Appreciative Parenting: Parenting for Resilience
Parenting for Resilience
People are challenged from the earliest age to make choices in life, to grow from everyday difficulties and achieve mastery over the inevitable tests that life presents. The basic choice facing every person is whether to base decisions on what is convenient and self serving or follow the harder path of ethics, empathy and integrity. The selfish path is based on instinct and the desire for gratification. This path leads to a destructive and unfulfilled life. The second path leads to resilience, wisdom and a meaningful life.
The second path, which is about expressing our humanity, needs to be taught and coached into us until we develop the strength of character and experience to be able to choose the correct path on our own.
Children need to be taught in every situation that confronts them to look deeper into themselves and others in order to fully understand the ramifications of the situation. In choosing how to react they need to take the path of being bigger, wiser and more refined.
Consider the effect on the individual of making each of the choices.
Ask yourself whether the easy convenient choice will lead to a person becoming more mature or learning anything that will stand her in good stead later in life?
Consider whether the person through that particular choice becoming someone that you would like to employ or marry?
Who does the person become who takes the more difficult and less travelled road?
Growing character is like growing muscle. If a person does too little by way or exercise and strain, they get weaker and feebler and become forced to take easy routes and avoid discomfort.
Those that put in more or less the same constant effort maintain their strength but do not develop and grow. Only those that push their limits to breaking point develop superlative skill, grace, stamina, strength and wisdom.
When faced with dilemmas children need to be taught to show empathy and an understanding the values that are at stake.
Making choices that force us to get bigger and to go deeper are ennobling, helping us to discover and express our full humanity.