In the previous post, we discussed limiting beliefs. This one here is specifically dedicated to parents. So, if you already have children, or are planning on having some anytime soon, please read on. This article may be of great help to you and your spouse in your future lives as parents.
When it comes to one’s offspring, parents usually do their best to provide their sons and daughters with all they need: food, accommodation, love, and so on. Those who are particularly caring give them all the attention and support they need (and sometimes even more). In fact, nowadays some children get overly protected and supported for any necessities. This is all well and fine. After all, parents just want to show how much they care about them, understandably. Any parents would do the same, after all.
Parents are the first teachers when it comes to a child’s upbringing. And especially during adolescence, the latter need lots of support and advice. Over this span of time (13-19), it is particularly hard for them, as they are literally ‘transforming’ themselves, ready to become adults (and maybe parents themselves one day). In fact, it is very common to feel ‘lost’ during these years (I felt lost myself). This occurs because kids, growing up, need to decide what they want to do with the rest of their lives.
Now, despite parents, guardians, and tutors, doing their best to assist them through all these harsh years, there is something they don’t teach, or perhaps many of them teach in the wrong way.
What I am talking about is ‘attitude’. Since every person may have a different meaning of this word, I deemed fit to include its definition. Most dictionaries define ‘attitude’ as, ‘a settled way of thinking or feeling about something’.
So, why am is saying ‘attitude’ is not taught, or if it is, it is done all too often incorrectly?
From personal experience, I can guarantee that parents do all they can to provide what is needed to make their child’s road as smooth as possible. Food. Shelter. Love. Etc. However, what they disregard is attitude or, to be more specific, a winning attitude. Meaning, how to behave in the face of a problem. How to react when facing life’s continuous obstacles.
Parents, like anyone else, may have a job they dislike, or struggle financially. They may have a life that is a mess, or find it hard to be happy in general. As the majority of parents struggle themselves when it comes to life’s most common matters, how can they transfer a winning attitude to their children? This is a legitimate question, if we think about it.
Since we only have one life, and one alone, the first thing to do is to be happy. We can all agree on that. But, in order to be happy, you need to do a job you love. It is true that work is not everything. However, since we spend a considerable amount of days, months and years at work (conditioning our moods for the better and worse even when we are off), we can safely state that work is critical to one’s overall happiness and that of families.
Rather than saying ‘find a job’, a parent should say instead ‘find a job that you like’. Be careful here: like many of you, I used to be told, ‘study hard, so you will have a good job’. This is not synonymous with finding an occupation that you like. Many managers and executives out there have very well-paid jobs, but lead miserable lives, full of stress and nil social life. And all of that because they listened to their parents when saying to find a good job (meaning, well-paid and not manual). And now, maybe, they may have one, but lead a stressful, dissatisfied existence nonetheless. So, having a good job is not necessarily the same as having a job that you like.
Also, parents should teach their children to stand up for one’s dreams. Not just tell them to see what’s around, and accept the first given opportunity to earn some money and be independent. Because, as experience teaches us, the first option available is rarely the ideal one. In addition, parents get it wrong when they say to accept whatever job is available, just for the time being. According to statistics, when one accepts a position, people tend to stop browsing around, unless it gets really unbearable. This becomes even more likely when signing a permanent contract, and have bills and a mortgage to pay up.
To sum up, countless parents wrongly transmit the following mentality, ‘be happy as you are’. Because telling their children to be professionally, economically and socially content as they are, you are indirectly blocking them from really growing and becoming better individuals. Without realising it, you are telling them to be stuck (and stay stuck) in their box. Result: their true potential remains unused, along with the possibility of having a fulfilling life full of satisfactions.
It’s not a coincidence that most people today have hidden talents, but are unaware of it. Rarely being put to the test, or having lived outside of the comfort zone, they haven’t really tried to find out what their true talents are. Being taught to be happy as they were, they took these words to heart, and now may lead a life not achieving their true potential, doing a job they may dislike, being frustrated as a result. It is not uncommon for many adults to be overwhelmed by stress and vent their frustration on their family members at night, or during the weekend.
What to do at this point?
If for one reason or other, you, dear parent, guardian, or tutor could not stand up for your dreams, there is nothing more fulfilling than to see your own son or daughter being able to make it in life.
So, trying out new things, such as opening up a business, becoming a famous writer or blogger, a painter, an actor, a model, a famous designer, etc. should all be activities that should be incentivised, not dismissed as ridiculous teens’ momentary non-sense.
Even today, potential is largely unused, because most kids get taught to be happy and grateful for what they already have. Unfortunately, we only have one life. Unless they do it when they still have the energy to actually ‘rock’ the world, it may be too late later on.
So, once again, dear parents, guardians and tutors, it is good to give attention to your young (as well as grown-up) children. But if you really love them, for their own sake, tell them to risk it. To believe in them more often. To tell them it is all right to fail, but also to get up, and try one more time (rather than reprimanding them and use the I-told-you-it-was-a-waste-of-time approach). Due to their young age, they are most likely insecure individuals. This is why they need your full support as often as possible. Even more, push them to go out of their comfort zone more often and be fighters (not victims) into society. Because all of the great satisfactions are never ever within the comfort zone. Be sure of that.
I hope these lines will help you through with your toddlers now and in the years to come.