From January 25, 2010
I was asked to speak to the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff parent community on Resilience – How to Nurture and Develop Your Child’s Inner Self. They planned a series of discussions on "The Middle School Years: A Parents' Guide”, offered through a wonderful community organization, LEAD™, a United Way agency whose mission is to support parents and other adults shaping the future of our youth and is dedicated to promoting healthy family relationships and preventing alcohol, tobacco, drug use, and other risky behavior by youth.
My goal for the evening was for parents to walk away with a better sense of what they can do to enhance the self-motivation and responsibility in their children. Teaching children how to manage their disappointments and failures will lead to resilience and empowerment. Allowing children to develop resilience, to own their actions, grades, and life choices, is one of the hardest tasks of parenting. The seminar provided parents some tools to improve communication with their children and receive practical strategies to help them learn to find motivation internally rather than seek external rewards and gratification.
I offered this seminar again at Temple Chai’s Wellness Day 2010, sponsored by The Chai Center for Enrichment & Renewal, Temple Chai Sisterhood, and The Levinson Scholar-In-Residence Fund.
I assigned homework to these groups, and I thought I would share it with you. Please spend some time in the coming weeks to incorporate one of the following ideas into your daily lives. Let me know on this blog which one you are doing, and what impact it has on your family’s life. Remember that as families make changes, the first response might be resistance. Stick with it, stay positive, and see if, after four or five weeks, you notice the positive effects of your efforts.
Enjoy finding time to smile with your child today. And remember, sometimes we see the rewards of good parenting many years later.