicule, or put others down because of the ‘failure.’
When you recognize these thoughts surfacing within your children or teens it’s important to foster an environment that accepts failure as a part of learning. In this way our children/teens can develop a healthy perspective of themselves and failure.
One step you can take to bring health to your child/teen is affirm, “You are not a failure. You simply failed at doing something.” There is a huge difference between the two. If we can help our children/teens understand that some of the greatest growth comes through failure they will more readily embrace failure as opposed to being beaten up by it.
Until next time,
Remember, you may have failed at something, but that does not make you a failure.
Your friend and Pro-Active Parent Coach
The Legacy Centre & Pro-Active Parent Coaching
“I’m a loser!” The self talk and belief of our children and teens is powerful.
Consider the average child’s feelings after they have experienced failure. Do they say, “I’m no good at _________.” Or, more often say, “I’m a loser. I am no good at anything!”
Failure can produce some incredibly powerful feelings within our children & teens. This is where parents can help develop a different and healthier perspective. Failure is an event not an identity.
We can help our children develop a new mindset that failure is a natural part of life and learning by:
• Clearly acting ourselves as if we embrace failure as a natural part of learning.
• Avoiding a negative over-reaction to their failures.
• Consistently showing that our love for them is unconditional and is not based upon how they ‘perform.’
• Openly sharing with them about some of our own failures and the value these experiences have brought into our own lives.
During this time of internal conflict, never minimize the reality that the pain they are feeling is genuine but encourage more objective thinking by our children which can serve to bring proper perspective within their own heart and mind. You could ask something like,
• “I am not sure I understand, how does your failing at __________, make you a failure?”
• “I don’t see a failure. What I see is (name positive character qualities you have seen).”
• “There are many things you’re good at. Can you name a few?”
In this way, we emphasize that failing at something is simply an event, not the identity of our children & teens.
Until next time,
May you and I both embrace our failures as opportunities for growth and learning so that we can lead by example.
Your friend and Pro-Active Parent Coach
The Legacy Centre & Pro-Active Parent Coaching
“Daddy. What do you think I should do with my life?” What an incredible question to be asked as a Dad. Katelyn asked this question following a conversation about my life as a teen and what led to my working with people. At the time Katelyn was 10. For those who recognize that question from our first book, “Pro-Active Parent Coaching: Capturing the Heart of Your Child,” you may recall I did not answer Katelyn’s question by telling her what I thought she should “do.” Rather, I took a few moments to explain that it was more important to focus on who she was becoming because what she will do with her life will most naturally flow from who she is.
Then I asked her to consider what consumed her thoughts, those things that seemed to keep resurfacing in her heart and mind. After a moment or two of reflection Katelyn began sharing and she did so with great detail. She talked about the homeless, owning a farm, and inviting the homeless to come and live with her and her family so that they could live, learn life skills, and be prepared to support themselves.
Was I astounded? Absolutely. Had these thoughts entered my mind? Not at all. I was amazed at what came from the heart of this young lady.
It was obvious to me. Had I focused on what she should ‘do’ with her life and simply answered her question with my thoughts, I would never have touched on what was burning within her tender heart. She would never have articulated so clearly a passion and dream to help people. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks,” and Katelyn unknowingly gave me a glimpse into who she is becoming.
That conversation took place almost 6 years ago now. I find it interesting that both Katelyn and Hannah have come to the age when their respective schools begin asking, “What are you going to do after school?”
We live with this paradox, doing and being. There is an incredible pressure toward doing and very few ask, “Who are you becoming and how might that shape what you do after school?”
The paradoxes of our time have been summed up well as follows,
“We have more conveniences, but less time.
We have more degrees, but less sense.
More knowledge, but less judgement.
More experts, but more problems.
More medicines, but less healthiness.
We have been all the way to the moon and back but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbour.
We build more computers to hold more information that produce more copies than ever before, but have less communication.
We have become long on quantity, but short on quality.
These are the times of fast foods but weak digestion.
It is a time when there is much in the window but nothing in the room.”
– Dali Lama
Have we lost the importance of ‘being’ in life? Have we focused too much on what our teens should do that we’ve missed who they are becoming?
It leaves me wondering . . .
What would happen in our family’s if our focus turned from doing to being?
What might take place within our children/teens lives (and ours) if we encouraged ‘doing’ that naturally flowed from their character/’being?’
It seems to me a world of possibilities might open up that we never dreamt before.
Until next time,
Consider who your children and teens are becoming
your friend and Pro-Active Parent Coach
What do we expect of our teens? That they will be trouble? Arrogant? Rude? Rebellious? Is it inevitable that our teen will rebel? Our expectation may have more impact on our children than we think. Something to consider.
What impact does expectation have upon our relationships?
Have you ever noticed that what you expect to find, you often do?
There is a familiar story that speaks of two family’s moving from their community in search of another to settle into and call home. Although leaving for different reasons, they were both seeking the same thing.
As the first family travelled and drew near to a community they noticed a man sitting by the road. The father approached and said, “Excuse me. My family and I are relocating and desire a good community to settle into and call home. Could you tell me what the people in this town are like?”
The old man looked at him and replied, “That’s an important question to consider. Could you tell me what the people were like in the community you are moving from?”
“Of course I can,” The father replied, “that’s why we are moving. The people were not very friendly, they were harsh, and cold, didn’t let us into their lives at all. We just didn’t feel close to anyone there.”
The old man looked at the ground and said, “That’s interesting. I think you’ll find that the people who live here are very much like the people who live there.”
“Thank you for the warning,” the father said, “we’ll continue our search.” And so they moved on.
Sometime after, the other family came across the same old man sitting by the same road. The family pulled up close to the man and asked, “Excuse me. My family and I are moving and looking for a good community to settle into and call home. Could you tell me what the people are like in this town?”
The old man replied, “That is a very important question to consider. Could you tell me what the people were like in the community you’re moving from?”
“Yes indeed. Our hearts are broken to have to leave such a great community of people. They were loving, caring, and supportive. Our greatest and closest friends live there. If it wasn’t for the layoff from work, we would have stayed.”
The old man smiled and replied, “That’s interesting. I think you’ll find that the people who live here are very much like the people who live there.”
With a smile and heartfelt gratitude the family said, “Thank you for the information. We’ll conclude our search and settle in here.”
The point of the story is clear. You will often find what you expect to find.
In light of this, could I ask you to honestly consider what is in your heart toward your family relationships?
Do you expect children to be intrusions in your life?
Do you expect that Teenagers will be disconnected and irresponsible?
Do you expect that your relationship with your significant other will end up like “everyone else’s?” On the rocks.
Or, do you expect something else.
Do you expect having children will give you an opportunity to grow in character and invest in a life that can change History.
Do you expect to connect with and see your teen grow in responsibility?
Do you expect to rise above the limitation of statistics and see health established and maintained over the long haul?
When we genuinely change on the inside, we’ll relate to people differently on the outside. That may not guarantee everything will be better and the relationship healed. But it will set us upon the right track to restoring and maintaining healthier relationships.
Equipping Parents to Connect with and Empower their Children.