Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul as well as a new book, 30 Day Sobriety Solution, gives a fresh perspective on this sometimes difficult balance.
So, maybe you didn’t have the best childhood, or maybe you grew up with every privilege under the sun. It really doesn’t matter. It’s really all about how you come out of the situation and how you respond to the situations you’ve been through. Through this, you provide your children with the ultimate example of resiliency and success.
“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself. They come through you, but not from you. And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.”- Khalil Gibran.
Wow. Such an impactful statement, but one that might be hard to put into practice. We want so much for our children to have the best of everything that we sometimes lose sight of our role in their lives. Sometimes we forget that our children are their own person, not a smaller replica of ourselves. In not understanding this difference, we may try to put our children in activities or situations we wish we would have had for our own childhoods.
But, it’s also about having the intention and willingness to put in the time. Jack had regrets and guilt in parenting, but he was able overcome those feelings because he knew he had to be the best example as a father. He knew he had to love each of his children individually. There’s a lesson here: you’ve got to love each child the way they want to receive it, not the way you want to give it. Accept your child for the person they are, not for whom you want them to be. Sometimes we try to turn our children into the children we wished we could have been or have the opportunities that will make us look like good parents. You have children; you are not your children. You have to let them be themselves.
When children make mistakes, instead of constantly correcting them for what they have done wrong, point out what they have done right. Leave it there. Then, when they attempt the same task again, praise what they did the time before and then give a suggestion regarding the part of the task they need to correct. If you have young children, be careful with how you approach moments where they fail and succeed. Between the ages of 3-8, Jack says, research indicates that their self esteem is at its most vulnerable. Granted, during their entire childhood children are building their self worth, but it is these years that seem the most critical.
But being the best parent for our children stems, as we’ve seen so many times on the GDP, from how we respond to challenges in our daily lives. Jack approaches this in his new book, 30 Day Sobriety Solution. You may not be an alcoholic, but Jack says in his book that even when we are casual, social drinkers, we still may be using that glass of wine or a beer to “wind down” or “take the edge off.” You may even find that when you have that drink, you aren’t really present for those you love: you’d rather fall asleep instead of reading your child that bed time story after the simple glass of wine (or two). Maybe you question how you’ll enjoy a night out without that one drink, or how you’ll get through that social work setting without the beer. But as Jack points out and his book addresses, there may be some underlying factors we may be covering with that drink.
It’s really about being your best self in all aspects of your life-putting down a drink may just be one of them. Jack’s advice? Be as committed to being a great dad as you are to your job, your hobby or other things you find important. If you want something different, you have to do something different. The choices you make and actions you take today determine your outcomes for tomorrow.
Check out a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE
Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE
Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS
Jack Canfield Website
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The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Thank you for checking out this episode with Jack Canfield. This episode is one to remember!