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Each Generation Defines Its Own Values
What do we want for our kids?
Understand the goal, exactly.
Identify, and remove, my habits preventing goal achievement.
Invert - what don’t we want.
Take time to think through, and build, the “team” around our kids.
Consider: Why have a family in the first place?
Identify core family values.
Direct attention with intent.
Get the big things right.
Ultimately, Serve The Family.
At this point, you may be thinking… “Does Gordo really think through all this stuff?”
Yes, I do.
Two traits govern my approach to parenthood: Reliability & Consistency. I’m able to achieve both because I know exactly what I want.
Say What You Want To Have Happen
I’ve probably said that 1,000 times since our first baby arrived.
Well, what do YOU want to have happen?
I expect you’ll move out equipped with the skills necessary to self-direct your life, in whatever way you see fit.
Notice what’s not there:
Standard of living
How they look
What they eat
Notice what is there:
Equipped with Skills
Move Out - we’ve got 18 years to prepare them to leave.
Equipped with Skills - prepared is better than protected. From 8 through to 18, there is a gradual handing over of responsibility. There is also a willingness to let setbacks, pain and consequences teach valuable life lessons.
Self-Direction - ultimately, it’s going to be their call, with everything. However, I can take advantage of the human need for approval. I can nudge their interests by:
What I Notice
What I Do
Where I Spend Time
Notice - Do - Time
The lollapalooza effect arises when kids have an opportunity to demonstrate competency.
Say What You Want To Have Happen
Notice What You’d Like To See More Of
Avoid the trap of kids only having negative ways to get our attention.
Autonomy - a fundamental teaching principle…
Let Things Go Wrong
…within the constraint of avoiding death and permanent disability.
It can be difficult to watch, especially for their mother. For this reason, sometimes we don’t watch (unless it’s something we’d like to see more of).
So what are these magical “skills” we’d like to pass along to our kids?
Start by looking at the marriage, the most influential relationship in a child’s life.
Do you remember my list from last week? If you meet my kids then I hope you see our marriage reflected in them…
We pay a lot of attention to kindness and living an active lifestyle.
As for domestic serenity… that might need to wait until we’re empty nesters - particularly between our two Alpha Pups.
My wife’s favorite saying in this regard…
Remember you are on the same team.
When we’re not around they do great, which is worth remembering. Each of us presents different faces to the world.
With that in mind, I try to interact with my family in my best environment. Let the kids see my best “face.”
Do you know your best environment? Mine is outside in nature.
Skills are not merely positive actions. The ability to remove is a valuable skill of mine.
I let my family see me remove habits:
Raising My Voice
Acting On Anger
Knock everything out of myself, and my marriage, that I don’t want to see in my kids. Two challenging ones…
Why this relentless focus on self improvement?
Because I’m stuck with myself, and my marriage is what I want to endure.
One way or another, the kids are growing up and moving along. Harping on them merely brings legitimate grievances into our adult relationship.
To the overprotective parent, I ask…
What’s your exit strategy?
My strategy is to up-skill the kids, state my goals and let them make mistakes.
Middle School has been about:
Stove & Oven
Public Transport & Map Reading
Operating In The World
Being Home Alone
Camping (Fire, Shelter, Axes, Knives, Wind, Cold)
House Cleaning & Laundry
High School will be about adding adult issues into the mix.
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Next time => I’ll explain how to kick everyone’s ass, while strengthening your relationship with them.
A favorite quote on this from John Wooden,
A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.
It’s a valuable skill in a family system.