The Travails of a Parent – Your Child Your Crown (Part 3)
As parents or guardians, we need to understand the psychological journey of the child. We sometimes forget that a child is a child and thinks like a child. We have certain expectations of a child which may not be age appropriate. We just need to understand where the child is and what they can learn according to that age. For example, know if your child has anxiety disorder. This is very crucial as it affects the child as he or she grows into adulthood.
When your child asks you a question, try not to ignore him or her. If you do that and keep doing so, you send the child the message that he/she can be ignored and this will affect the child’s self-esteem. They will believe that they can be ignored by others out there, and that their thoughts, questions or viewpoints are not really that important. When we were their age, we knew no better. So, some sensitivity to the child’s level will help.
In addition, the values we exhibit in our own lives as adults, are the values our kids will emulate and carry forward. You can only give what you have. Kids watch what we do and not only what we say. If our country is to become a better place, it will have to begin in our homes, with our children. Besides, excessive pampering will not prepare a child for the challenges ahead.
Every child is born with a purpose, a destiny and a mission to accomplish in life. As a parent/guardian, yours is to create an enabling environment of guidance, growth and gradual self-discovery. This would eventually lead the child to find out his/her inclinations, gifts and interests. One concern parents need to have as the child grows is, to let the child discover what Robert Greene refers to as one’s “Life Tasks”, in his book titled Mastery. Mastery refers to the goal of the person in terms of achievement and self-fulfillment in life.
Greene wrote: “At your birth a seed is planted. That is your uniqueness. It wants to grow, transform itself and flower to its full potential. It has a natural, assertive energy to it. Your Life’s Task is to bring that seed to flower, to express your uniqueness through your work. You have a destiny to fulfil. The stronger you feel and maintain it – as a force, a voice, or in whatever form – the greater your chance for fulfilling this Life’s Task and achieving Mastery.”
Every child is born with a purpose,
a destiny and a mission to accomplish in life.
As a parent/guardian, yours is to create an enabling environment
of guidance, growth and gradual self-discovery.
For Greene, life is about achieving Mastery in what one does. One discovers one’s Life’s Task and follows the process all the way to Mastery. This process may begin at childhood or later in life. Whatever the case, the discovery of one’s uniqueness can often be traced by returning to one’s origin and connecting with the “primal inclination”.
This Life’s Task may not necessarily be the most lucrative, the most applauded or that recommended by a parent, mentor or even peer pressure. Green says it comes from one’s individuality and helps you know “which activities suit your character.” Through that, one discovers one’s vocation and the work/career that helps one fulfil one’s Life’s Task.
With regards to our child, children or ward, helping them gradually discover their Life’s Task so as to have Mastery in what they will do, is the great responsibility we bear. Even as adults, we struggle with this same task about our lives. So, as we do so, we are reminded that our kids too need to be supported to lay the right foundation in gradually discovering their Life’s Task even earlier than we may have done or are still doing.
There are ways we can do this. Besides provision of their daily basic needs, others include, regular dialogue with our kids on issues and on their concerns, follow up on their daily activities, guiding their use of time, overseeing their academic efforts, teaching them life’s wisdom through bible reading and reading of good books, providing opportunities for them to explore their interests and talents, teaching them basic relationship skills and manners.
Our kids need to be supported to lay the right foundation
in gradually discovering their Life’s Task.
As adults with responsibilities over younger ones, we cannot shy away from speaking to our kids on issues such as, sexual abuse (how to identify it and speak out); sex (age 12 and above – that it’s for married adults and not for children, adolescents, teenagers, and young adults); prepare girls and boys for physical changes that will happen, and discuss other forms of child abuse with them. Read books on these matters and you will be guided. When you talk to children on these matters in a gentle way, and in a simple language they understand, you will be amazed how free they begin to open up to you too. This freedom to speak out is very important for their journey of development.
For babies, toddlers and younger kids who cannot get any sense of such discussions, we have the task of ensuring that they do not suffer any form of physical, sexual, emotional/psychological abuse. How is our neighborhood? What about persons living under your roof? Who are the people around the kids? Who do we leave our kids with? What kind of persons send them on errands? What kind of children do your kids play with? Please do not bury your head in the sand. Check out these things from time to time to ensure that our kids are safe with the persons around them, and that the environment is suitable, as much as possible, for them to grow with the right influences.
So, after you’ve done all you can, by the grace of God, you can then confidently release your child to face the world. You can only do what you can. The individual and his destiny will figure out the rest.
Dear Parent, know your child and guide your child, while yet you can!
Your child is your crown!
See Link: Great Wisdom on Parenting
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