What’s there to learn from animals?
Observe a group of zebras grazing in an open landscape while a lion comes and attacks one of them. The moment the lion begins dragging away the fallen zebra, the rest of the zebras will promptly get back to grazing. As if nothing horrific had just happened a few moments ago. Animals, unlike humans, can effortlessly live in the moment. They don’t spend time depressed about the past or anxious about the future.
A mother giraffe who has just given birth to its calf will kick the shit out of it. Not once, not twice, but until the baby giraffe fully stands up on its wobbly legs and is ready to follow the mother into the wild. It’s a dangerous world out there and the mother giraffe makes sure her baby is equipped to face it. How many of us actually allow our children to learn and not spoon feed them our own ideologies and theories about the real world?
If animals can be themselves, why can’t we be humans?
Guiding and Coaching Our Children:
Let’s be real. We can’t be there to guide our children forever. What we can do is to empower them to solve their own problems and to find their own happiness.
That’s why our school, FutureSTRONG Academy, provides a makerspace for our children. Through our makerspace studio, we create a collaborative environment where children can explore and share their ideas. Our fun programs alternate between physical and mental activities to give little minds an opportunity to explore their strengths and interests, helping them to carve out a life they want.
You can adopt the same philosophy at home. Don’t rescue unless its a life and death situation.
Fragile Children in Our Modern World:
When we as parents are afraid to say “No” or to give permission to our children to fail, we set up their lives for inevitable failure. This is harsh advice for many to hear, but, please parents, listen up.
REMOVE THE BUBBLE WRAP.
Let them walk in your neighborhood to their friend’s house. Open a bank account for them and allow them to make a sale with the cashier. If they’re in a squabble with their siblings, allow their feelings “to get hurt”. Or now that fall’s arriving, allow them to blow those dead leaves for you.
The idea is simple. Don’t build a fort of protection around them, because it’s unreasonable to think we can be their safekeepers for ever. Look around you, so many children from previous generations are not so good at “Adulting”, missing all age appropriate milestones these days. Let’s begin by teaching them that a life without a trophy is not supposed to be traumatic.
How to Parent for Empowerment:
Here are two ways you can save time and actually enjoy being a parent.
* Cut your losses:
So you didn’t read a book and tuck the kids into bed tonight or were not able to pack lunch that morning. Cut your losses and move on. Make tomorrow a better day! Try this. Lower your expectations for how you plan to spend your evening and think of the top three things that you’ll do with your children. Keep the list short, simple and stress free. Once you’ve accomplished those simple things, you’ll motivate yourself to keep going all evening on fun, engaging activities for the entire family.
* Empower your children:
You don’t always need to rush over to help. Instead, help them understand the consequences of their actions and make better choices. Our goals should be to empower them to believe in themselves and to help them realize their highest potential. If they can’t accomplish small goals, how can we expect them to be successful at their real life big goals?
In the End, only Happiness Counts:
OK, Let us think of all the things that kids need to be happy.
- A little place to hide so you go seek them.
- Someone to listen to their jokes and ideas.
- Someone to hug them unconditionally.
- A loved one play hide and seek with them and laugh with them afterward.
- Some to tap their shoulder, look into their eyes and tell them how much they mean to them.
- A trinket on the street.
- A pet.
- Or a device with internet.
- A bedtime story
Turns out, it’s not that much. And, which ones out the above are actual things, and which ones are experiences??