I attended a webinar this week presented by Joanne Connell PhD based on her work and book ” Flying without a Helicopter: How to prepare young people for work and life”. As a parent a child development expert she asserts that parents are doing their children a disservice by overprotecting them from the world and never letting them fail. When asked ” How early should parents be letting their children struggle and fail in order to succeed?” she responded “from birth really”.
I have long been concerned that children are being raised without a sense of consequences. They seem to pass not because they succeed but because their feelings can’t be hurt. They try something once and give up because “they don’t like it”. “Parents are following advice on how to sculpt their children into the perfect applicants before their children are even born. The problem is that the mold the parents are working from does not generate young adults who are able to succeed at work—with or without the coveted college degree. This problem is growing, not declining, with today’s hyper competitive, helicopter and lawnmower parenting trends.”
Traditionally government departments have worked independently in providing services to children and families. Too often services are fragmented and too narrow in their focus. To achieve a broader, better quality of service, government departments need to work together and with community organizations, agencies, families and individuals. Community involvement is essential in this process. By working in partnership, government and communities are better able to identify problem areas and gaps in services, identify solutions and plan prevention strategies.
Collaborative, community-based planning brings together all the people and organizations who have responsibility for children. The work of communities in responding to child hunger is a good example of how well this functions. With government support, organizations and individuals have come together within communities to target resources – including buildings, volunteer help, equipment donations and money – and develop community-based responses to child hunger. In each community the approach used is different and reflects community needs, resources and expertise.
Although poverty is the largest single risk factor for children and youth, there are other factors to be addressed including injuries and conditions leading to hospitalization and deaths. Poverty and social dependence are complex issues, and result from many factors within society and an individual’s life. Effectively addressing these issues requires the partnership of communities, agencies, governments and individuals. Each member of our society plays a role in that society. Our efforts are strongest when we work together to address the serious issues facing children.
I knew I was in trouble when I made a statement, in a meeting, that I had no doubt to be perfectly crafted and assuredly true. There was a flash that lit up in my peripheral vision that had happened, and been ignored, a dozen times in the last week: A warning that I wasn’t heeding like high blood pressure.
I had become an expert again. The “Hi my name is Bob and I am an expert” kind of expert. I was certain about everything, sure about my direction, completely confidence in my advise, remarkable in my coaching, and unbelievable in my consulting. I was the pearl in my own oyster – perfect.
Of course, none of that was real. Perception had trapped me again. I have been recovering from the curse of expertitis for 25 years but this bout seemed deeper and I was actually enjoying the spotlight even more than usual.
When I spend time with children, my grandkids in particular, I am reminded what the as yet unimagined has to offer. They zealously seek new ways of overcoming challenges. They embraced curiousity through sincere and outrageous questions. There is a zeal for exploration and risk that comes from a different confidence than the expert. They are confident that the world is theirs to explore and by turning everything on its head, they see the world anew. My confidence was based in formulas, models, tried and true experiences, status quo. In today’s world where everything is changing, exponentially, we all need to find the child’s position for a few hours a week. This isn’t just a provocation exercise, it serves as an innovation platform. You can launch your next ‘cool’ idea and watch it soar or sink without fear.
Take 4 hours this week (4/168 = 2.38%) to be open to curiousity, search out mystery and take something that you are so confident about and give it a good shake. I, for one, would be curious what flies out.
Are you an adder or a subtracter? Most of us add and subtract value every day. At the end of the day, what is your +/- rating? Are you giving excellence to your work, relationships and self?
Having a net positive day, week, life doesn’t happen by accident. It requires intention and action that is pointed to creating value. It requires persistence in the face of convenience. It requires character.
Just being aware that all our choices and actions have consequences, good or bad, is a great first step. You can make a difference. Your decisions change you, change your relationships, change your relationships and change your world.
I am intentionally trying to be healthier. When I run, workout, play sports, walk, resist temptations I am taking positive steps toward living healthier. As I work to get healthier, others see my efforts. My relationship with my beloved, my kids, my family, my friends is improved when I feel better. My community doesn’t need to have space, resources or energy to devote to my care and can direct it where it is needed most. When I go to the gym today, eat more fruits and vegetables, moderate my vices I can add these to the positive side of my ledger.
When a client requests my services and I don’t do my best, I subtract. When one of my grandkids needs a receptive ear and I am there – I add. When I don’t react to being delayed in traffic or angrily curse at being cutoff – I add.
Are you up to a challenge? Would you observe as many of your intentions and actions as you can for the next 7 days and record whether they are positive or negative. Will you try to add value and excellence in every situation, for just the next 168 hours? If you are up to it, I would appreciate (and I am sure other readers would too) if you would comment on this post or associated tweet with #value and your total?
Make Today Remarkable. Make adding value your problem.
We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today. ~Stacia Tauscher
How do we honor our children and grandchildren regardless of their age?
– be a great listener (listen intently and listen globally to what is said and unsaid)
– be equitable ( try to bring what is needed to each child in each situation, not just their share, not what they deserve but what they need)
– be a confidant ( keep the secrets that are shared unless danger is involved)
– be a reliable parent ( quality time only works if their is enough quantity time for the relationship to blossom)
A child can ask questions that a wise man cannot answer. ~Author Unknown
I am often surrounded by people who think they are experts. I am often one of them, myself. My expertise blinds me with bias and blinkers me to options. I hope to learn to be more like my grandchildren who ask with curiousity not problem solving at the heart.
Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there. – Will Rogers
My impatient, imperfectionist with an action bias shining through.
Have you ever lost your voice? Too much partying? Caught a bug while travelling?
Did you feel helpless? Did the silence seem somehow calming? How did you make yourself understood?
Words, ideas, conversation, debate are all very important to me and define how I see myself and how others see me. Ten years ago, my sister gave me a coffee mug that said “Everyone is Entitled to My Opinion” – I think she was joking, half joking.
I get the opportunity to express myself in one on one discussion, group settings and large presentations. My ideas and opinions are heard. My gratitude and outrage has an audience. My personality allows me to speak provocatively and honestly into almost every circumstance.
What if I lost my voice? Overuse, exertion illness all could cause the vibrancy and volume of by voice to disappear, temporarily. Cancer or another disease could rob me of my rants more permanently. But I would find a way to be heard. You are listening right now to the words I pounded out on my keyboard. I could paint, dance, direct and still have a voice. I have a position of privilege that helps my voice be heard. Some of the privilege has been earned through education, persistence, hard work, networking, reputation and some was inherited when I won the ovarian lottery. I don’t know what the percentages from merit or mother.
Some remarkable people among us go unheard every day. A single mom busy raising 2 remarkable children and working 1 and ½ jobs to make ends meet may be too busy and weary to stake her claim to a soapbox. Children express themselves often and often loudly but the distractions of the world leave us missing their real point. Seniors, who have much to teach us, don’t receive the respect their have earned.
I can become a better listener, an audience for those who have lost their voice. You can intentionally invite someone to tell their story and really listen to them tell it. You may not be able to do anything else (or you maybe you can) but listen.
I can become an advocate for the voiceless – not from my perspective but after listening, from theirs. You can retell the stories you hear to your circle of influence.
I can approach voicelessness – mine and others and make it my problem. Will you make it your problem?
Make Today Remarkable, for someone you don’t know,