The most horrific nightmare is where something goes really REALLY wrong and your child dies.
The only time you dreamed it, you didn’t sleep much. You woke up sweating, and it disturbed you to your core. You still shiver down your spine thinking about it.
Why does it unsettle you so? It’s just a stupid nightmare, isn’t it?
You feel your head hanging. Eyes closed, you breathe through your open mouth, and allow your thoughts to rest a while on your boy. That’s my flesh and blood. God … I love him.
You already sense the answer. Things aren’t right between you. The nightmare feels like a dark warning. It disturbs you with that nauseous, panicky feeling that lingers too long in the back of your mind.
You let your mind go there; you sense what you have to do, but you’re always trying. It never quite works out how you want it, and time is never enough. It’s frustrating.
You try not to think about it. You put it off. But you know you can’t keep doing that. Each day they grow older, smarter, more set in their ways. They don’t listen to you like they used to.
Quiet, bitter anguish… like a different kind of death.
It’s not as if you’re a bad parent or anything. Just the opposite–you’re not satisfied with just being average. All decent parents wish better things for their children. That’s what makes this so hard. If only there was a way to pull it all together–to get on top of it completely.
The Challenges of Great Parenting
The kids are getting smarter, faster…not like how it was when you grew up. Life is busier. Technology is speeding ahead and the kids are not waiting around for you to learn it.
You’re making more money than your parents but it’s worth less.
Building a great relationship means spending time. Where is it going to come from? You’ve just GOT TO find ways to stay on top of it all. You’re not there yet, and there’s this nagging doubt. You don’t allow your mind to go there. You fear you will run out of time.
That’s not how it was supposed to be. What–Or Who–Is the Problem, Really?
Parenting is difficult.
It’s one price we pay for modern living. In his landmark book, “Influence,” Robert Cialdini reminds us that the barrage of information and choices in the 21st century makes it easier for us to make serious mistakes. As if that weren’t complicated enough, all of a sudden, other people on little glass screens–and also big ones–spend more time with your kids than you do. The human family just never had to deal with anything like this ever before.
Parenting is important.
It always was. We pass our culture and way of life from one generation to the next through parenting. This is how children learn the values of their grandparents. This is how civilization advances from one generation to the next.
YOU’RE not the problem
Dr. Michael Popkin, a world-renowned parenting educator, said that parenting is the only job that is both difficult to master and essential for human life, yet there is absolutely no formal training for it. Everyone agrees that the family is the most important unit of society. But we still haven’t figured out how to do more to protect it. In the meantime, you’re left scrambling to figure it all out on your own.
Parenting That Fits
Albert Einstein said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” You need a new mindset. You need to upgrade and reboot your parenting… your whole way of dealing with things. But replace it with what?
It can’t take more of your time. There’s still only 24 hours in a day, and that’s not going to change. In fact, you need a solution that helps you spend more time with the family–not less. Your solution has to help you teach YOUR values to your children. You need to grab their attention and keep it, but it’s tough competing with that darned four-inch screen.
Would be great if you could make use of the technology instead of competing with it.
Since a huge part of the problem is about a more complex modern life, it would also be great if it helped reverse the trend and make things a little more simple, wouldn’t it? Home-life should be a sanctuary–where you renew and de-stress yourself with the people you care most about in this world. Now that would be an important part of modern living to upgrade!
Getting all of that in would be a better fit for what’s happening now. It would help you get on top of everything.
Bringing It All Together
There are quick-fixes out there. But that’s how we got here in the first place. Simplifying things just CAN’T be yet another quick-fix. The good news is that right now…in your time…you have most of the knowledge and tools available to fashion our own parenting upgrade. But since there’s no formal training, you’ll need to pull them all together.
Or you can use TLP to help you out.
You’ll need to stay connected. You’ll need to use the technology to keep yourself informed about the best ways to use your time, simplify things, and manage stress while leading your family.
Here are the keys:
Wellness and Holistic Thinking
The happier, healthier and stronger the parent, so is the child.
Your mind, spirit and body are one. Nourishing the mind also feeds the spirit. A healthy body fine-tunes the mind, and spiritual growth develops the mind and body too.
And in the same way, all of humanity consists of branches of one tree. As we advance through the ages, it’s becoming easier to see how one branch affects the other in all areas of life.
Your challenge is to grow them one and all…together. There’s little time. Life should not be the disjointed thing that modernity is telling us. Your son and his relationship with you will be better when YOU’RE better. That’s a basic TLP premise.
If you haven’t done so already, start the “Win Back the Child You Love” challenge. Doesn’t matter if things are OK as they are with you and the kids. There’s always something you can get better at, and the foundation is there for everything you’ll need.
But even if you’ve been through the 30-day challenge, you’ve probably found out by now that parenting skills are really people-skills that have been adapted for children. We’re better off committing ourselves to work on them for the rest of our lives. There’s no limit to how good you can get. I should know. I’m still a work in progress.
Emotional Intelligence and Mindfulness
There’s a big difference between knowing things, and getting things done; between being smart, and being effective. One is interesting, while the outcomes you seek for yourself and your child depend almost completely on the other.
The research is coming in from just about every major university. Here’s what it’s telling us: A high level of intelligence, or IQ, has very little to do with being successful at anything that’s difficult and takes time.
Think parenting fits in that category, maybe?
The fascinating field of emotional intelligence, or EI, is growing, and we can ride its wave for our own benefit as well as that of our children.
Building emotional competence is what makes the difference between:
- hitting the snooze or jumping out of bed
- struggling or thinking about becoming a leader, or simply being one.. with effortless fun!
- suffering through rising stress-levels, or having the inner-strength to coast through tough challenges with grace and calm
And there’s that ONE quality that escapes so many of us when life dares us to be great… the one that keeps us from doing what we KNOW we can and should do, but just DON’T. What’s the word for it again?
Tweet: What we now know about emotional intelligence tells us that willpower is most often cultivated.
Well… its that time! And since willpower is a little overrated, blog updates a little further down the road I will be sharing mind-bending tricks you can use on yourself to fill in when willpower fails.
Only two choices, really
Resolve now to stay in a mindset of constant growth as you transition from one phase of life to the next. Life will get no easier, but as you grow wiser, stronger, and better, I can guarantee you will FEEL as if its getting easier. Deep down, you have that potential to become of age…to achieve mastery and transcend all challenges with blissful ease…to BE the love and joy instead of just being in search of it. And getting things on-track with the kids will be icing on the cake.
The only other choice isn’t even worth mentioning.
Start on your path to never-ending growth. It’s the only choice worth considering, so make the next great stride in your journey. Stay tuned for insanely useful info for savvy parents coming. If you haven’t done so already, scroll up, top-right and enter your email.
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