Want to improve relationships? Be stingy with criticisms and generous with compliments.
Have you ever witnessed an individual who seems bent on doing wrong? Regardless of the support and encouragement he gets from those who care about him, he decides to do things his own way in his own time. Instead of listening to the voice of wisdom, he rejects it and chooses to follow the wrong crowd, listening to the wrong voices. He tells himself that he has a right to live his life as he pleases, and his choices affect no one but himself. He reasons that he is an adult, and no one can tell him what to do. He is correct on one level; he can choose to live his life as he pleases (however, consequences will follow his actions), but he is wrong on another level. Many times, his bad choices and actions cause pain and grief to those who love him.
Oftentimes, loved ones (especially parents) will enable that wayward individual, trying to shield him from negative consequences. They may give him money (supporting his bad habits), pay his bills, lie for him, etc. Instead of allowing him to learn from his repeated mistakes, they try to soften his blows by intervening when it is evident that the person has no intention to change.
One of the antidotes for a situation like this is to begin to allow the individual to experience the consequences of his actions. This may seem harsh, and it may be difficult to do, but if loved ones have tried other methods and they haven’t worked, maybe they should quit bailing the wayward individual out of trouble.
I’m not recommending that you give up on the wayward adult. I’m only suggesting that you stop being the middleman. Allow him to experience consequences for his actions. When life throws him enough negative blows, he may come to the place that he sincerely desires change. When this occurs, you can offer your support, but only in ways that will promote and not impede his progress.
Children are a blessing. Some people believe this while others don’t, but regardless of one’s opinion, not everybody has the privilege to serve as a parent (biological or otherwise). The awesome thing about being a parent is that a person is making an impression on young minds. He is painting a picture of what the world is like. That person is doing so by his words and actions. Even when a parent isn’t aware that he is painting a picture for his children, that person is adding a stroke to the page of life each and every day.
As you examine the life you live before your children, what story are you telling? Are you teaching your children that honesty and integrity are important characteristics? Are you telling them that it is all right to violate valuable principles as long as they get what they want? Are you showing them that stepping on others is the way to success? Are you teaching them to be afraid to spread their wings and try new things? Are you ridiculing them and planting words within them that make them feel useless? Are you provoking them to anger by the way you live? Are you nurturing them and showing them they are valuable just as they are? Are you living a life that you want mimicked by your little ones?
As it’s been said numerous times, your actions speak louder than your words. When young, your children have the tendency to mimic what you do more than listening to what you say. The lifestyle you live may have an impact on them as long as they live.
Knowing this, be cautious of the picture you’re painting for your children. Yes, you have to live your life, but know that small ones are watching, and they will be affected by the story you paint. So paint a picture that you won’t be ashamed to pass on to the next generation, because you are passing a story on, whether you are aware of it or not.
It takes great tenacity to be a stay-at-home parent. It isn’t a glamorous job, and many times the person in this role doesn’t get many accolades. This person doesn’t check in at a specific time, take a lunch break then check out at a designated time. This person may not receive raises for a job well done. This person will not climb the corporate ladder and will not be sent to different trainings to perfect his or her skills. Many times, this person doesn’t have the comradery of co-workers, people to encourage him or her when times get hard. Sometimes the very people a stay-at-home parent serves takes his or her services for granted. In spite of these things, the stay-at-home parent gets up relentlessly and performs his or her tasks.
When you examine the skills of a stay-at-home parent, you will discover that they are multifarious. In some cases, the parent will serve as a decision maker. Oftentimes, decisions have to be made on the spot, and consultation is not available. This person will also serve as a manager who multitasks. He or she may not have the luxury of doing one thing at a time; the demands of his or her day require that two or more things be done at once. If this parent is fortunate, he or she can delegate some of his or her duties. This person also holds the role of a counselor. Even if he or she doesn’t possess a psychology degree, he or she is expected to know how to consult the subjects in the household on various life issues. He or she may also perform duties of a chef. This person may not be able to attach executive in front of this title, but he or she is responsible for preparing nutritious meals for the family. He or she is also expected to dabble in the role of a nursing assistant, finding cures or remedies for minor ailments. The list is endless when it comes to this role; however, the stay-at-home parent performs his or her duties tirelessly, oftentimes sprinkled with love.
If you know someone in this position, encourage him or her. Tell that person what a great job he or she is doing. Buy a small gift to show him or her appreciation. Celebrate that person for all that he or she has done. And remember, even if this person doesn’t receive accolades from the world, he or she is doing something awesome. This person has the responsibility of shaping young minds for the future. And who knows? One of those young minds may grow up to do something or be someone great.
Most parents want the best for their children. Many of them nurture their children to the best of their abilities and watch them grow through stages. If things go as planned, their children learn life lessons along the way and carry those lessons into adulthood. Their children may make mistakes, but because of their foundations, they learn from their mistakes and move forward.
Because of the investment many parents make in their children, some of them don’t know how or refuse to let their children grow up. During the first sign of struggle, they jump to the rescue. They continuously bail their children out of trouble, never allowing their children to stretch and grow. Instead of watching their caterpillars struggle to break out of the cocoons, parents break open the cocoons for them, thereby forfeiting their children’s chances of ever becoming butterflies.
Interestingly, parents who interfere in their children’s growing process think they are helping. They say they can’t bear to see their children experience discomfort so they do whatever they can to smooth things over. They are so focused on their children that they forget about themselves.
It may seem admirable for a parent to be so invested in his adult children’s lives, but if a parent operates on this premise, he will soon discover that instead of helping his adult child, he has stunted his growth. It takes wisdom to know when to offer help and when to back away and allow an adult child to find solutions to his own problems. It takes strength to watch an adult child struggle, knowing that struggle is not always bad. And it takes resolve to step aside when everything in a parent wants to make things better.
Take an honest look at your actions with your adult children. Ask yourself whether your “interference” is hindering them or helping them to move towards maturity. If they are making the same mistakes repeatedly and you keep bailing them out, your “help” just may be a hindrance. If this is the case, love them enough to step aside. Remember, it may be difficult to watch that caterpillar struggle, but if you refuse to open the cocoon during the struggle, that caterpillar could turn into a beautiful butterfly.