I wrote last time on preparing for the past, present and future. Sounds like a daunting task, but it can be done. How do you prepare your young one to be successful, peaceful and accomplished in life? This varies in perspective. What if your perspective is, I don’t need to read this, I don’t have a little one? Most of us have a child, a grandchild, a niece, nephew or neighbor that we will impact, even if we’re not aware of doing so. Since it will happen, be intentional about your connections for they will reap rewards now and when you’re gone. Here are seven ways to prepare for a rewarding adventure.
Another perspective is the untouchable class of the Hindus. They believe the pain and suffering in this life is a way to work out the bad Karma from previous lives. Therefore they accept their lot in life and don’t want better for their children. (From Teaching with Love and Logic, p. 87.) Then there are those who went to college and got a successful prosperous job and won’t accept anything less for their kids.
I hope the best perspective is for our young ones to be safe, secure, respectful, productive, valued, loved and happy for this is true success. Start when they are babes in arms. Sing, or if you can’t sing, then sing, the baby won’t judge you. Talk to them about how precious and loved they are, by mommy and daddy and the God who created them. Every person and especially every child should never doubt that they are loved.
Boost their self-esteem by showing them how capable they are. The Amish establish a place and a purpose for the child early on and they are secure in their place in the community and life. When they are secure in their place and purpose in society and their life, they won’t fall prey to the gang mentality that would promise acceptance, belonging and that they have your back. The young person should know and live acceptance and understand who really has their back. Anthony, our grandson, built a shelf with my husband last week. He was so proud to cut, nail , sandpaper and see the finished product. He felt capableand cared for as we trusted him to do this challenge.
Rough things happen in life. A child may lose their parent, their home or go hungry. Instill in them a sense of bouncing back no matter what, of never giving up. I heard of a tragic situation where a preteen committed suicide over a video game. Teach the young one from toddlerhood about how wonderful life is, to never give up despite drastic circumstances. Instill in them a value for their life and the lives of those around them. Teach them to have compassion when someone’s going through a difficult time. There is nothing more inspiring than to see children reach out to others and sacrifice their time, talent or treasure.
4) COMPETENT CHOICES
Sometimes it’s okay to not be the leader, for everyone can’t. But the kids need to learn to be confident and step out with nofear or inadequacy whether the leader or follower. Kids love to raise their hand and be called on, even if they don’t know the answer. May they never lose this desire and never feel ashamed if they’re wrong. There is a sparkle in their eyes when they feel important that the teacher recognizes them. And that sparkle really shines if they have the right answer. As the confidence and competence grow they would never feel the need to bully, and would be able to handle a situation if they were the bullied.
If kids are not given choices they may respond with fight or flight and become agitated. Offer choices in a controlled environment. When my grandson Anthony doesn’t want to read or do math, he gets a choice, “You can ride your bike after you do schoolwork or do schoolwork.” That way he chose to read, though it’s not what he really wanted to do!
After my first husband died I felt inadequate about many things. I had a counselor who shared 2 Corinthians 3: 4-5 with me. It says “…we don’t see ourselves as capable enough to do anything in our own strength, for your true competence flows from God’s empowering presence.” (TPT) I took my inadequacies and gave them to my adequate God. Since then I have written a bookand many blog posts.
Allow initiative and creativity and tell them what a great job they are doing. “That’s a great idea!. I’m proud of you! or Excellent! I love it!” Be enthusiastic and excited as you encourage them. They will glow with the kind words of approval. As they learn in their heart what a great job is they will be established on a firm foundation, for you will not always be there to give those encouraging words. They will know in their conscience and heart that they are doing the right thing and you would be proud of them, therefore they can be proud of themselves.
Kids are great imitators. Set a good example with kind words. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me!” We all learned this phrase as kids. But it’s not true. Harsh or critical words are a form of abuse and can carry wounds through to adulthood. People listen with more than their ears, therefore speak positive kind words with gestures, smiles, actions and time. It will effect you and your young one for the best.
7) QUALITY NOT QUANTITY
I’ve heard quality not quantity time with your kids is more important. But I believe you need both. They need your attention in a positive way, not because they acted out to get it. Play boardgames or ballgames, whatever the child is interested in. Maybe it’s not right, but I would let Anthony win at Candyland when he was 3, just to see him do a victory dance. It made us both smile. What kid doesn’t say “Look at me mom!” Take a second, look their way and be enthusiastic about what they are doing. This will make them feel special and important instead of rejected, which will carry over into their life and personality.
Don’t let them be consumed with their phone, you-tube, games or screen time. It will turn a six year old into a moody sixteen year old person before their time. Kids 8-18 spend an average of greater than 7 hours / day looking at screens. Monitor that screen time and viewing for appropriate material, and if necessary, evaluate your own tech time.
The journey before our young ones is spectacular. Prepare yourself and them for a great adventure and enjoy the ride!
Sam is a businessman, writer, entertainer, speaker, husband, father to six children, grandfather and great grandfather. Sam graduated from Huntington University with a B.A. in phychology and drama and pursued a degree in Broadcasting from Illinois Central College with graduate level studies at Christian Leadership University. Sam is the creator of Granpa Cratchet, one of the most successful touring shows in the history of the live events industry. Millions of people see Granpa every year all across the United States at fairs and festivals. His characters have appeared on every major network: Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, The Today Show (4 times). Sam and his characters have made over 500 local appearances and on all the major networks; NBC, CBS, ABC, ESPN, PBN, The LeSea Network, The PTL Network and Praise the Lord. They currently appear all around the world every week on YouTube and Facebook, and on several satellite networks via the Kidz Television Network and The Captain Hook (children's) Show.