Teaching your children the real facts of life gives them a solid core of truth to live by…no matter what they encounter. Too many parents are losing sleep, feeling anxious and worrying themselves sick about the world their children are living in. Why? Because the reality of today’s world is foreign to the majority of today’s parents. If you look around at what your children are facing…drugs, in-school violence, sex at the elementary level and adolescent suicides, you cannot escape the fact that the average parent feels ill-equipped to deal with it.
I am not only a parent but also a grandparent raising and home schooling a teenager and another soon to be teenager. I had amazing parents, a fabulous loving supportive childhood, studied human psychology and went on to devote my career to advocating for children and coaching parents and yet sometimes I feel momentary pangs of concern when I look at my grandchildren and wonder what lies ahead for them.
While coaching parents the most often asked question is “I did everything I knew to do and my child is still…” (you can fill in the blank with any of the situations mentioned above and then some!) “What did I do wrong and what can I do now?”
The first thing I tell them is to stop thinking in terms of right and wrong. Many years ago on an Oprah show she said, “There are no mistakes, only lessons. When you know better, you do better.” This is the only mind-set that will move you forward to be able to equip your children with the skills to meet the challenges of the world they are growing up in. Taking on guilt, blaming either yourself, your spouse, your child, or even the Almighty will not put you on the path you want to be on.
I grew up in the 60’s when drugs were just infiltrating society. I had close friends who died from experimentation. I was surrounded by the 60’s mind-set that said, “If it feels good do it!” Temptation was everywhere. And although I participated to a degree, I had one thing that none of my friends had that set me apart and kept me from becoming a statistic of the times.
I had parents who had raised me to believe in my power in my life…my power to make choices, my power to choose what I thought and believed, and my power to be me. And with that came the reality of my responsibility for what happened or didn’t happen in my life. I was taught that it was my life, my journey, my choices…no one elses. But the most important gift I received from my parents was knowing without a doubt that they believed in me, trusted me to choose what was right for me, and allowed me to exercise my power.
That didn’t mean I didn’t make poor choices at times, I most definitely did! However, during those times when I made poor choices my parents were there, not with a judging eye but a loving eye…helping me sort out the situation to learn from it, always reassuring me of their belief in me that through the experience I would ultimately rise up to the wonderful, loving, beautiful person they knew I was.
And so the second thing I share with concerned parents is to tell them to stop judging, stop punishing, stop arguing, stop participating in the power struggles and start supporting your children as they face these monumental challenges in their world and put every ounce of your energy into loving them unconditionally OUT LOUD!
Your children are not doing what they are doing to hurt you. They are doing what they are doing to figure out who they are. They need to know that they are loved and cherished as they go through this time of discovery. And then share with them the real facts of life:
- Every action causes a reaction…it can be either negative or positive.
- Every choice creates a consequence…it can be either negative or positive.
- And what you sow you will reap…it can be either negative or positive.
Many refer to this as the Universal Law of Attraction. When our children understand their power they have the facts of life that will provide them with the skills to create the life they desire. You cannot be with your children 24 hours a day. What you can do is arm them with the undisputed facts of life that are actually facts of our Universe… guide them by example, inspire them with your trust and empower them with the knowledge of your belief in them and your unconditional love for them.