Finding the Silver Lining in the clouds.
As loving parents, one way we can honour our children and build value into their lives is to help them see the positive gain in troubled times, finding the ‘silver lining’ in the clouds. Do you find yourself doing that as a parent?
Whether we like it or not, before they leave our homes, our sons or daughters may experience moments or even days of doubt, discouragement, loneliness, disappointment or depression. That is all part and parcel of living and being fully human.
They may be betrayed by a friend, fail to get into the school or university the desired or the profession of their choice. You can reflect on your life or like I have, learned from other people’s (parents in this case) – that children could experience being dumped later in life by a girlfriend/boyfriend or spouse, or perhaps experience the disabling results of experimenting with drugs or alcohol.
And with each experience their child suffers, Mums and Dads feel the aftershocks in their hearts … have you felt that? Teaching them the necessary skills of how to respond to these life events and help them overcome these hurdles (if they do happen) is a big part of being a parent.
Teaching and ensuring they understand the life-skills necessary to move forward in life. If I don’t, I would feel like I’m not a good Father.
Not wrong to avoid pain.
It is certainly not wrong to avoid pain when we can.
But it is wrong to deny problems, ignore them or try to explain them away or ‘push them under the carpet’. I come from a family line of confrontationists but my wife, on the other hand, come from one that ‘pushes things under the carpet’. No one says a bad thing if relates to ‘family’. With my family (extended), if there was a problem with someone or something, people raise it and bring it ‘out in the open’. They speak and ‘thrash’ the issue out amongst themselves and in many cases, individuals run out of words and let their hands/fists ‘do the talking’.
Did I tell you I come from a line of athletic sportspeople, with a strong emphasis on boxing? Anyways, I do. I grew up getting taught how to ‘box/fight’ from professional/semi-professional boxers. I was taught a ‘3-step’ method by my grandfather when I was a child and it has almost never failed me in street fights in my youth.
There are pros and cons of both methods of management of the issue – avoiding confrontation or seeking confrontation. The real skill is in assessing which issue is worth pursuing so as to bring less harm in the short and long term. Especially for your children and your relationship with them.
Most people take a lifetime to learn that art, if they ever do.
The interesting thing is that my wife has learned to be more confrontational and I have learned to be less. We have both learned something from each other. Finding that ‘mid-point’ is the true challenge.
That is one thing I am grateful for, for being married for almost two decades now – that we’ve both helped one another become better people, spiritually.
Life is difficult and often unfair.
One of the all-time great truths is that ‘life is difficult and often unfair’.
The better we are at seeing through trials to what they can produce in our lives and our children’s lives, the better able we’ll be able to provide calmness, assurance and genuine love to our children, even in the midst of trying times.
In fact, trials have the capacity to bring strength, maturity, courage, genuine love, righteousness and perseverance to those who are willing to be trained by them.
Those are some of the qualities (along with others like patience and integrity, care and compassion) that work to re-enforce in my children and our family household. It is these intangible qualities in life that I hope my childrens’ character are built on.
Especially when the going gets tough in life, which an inevitable part of life. Not matter what happens, I tell them I WILL ALWAYS BELIEVE in them and WILL ALWAYS be in their corner. With these weapons, I encourage them to go out and give it a Try and … DO THEIR BEST. And even if they fail, that’s ok, because most people would not even try.
I teach them the most important thing – COURAGE, to attempt the ridiculous/weird or absurd. For nothing great or impossible ss achieved without courage. As M.C. Escher said –
“Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible.”
What you fear will materialise.
I did a form of Martial Arts called Tae-Kwon Do for about eight years in my youth and achieved multiple Black Belts in that art, by the time I was 19 years old. Martial Arts is a kind of dance, with an opponent. You learn how to dance with your opponent(s) by using their energy and body patterns with and against them to ultimately get them ‘off balance’.
That is one of the keys to being a Father/wife or parent in this life – striving to keep a sense of balance, even as chaos reigns around you. One must remain calm and respond, rather than react to external stimulus that has the potential to ‘knock you off’ balance.
The very things we fear might happen to our children can make them stronger people, depending on their response and our response to their difficulties.
I strongly believe the key to remember as parents is – our children do as we do … not as we say. So, as a responsible parent, becoming a better manager of you – yourself, is an Key component.
Being the BEST YOU, is the building block on which your whole family, especially your kids will, model their behaviour off…when you hear people say –
He or she (referring to your child/ren … is a “chip off the old block’
Every experienced parent knows that bad behaviour in a child rarely happens with no previous signals and no past incidents of disobedience or defiance.
There are always signals of trouble ahead. I always tell people, be more aware of yours surroundings, they speak to you … you usually see the clouds before the storm hits, for example. Alert fathers and mothers notice such signals (in the child/children) in time to intervene and prevent the youngster from skidding into serious mistakes …
Your wisdom in controlling your youngster is one of the best measures of how much you really love and value her. She knows this, whether she has said so in plain words or not. My grandfather was such a parent for me in my childhood. I was blessed I had such a strong and morally upright Real Man to model myself off.
Children need to know that their mother should have a hand in controlling her/him too and her/his father should have an equal share in the job. In my family, my wife and I clearly and repeatedly say that we are co-CEOs in our family. Mummy has certain strengths and daddy has too. For example, when it comes to sternly communicating standards of behaviour, I communicate this very effectively so I do it more often.
Your personal examples are very important, too, along with your rules.
You won’t be able to sell her/him (your children) any double standards on the important issues in life. She or he will come much closer to following what you do and what you believe than what you say about these issues.
Your daughter or son does not have to believe that you are the wisest man in all the world to consider you as a good father. She or he does want to be able to come to you with important questions about life. She needs to see that you are learning and growing, too, that you are open to new ideas, new concepts.
That you have a growth mind-set and embrace change that is relevant and readily adapt.
Teaching the hearts and minds that are learning how to make this world a better place in which to live.
Being a real father to your children is one job that no one else can ever do as well as you.
Good fathers deserve their full share of top praise, for they are helping to build the loftiest cathedrals in the universe: the hearts and minds that are learning how to make this world a better place in which to live.
Happy Father’s Day to all the responsible fathers reading this and beyond. Let’s not forget all those fathers who have come before us or have left prematurely. May God bless their souls
Enjoy your day and have fun,