Dare To Live Without Limits

Bryan Golden

Take time to lead your children to success

With your children, you have an opportunity to encourage them in ways you were not. You can instill them with principles to help them excel that they won't get in school or from their friends. Your children will absorb much more from you than you realize. The examples you set by your attitude and actions can be imprinted on them for life.
Your children are born veritable blank slates. You are their guide on how to deal with the world. The manner in which you react to various situations becomes a model for how your children behave. The language you use, the statements you make, the way you treat others, along with your relationship with their mother or father, are scrutinized by your children.
Leadership begins with the relationship you have with your children. It's imperative to treat your children with love and understanding. They require lots of time and attention. You never want to make your children feel as if they are annoyances or in the way. If they don't get attention from you, they will look for it elsewhere, often with destructive behavior, people, and activities.
Leading by example begins at home. Your credibility as a parent is dependent on living what you preach. If your children see you as being hypocritical, they will lose respect for you, diminishing your effectiveness as a parent.
Here are some essential principles to instill in your children:
Potential and ability: Encourage your children to accomplish things. Teach them what they can do rather than criticizing them. When your children stumble and fall, help them up and encourage them to keep going. Show them it takes effort to realize potential and develop ability.
Challenge and adversity: Explain to your children that encountering challenges and adversity is normal, it happens to everyone. Demonstrate that all problems have solutions. Challenges are an opportunity to learn and grow. Don't whine and complain about your problems.
Honesty and integrity: Trustworthiness is priceless. Once integrity is compromised, it takes a lot of work to restore it. If you want your children to be truthful to you, you have to be honest with them and others. If you apply a double standard, your children will be confused. They won't be able to differentiate when to tell the truth and when to bend it.
Fairness: If you have more than child, make sure to treat them all fairly. Don't play favorites. Never pit one child against another. Apply the same standards to each. Be consistent in how you treat your children. If you have to punish them, make sure they understand what they did and why you are reacting the way you are.
Patience: Children take time to learn. It takes repetition for lessons to really take hold. You should not snap at your children if they don't catch on as quickly as you want them to. A child lives in a different world than you. Children don't understand your problems nor should they have to. If you continually fly off the handle you can expect your children to behave similarly.
Failure: Not everything goes as planned. Tell your children that they will only fail if they give up. When something doesn't work as anticipated, it's time to change strategy and try again. Explain that the reason they learned how to walk is because they kept getting up every time they fell.
Set the examples to lead your children to success. In the process, you will become a better person and have a positive impact on all those you interact with.

NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at bryan@columnist.com or write him c/o this paper.  2023 Bryan Golden


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