Teaching the next generation

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This picture of London was taken last Easter weekend and it just melts my heart.  Given how young she is (6 years now), as  her parent I have a tremendous opportunity to shape her life in a way where  it is ingrained in her that she has complete control over the design of her life.   To know that it is within our power to teach London that the only way of living is one where you are actively following a passion and purpose filled life is tremendously exciting.

So how do we get our children to embody this way of thinking and thus living? It is not enough to simply read her books about following your dreams, being true to who you are, and building self-esteem through words. Instead the power of influencing her thinking and behavior will be predominantly based on our ability to actively demonstrate in our own lives what it looks, feels, and sounds like.   Part of this involves each of us being in a job that we really enjoy and be careful with the words we express in front of her when things are going well or we have had a rough day.  This is an exercise that will not only benefit her but us as well in handling stress in general.

 It also involves actively participating in various hobbies and interests that get us excited individually and as a family.  I believe it is very healthy that all of us have our own interests and give each other time to enjoy them but also have family time as well.  I know a lot of moms who literally give up their lives for their children and forgo doing anything for themselves. On the surface this might look commendable but what message is this really teaching your children? That you have to lose your own identity when you want to have children? Another component to effective role modelling is by including her in age-appropriate family goal setting sessions and then working with her to visualize her own goals/dreams or desires.

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