CHILDREN: - What A Child Wants Part 3 - Finding Purpose

December 05, 2017


Society presents various misguided points of view about what children truly need from their parents. Most parents harbour feelings of guilt & inadequacy sometimes when they start measuring themselves against those opinions. I thought to address some core desires that I can remember from being a child, being part of a large extended family & raising my own. I've been one of the lucky ones.

By: Stefnie Meyer

5 December 2017

Finding Purpose 

We are still talking about guiding your child to having a healthy sense of self-worth. In two previous posts we addressed some universal questions:

· Who am I?

· I’m not perfect, so now what?

 

We come to have a sensory experience on earth. Seeing, smelling, tasting, feeling, hearing, seeking joy and happiness; interacting and loving others and looking forward to make a contribution to life.  So the question is “What if the purpose for living is to have fun?”

We belong to tribes, communities, groups & teams.  We applaud achievement; cheer our sport teams on and encourage those with challenging situations. We keep our eye on uncharted frontiers, set higher goals and targets, striving for more, for better, constantly raising the bar.  We crave adventure. - It makes us happy.

Everything we do, we do because we believe it will make us FEEL good,

feel GOOD ENOUGH and find HAPPINESS.

 

Somewhere in playing at life our dreams and targets become unreachable or hard-won goals and mere responsibility . .  and we question our purpose as we measure ourselves against others. 

I remember that tiny flame of feeling special as a child, of a KNOWING in my soul that I have a “special purpose” but, OF COURSE I kept it to myself!  The fear of being misconstrued, perhaps viewed as narcissistic, scoffed for contemplating images of a grandiose life, just like the Israelite Joseph The Dreamer, was just a no-go area.  Guaranteed, tomorrow, something would happen to tumble me into doubt with images of NEVER being good enough and begrudging the one who made me feel even smaller. 

Can you remember having that same awareness and experience?

I was taught that we are all unique down to our finger prints and that we all make a unique contribution to this life and yet, the peer pressure to ‘fit in – be and have the same’ often leave amputated souls behind.  Again, I misinterpreted celebrating my unique self for viewing it as a chore, a responsibility to make a choice, focus and work hard at being a better me.  It totally overwhelmed me! 

What if I never find my purpose? . . .  AND IF I do, can I live up to expectations? . . . . WOW!  It took me years, despite my parents’ loving care, to join the dots and let go of the angst, emotional punishment and self-judgment and to realize that my purpose finds ME!   

It is also not WHAT I DO but HOW I DO what I find to do in the now.

You are always on your path, wherever you are is exactly where you should be – every step on your path is a stepping stone to greater possibilities.  Your purpose is to be joyful and have fun with every step and your path will reveal the contribution you BE, one (sometimes) scary but exhilarating step at a time . . . .

How do I lay the ‘right’ foundation with my children?

As parents we often do too much for our children – I know, right?  Guilty as charged!  We fear for their safety, dread the ‘clean-up after them’ just because we don’t prepare our (their) environment mindfully.  Our lives are SO serious & there is NO TIME for slowing down to their pace of doing and playing!

We deprive our children of discovering their power & potency at a time they still believe that they can do ANYTHING and do it PLAYFULLY.

  • It starts with feeding oneself
  • Choosing what one’s body likes to eat
  • Tying one’s own shoelaces
  • It starts with entrusting your child with simple chores that you applaud no matter how lumpy the bed looks after they made it.

To quote Dr. Maria Montessori: “Needless help handicaps their natural development and negative characteristics emerge where children are ‘waited on’ unnecessarily.”  It kills the magic.

  • Be mindful not to “over instruct” and distract them with words.
  • Show, rather than explain.

 They learn far better through observation anyway! They are excellent copy-cats. 

Children enjoy accomplishing things BIG for their age. To apply some effort, repetition and focus on their task provides real satisfaction and releases “feel good” endorphins & hormones in the body.  It’s all about creating neural-pathways in the brain that direct them to experiencing enthusiasm, success and joyful living as the natural basis of their existence.

In doing things for themselves, they learn what comes easy for them, what presents a challenge, what they love and what stirs their soul.  That is how they will meet & recognise their ‘purpose’ and appreciate the CONTRIBUTION THAT IS THEIR LIFE and hunger for more of the same. 

In doing things for themselves and applying their skills in helping others, they learn

  • self-respect
  • respect for others
  • an appreciation for life & the planet … applying value to things;

They find satisfaction in self-management, order and discipline.

The by-product is that the family works together as a team, valuing each contribution.  YOU will be less tired and overwhelmed and there would be more time for relaxed play, fun, hugs & kisses.

Have fun observing your child grow and discover his value – there is so much joy in watching him surf the web of life!

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