Tuesday, October 15, 2019

How do parents make a better world for their kids?

Tuesday and my brain is a-scramble this week. My friend Sarah who wrote about never being too busy to spend time with your aging parents and not falling into the pushy parent trap is back. If you are polishing your writing chops or have something to say or are trying to get into freelance writing and want some exposure and want to submit a post, email me! If you want to reach Sarah directly, email her. Note: you do not have to provide your email address for people to contact you if you want to submit a post!

For the majority of good human beings with kids, one of the best side effects of having children is becoming a better person as an adult. There is no denying that having children is likely to encourage most people to become more mindful about what they say or do. Parents are responsible for the well being of their children. Psychologists have long demonstrated the devastating effects that poor parenting choices can have on young and vulnerable minds. As a result, the desire to become a better person is influenced by the need to protect children and give them a wonderful, nurturing place to grow into themselves.

Even if you don't have kids, we are hopefully all on a continual path to self-improvement. While parents are motivated by their responsibilities toward their children to make better decisions, non-parents can also find some inspiration in the process.

They invest in their education
Parents spend a lot of time examining and comparing schools before deciding where their children should be educated, whether they need to go to preschool or high school. The reason for it is that a good education gives children a better chance of success in life. As adults, we can apply the same principle to ourselves. It's never too late to learn something new, be it a personal hobby or skill set; or  professionally to boost your profile with a certification or course. Finding the best evening school or online college to brush up your skills is not a decision to take lightly. It can have a massive impact on your career and your income. By approaching your decision with the same level of care as parents demonstrate in the choice of their children’s education, you can avoid costly mistakes.

They know how to motivate and guide 
Motivation is an eternal obstacle in our everyday life. Even adults struggle to maintain their motivation. Unfortunately, most of us continue to look for a reward, aka extrinsic motivation. For instance, many new gym-goers who are trying to boost their fitness levels are likely to use caloric rewards, allowing themselves a yummy snack for each drop of sweat. The problem is that extrinsic motivation can be counterproductive for yourself, and when exercised on someone else, it’s basically bribery. As a result, more and more parents are developing intrinsic motivation approaches, like helping children to build higher self-esteem by encouraging them to want to be the best they can be. Using the same thought process, you can also create new motivation to achieve your goals.

They say sorry for their mistakes

Everybody gets things wrong, parents and adults included. Nobody expects parents to get things right all the time except possibly parents themselves (mom guilt is real). But being willing to apologize for mistakes remains an issue for many. Taking ownership of your error as a parent teaches children the importance of saying I’m sorry when appropriate and meaning it and establishes a healthy relationship. Learning to admit your mistakes is a vital lesson, not only for children but for everyone. Don't fall into the over-apologizing trap - women especially say sorry for too many things - but when it's appropriate, do it and do it sincerely.

Parents and other adults that play roles in the lives of children exemplify better lives by creating healthy and positive habits for themselves. Whether you are a primary, secondary, or periphery role model for a child, try applying some of the things we learned in kindergarten to yourself as an adult. It can't hurt.


Thanks Sarah! See you back here tomorrow with a (hopefully) coherent post.

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