How to make your kids flourish
After 13 years of parenting, I've finally discovered what makes my children flourish most. The insight is kind of a big deal. You might want to take notes or bookmark this page. Are you ready? Here we go...
My kids flourish when I enjoy their company.
That's it. Got it?
Feel free to roll your eyes, but in my task-driven, get-the-house-picked-up, is-your-homework-done, didn't-I-ask-you-to-feed-the-dog-10-minutes-ago, put-down-your-phone, kind of narrative, enjoyment isn't always a top priority.
And when enjoyment goes, the downward spiral starts. Nothing good happens when I make my highest priority getting from point A to point B quickly. Attitudes don't improve when I want everything to go my way (and fast).
As it turns out, this parenting gig isn't about managing efficiencies, it's about raising a human being.
And so I've drafted a handful of reminders for keeping the enjoyment level high.
No one is happy when Mom's hungry, and, as a point of fact, no one's happy when anyone in the family is hungry.
Before picking a fight or correcting a bad attitude, get some food in the belly!
Just because you're older doesn't mean you're cooler. Make an effort to be silly. Have adventures without apology for breaking what's "normal."
Cool is overrated.
If something interests your kids, pay attention and join in the fun. Team Phenix became Team Bronco the past two years because our son loves them.
As Tech/UCLA fans, this was the kind of salve we needed this fall!
Ditch the agenda
Initiate conversations and really listen. Ask questions about their stories. Say, "what do you think?" and leave your personal agenda aside.
This leads to a bonus of the "handful" of tips...
Let them lead
Newsflash: Your kids know things you don't and have insights and wisdom you don't have.
Pay attention to their perspective. They are seeing the world with fresh eyes. Let them find their passions and follow where they want to go. You'll be surprised where you end up.
And, more important, enjoy the journey.