Certainly, we have a limited time on this planet to make our contribution to the richness of life. As a result, people choose different ways to leave their marks and legacies for the generations to follow. Our first area of influence starts in the home, where we are role models for our family and in particular our young children. They learn directly and vicariously from us, watching our every move. Therefore, we have both active and passive influences, and we need to be mindful of how children will integrate these influences into their own lives.

Are we really giving them the best advice?

One of the worst things we can do is to give our children the impression that there is only one correct way to do anything. This is like a multiple choice exam—sorry, “A” is the correct answer, all others are wrong. For example, we may insist that they do things a particular way because that is the way we were taught or brought up by our parents. We never questioned the wisdom of the process or the act—we merely accepted it as the modus operandi of the home! Of course, with the Internet and general accessibility of information, ignorance is no longer an excuse to accept anything you’re told. Therefore, our experience and advice to our children should be prefaced with “this is the way I see it” or “remember, this is only a guide to get you going”. This allows them to listen without feeling like they’re being told what to do or think! After all, you may already have lost a significant part of your credibility when you referred to the computer as a word processing machine or when you called your daughter to help you install a new software! Children see technology as a basic tool of knowledge and if you haven’t mastered it, how are you qualified to give advice?

Forever Young

Allow children to develop their own unique approach to general things. We are living in the most technologically driven period in history, and still we cannot know what challenges our children will face…neither do they. Therefore, adaptability is the most important tool and trait you can inculcate into your children. This will give them the right mindset to take on the ever-changing challenges that they will face in the future — no matter the form and complexity they’re prepared.

Think about it. Isn’t adaptability the single greatest trait a child can have in a rapidly changing world? I wish my parents had given me a set of tools….but maybe they did! Of course, I wouldn’t have understood their relevance at the time and may even have dispelled them from my thought. But more likely, they’re so engrained in me that they are now second-nature—I do instead of deliberate and then act. That’s the way we need to inculcate adaptability into our children, so that adaptation to change is not something they do, but what they assimilate with relative ease.

Categories : Categories : Leadership, Potential, Visioning

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