When I was a little boy I was told many time that I have flash in the pan. That I will get bored really quickly and will not finish what I just started. Today I look at it from another perspective, my own. From a perspective of a father of two different children. Autistic Maks and non-autistic Livia. Five years old girl and eight years old boy. After coming back to those memories I started to wonder about one thing.
How do you think? What is it?
I reminded myself those moments when my older brother was giving me his demotivating judgment. This one more time when I was laughed at and told it would be better if I don’t start anything as it will finish with fail anyway. I can see the same pattern, over and over again. I see myself trying to learn something new, be better at something, and find interest in the new field and what I always come across is someone cutting my legs from underneath.
I keep on thinking about this one thing: what sort of person would I be if instead of killing my passions from the beginning someone would help me to preserve. Show me how to build discipline and persistence.
How can I teach my children the art of it? Most of all by taking a lesson from my childhood and mistakes done by people who were my examples, my role models. Taking out the as out of the hole – mindful parenthood.
Stating the obvious – be a role model for your children
The good one – Every parent is a role model for a child. Even the one which is constantly drunk, aggressive, the one which is never home and the one which doesn’t give a regular hug to his/her child. For children parents are people with the biggest impact on the way they see the world, what views they will have and what sort of values and rules they will follow. It’s parent which is shaping the world of a child! Do you want to screw this up?
Don’t cut their legs from underneath, let them try and choose. Most of all show them how to do things. It’s you who has to develop, try new things and tell them why you’re doing it. Don’t be a couch potato, be an explorer and engage your children in your activities. Be a superhero for yourself, this way you will look like a superhero for your children.
Send your kids to bed at appropriate time and create a routine before bed
Scientific researches all around the world are showing that it is important for a child to go sleep at a certain time and every day before bed routine is helping them to do it. The adequate sequence of tasks finished before going sleep helps in silencing body and in the natural production of melatonin. Melatonin is responsible for making us feel tired and sleepy. Going forward experiments in particular group ages show that children going to bed after 9 PM are having worse scores at school and bigger social issues. Daily routine before bed is impacting persistence and is building a concept of rules. That alongside with sticking to the rules given by parents and those which they set themselves is one of the most important things in persistence.
Let your children make their bed.
I am not talking about the military way of doing it. It’s only about starting the day with achievement, something they can be happy about, be proud of. Don’t you think that this way they can enjoy their day even more? I think it’s a brilliant way of starting day – begin from doing something right. We make our beds with children. They help me and I help them. It’s very encouraging, teaches cleanliness and build good atmosphere – especially when we do a small competition for the best-made bed. A small amount of rivalry – who wins: Dad or kids? Of course, they always win!
Show your children that working hard is worth something!
Another useful research shows that even 18 months old child is better in overcoming difficulties and don’t give up instantly when they see the same attitude in their parents. The results showed that possibility to observe parents struggling and working on finishing the task made their children work harder on solving issues they come across. On the other hand, those kids which seen their parents finishing tasks easily, without any hustle had a tendency to give up and quit quicker. What can we learn from this experiment? Our actions and persistence speak for us and our children. We need to push hard in every possible field, for our kids, and for their strong will.
We all have them, and we sometimes lose a battle with them. I am talking about making some effort to limit them, narrow down possibilities to come across them. The smaller amount of temptations the smaller chance to make a wrong choice. Talk with your children. A Very simple example which worked in my case: instead of getting upset that my kids are eating unhealthy food I started to buy healthier food and nothing else. In my fridge, you could find veggies, fruits, and fresh meat. My daughter started to complain that there is nothing to eat. There was, and you know what? Because she didn’t have any other choice she started to what was available, healthy food. Broccoli, chicken, and apples. Instead of buying ice creams in the big box I am buying two lollies – one for Maks and one for Livia. This way I limited temptations and everyone is happy.
Show your children that sometimes life is difficult and there is no reason to be ashamed or afraid.
That’s one of the most valuable lessons you can give to your child. My choices in life were leading me through some dark places and difficult moments. With kids on board, it happened to us not once that we couldn’t afford this or that. Not once I was in tears because of sadness or despair. Autism of our son was for us a real lesson. Separation with my ex-wife was difficult for me and our kids. Whatever happens in our life we talk with our children. We tell them that it does sometimes happen that we have more difficult moments in our life but they are most important to us.
We talk about emotions and we are aware of our feelings. Why? Because by being mindful parents, asking questions, telling stories we are building their emotional awareness.
Not an award or being included, but love.
Not once in my life, I’ve heard from parents of kids I was working with words of love and support when they were achieving good grades. Not once I have seen the cold reactions and lack of superficial love when the grades were not so good. “We will talk about that at home” – do you know this? Parents are sometimes not aware of how much love and affection need children hearts after getting a bad grade at school. They think about themselves as useless, not good enough and puny. Cold approach it’s making it worse. Make sure that As and Ds are not impacting how we speak to our children and how do they feel our love. I know you all love your kids, no matter what will be the grade but it simply shouldn’t be an element of motivation or a lever to better results. The key to hard work shouldn’t be based on reward but skills and amount of work done. Sometimes it’s the hard work which matters more than the results.
Most important – no for slaps, no for hitting or shouting.
Another research proves that physical punishment is wrong, it slows down development and reinforces antisocial behaviors. Are you hitting your child and still thinks that spanking is not physical abuse? Maybe you even don’t consider choosing a different method? You are hurting your child!
Here is a proof
That was few examples from my own life, my own experiences backed up with research. It will help you believe in the power of mindful parenting, in the importance of being aware of what is happening around us and around your children. Thanks for reading my posts and being for me. Please share if you like it, comment if you have anything to say!
Don’t be passive, be active, make a move!