Updated: Apr 24
“What social justice could learn from preventing growing pains”
As parents, we're responsible for steering our children the best way we can. Our goal is to help them become independent, successful adults. Yet, that’s not always easy. It’s especially hard during a pandemic or with a lack of perspective. Or, when all the media spotlights are focused on traumatic events. After all, kids don't come with instruction manuals, and we can’t turn them on and off like a computer. Parents and children have to roll with whatever. So, we need practical views to go with these flows and do our best along the way with them (or even sometimes against them). Below and at the follow video link are 3-Steps that parent and leaders everywhere are using to prevent growing pains during an unprecedented time.
The truth is that sometimes children don't have the experience needed to handle their obstacles. Which can get on the nerves of some parents more than it should. No matter if our lovely children don't want to do their Math homework, go to school, or listen to us. All teams and relationships go through weird but normal phases.
In organizational leadership, they call it these phases of building a good performing team: Forming, storming, norming, and performing. The forming phase is basic guidance. Storming is learning to work together towards a shared purpose. The norming phase begins a process of functional commitments to goals. And performing is when all the team members operate well with other with little oversight. Even in corporations, a good performance is the last phase of several weird phases. So, as a family unit, our job is to love our children through all these normal phases in growing to ensure that they can get through every obstacle together that comes our way.
Two common complaints that most parents have is that children won’t get out of bed in the morning and they take too much time getting ready for school. It takes too long for these family performances to “form.” Parents and kids need to prepare their clothes, their backpacks, ensure that they eat breakfast, brush their teeth, wipe their faces, and finally leave home in time. But parents also want to give more responsibility to their kids. So, they give them tasks. But these never seem to be completed. Or, at least, is what we might think.
How Parents and Children Get Past Obstacles Together
Children, as we know, are all different. and there's no one right way to do most things. We have to listen to our hearts and plan accordingly. However, no matter what phase your child is in right now, there are some things you should consider doing that will help your children grow naturally past obstacles.
#1: Look at The Big Picture:
Let's say that your child takes too much time to get out of the house in the morning. Instead of focusing solely on one aspect, try to look at all the other things children are now doing that they weren't doing a few months ago. Just because they haven't grown enough in that one area of responding quicker, it doesn't mean that they aren’t developing in other areas like becoming more computer savvy.
#2: Take Another Perspective:
A story changes depending on who is telling it. It's all a matter of perspective. Just like life experiences are different depending on who is living them.
When we are living our day-of-day lives, it may be a bit hard to look at things from a different perspective. We get caught up in the moment. But you can be sure that it won't hurt if you try.
In the business world, this other perspective is called customer discovery. Or, customer journey. You see, from St. Louis University to Venture Cafe, no one can help a new startup company or entrepreneur develop unless they first prove a need exists for their product or service. A business is irrelevant, dead upon arrival, or out of business from the start if it doesn’t study other perspectives.
One of the things you can do when your child is late or won’t answer (again!) is to look at him or her and imagine a situation where he or she wasn't your child but a friend of your children instead. Would that situation look different? What if your neighbor's child didn’t answer you one time?
Simple deep breathing exercises can also help in these forming and storming situations. Yes, your child (or you!) may continue running late or not responding no matter what happens. We can’t be everything to everyone. But that's not a huge obstacle. Getting past those obstacles happens every day with just a little patience, kindness, perspective, and clarity.
#3: Lead by Example:
Children naturally see their parents as their role models. Even if they might not voice it or be aware of it. And more than the words we say, our behaviors and actions reflect in their developments. Leading by example is incredibly important for our children's development. It both keeps them safe and gives them that nurtured feeling of belonging.
How do you practice tying your shoe, trying a new haircut, or driving a car? By practicing and leading by example, of course. Try to practice the phases of getting past obstacles in the morning. Try to practice problems. What if a shoe string is missing and the bus arrives in two minutes? Planning means preparing. But catching us off guard, well, if not handled properly can be traumatic.
Researchers know that 70 percent of adults experience at least one traumatic event in their lifetime. 20 percent of people who experience a traumatic event will develop PTSD. But 80 percent do get past them.
Robin Williams was one of the funniest people in the world. Yet, there was some invisible obstacle that he couldn't get past and unfortunately took his own life. We call those future stumbling blocks, or post trauma. Yet, we’ll never hear about most people who get past even the worst obstacles.
The point is, parents and children all make the mistake of looking past issues. And those invisible issues while norming are important to clarify too. The goal is for families to learn from each other's experiences along the way and grow stronger and intertwined like a vine. Even though everyone flows in different directions, a healthy bond can remain. If you are someone who forgets about things frequently, then develop a method to deal with outside changes. You may want to use funny reminders, a to-do list, notes, school calendars, work calendars, or even social media notices to discover changes from each other's status. Together it's like imaginary rubber bands because we know we each have to be flexible but still need togetherness too. So, the fun really could be how many obstacles we can flex with inside one goal of getting out the door in the morning!
But sometimes, we may still forget things. So, what do we do when we forget something really important? First, we can try to manage what we do have. We may not have been thinking when we forgot something important. And second, realize we’re not alone. People forget stuff every day. There are good tools and good people out there to help prevent it from happening again. That's an attitude our children need to understand. Consistently leading by example ensures that they will likewise hold things together. They’ll get to the point of working through situations to eventually performing successful solutions all on their own. It is like an early retirement present!
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