"Throughout this book, I felt Bruce had a secret window into my own life and private thoughts. Many private feelings I am currently dealing with were addressed and revealed in a manner that made me feel it is not only normal, but I am truly not alone in this. I was surprised that I cried while reading it and the comfort that the words brought me. I read tons of self-help books, among other types of books, and this book actually gives me hope and things to look forward to. My tears were from the fact that I am facing the words I read. I have been getting negative feedback from outside sources and these words reassured me not to listen, keep them out of your life and do what is right. The section on the other home/parent opened my eyes and freed me. I did not go into reading this book thinking it would help me on such a deep emotional level." ~Dorothy Justice, Vice Chair-Community Action Partnership

May 28, 2012

Strengthening Your Children In The Eye Of Challenge

Single PArenting, Divorce, parents, Character, Challenges, Childs Strength
Confidence / Dalla*
Times will come when your child doesn’t think they are capable, themselves, of achieving. Without guidance, children will continually limit their direction. Once I would see a clear line where I needed to step in, I’d guide them through with love, enthusiasm, good respectful communication and unwavering support.

Raising children isn’t all sugar and cream. As parents we take the lumps with the anticipated outcome found in the joys and pleasure of witnessing our children succeed and achieve personal goals. When it comes to life’s hurdles, running or walking hand in hand with your child isn’t easy nor recommended, though I have some alternatives.

Armed with conscious decisions and emotional responsiveness, to enabling their best through love, whether its giving advice or showing my loved ones they can rely on me, I strive to provide a sustainable atmosphere for each to grow on.

Children will look to us even when we’re not looking. Our actions, behavior, and mannerisms we model are life enduring and will have perpetual effect in generations.  You can develop and strengthen your children with one simple key in mind in my opinion; recognizing each individually and without comparison.

I have four daughters. Each is a woman in her own right and an individual with distinct personality and character. Each daughter has developed her own style, values, goals, interests, joys, tastes, dislikes, language and expression. Each requires different care and understanding with regard to their upbringing. In other words, I won’t place expectations on one based on another’s success and may react or respond differently on similar situations.

They are designing their own path in this world, chasing their own dreams, and following their own instincts. The responsibility I accept with each of my children is in conscious decisions to ask good pertinent and intelligent questions. Their response may in effect raise more questions, but their answer isn’t as important as much as their own insight, awareness, and perspective on the issue.

Each of my daughters will develop their own understanding of the issues and steps to resolution if needed. My daughters will have their own challenges, set of problems, and different answers to those problems suited to their personal situation or comfort. My responsibility now that they are older is simply to listen, understand, and share options if needed. Solicited advisor and support are now my essential roles.

My personal awareness to my daughter’s unique characteristics enhances my rapport with each. Understanding their distinct attributes promotes individuality and a sense of true belonging.

My best attempts will enable my daughters to be their best through
forming warm, intimate, involved, lasting, and non-defensive attachments and understanding that creates cohesiveness in our relationships.  This is the emotional responsiveness I choose in parenting.

Incidentally, it's your child's responsibility for being “thee” best and not ours. Whether it’s in school, sports, work, clubs, activities, or in the type of person (how each relates to others), its up to your children to decide where their competitive level meets. Some will want to be the best and others are happy knowing and acknowledging their own best. As parents, its our responsibility to know the difference and help our children find their ability when they limit themselves.

I will lecture, but I’ll also sit and listen in heart to heart talks.  That’s me and I choose my timing wisely. In some unique and rare cases, when I observe their own realization they can’t move, I resort to lighting a fire in their hearts to instigate their motivation.  I can utilize this sparingly since I know I have my daughters’ respect in general. I employ this stance when I witness them limiting their own potential with self-doubt over a prolonged period– when they are distracted from the realization in their own capability. Once my children became older, they identified with my savvy approach. Its infinitely clear now to them it was because I believed in them when they didn’t believe in themselves.

Parenting can be very hard emotionally. No surprise to anyone whose raised children into adulthood. There’s redemption in seeing your child moving toward their target. Watching my kids in anguish over their personal challenge is a tough experience. Expressing the need to not give up while always inspiring and remaining calm is what I do. 

That’s one of my gifts to my children; helping lay out the facts, the landscape and boundaries of the issue, and the objective in finding and identifying their own skill set to conquer the problem.  I call this a form of mentoring and I lay this out in a previous article within my blog, entitled, “Children and Discipline: Never Having to Reprimand.”

Often, and typically in sports or in school, my children met challenges. There will be bumps in the road. That’s the way of life; better to learn early on. I could have easily relied on, “do what you feel is best.” This may work for superficial issues.  Larger challenges build character. I’ve written on the topic of life parallels in sports within my blog, entitled,
“Sports Help Children Prepare For Life Challenges.”

As an example, my youngest daughter met challenges in getting on the right ice hockey teams during her young teens. She had been traveling with ice hockey programs up until age twelve. By age thirteen, things changed. At one point she wanted to give up; she had derived her lack of success into not being good enough.

She’s always had efficient mechanics and puck handling skills, textbook positional fundamentals, great slap shot, and team player and usually voted a leader from teammates– though she lacked the speed, tenacity, and size by age thirteen that most coaches viewed a priority.

She had a couple of character building years, but if I had let her quit that one long day, she would have never learned an important lesson– by working hard and not giving up on herself she could succeed and did. For what she lacked in speed and size, she made up with in her smarts. She played better technique, took better angles, leaned on knowledge of the game through a referee certification, kept her head up, passed and shot with grace and finesse, and as defenseman, all culminated in separating bodies from pucks.

With the right people behind her, all the hard work filtered into an emotional day in her senior year of high school– at the Girls H.S. Ice Hockey State Championship when she assisted in the only goal scored in the game, in overtime, for the win. She did it with a slap shot in front of the many naysayer coaches and program directors from over the years. Once more this sport allowed her to transition to Girls Field Hockey and in the same year she helped her 4th seeded team win that State Championship as Captain.

I always say, if you want something bad enough, you will make it a priority. The same inspiration and enthusiasm was applied to my second youngest daughter who had an affinity for collecting all As in high school. When the one historic teacher took lessons to a new level she got frustrated.

She had never experienced this kind of toughness and resiliency from a teacher previously. If she wanted the A she was going to have to prove it to the teacher in a manner that he was satisfied, even if it meant taking time away from other classes. She got all her As, but more importantly she learned a valuable lesson in accepting new and unknown challenges.

I choose to exhibit conscious decisions and emotional responsiveness because I know my children are watching. I relate with each child differently and with individuality because they are unique and wonderful human beings, but also mutually exclusive in their own right– I know these garner strength in my child’s own responsiveness to manage challenges from their perspective. I know in my heart how I relate to each will carry over in some form to their children.  

© 2012 Bruce Buccio

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