Fathers Day At The Library?
By Donovan Grant
"And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."
Libraries are such fun places to visit to help improve work-life balance. It’s no longer just a place to go and pick up some books to read, it’s a place to go and have a wonderful experience. In fact you could easily lose yourself at your local library for a few hours because there is something for everyone from little children, mum and dads, right through to grand-parents. There are computers, DVD’s, CD’s reading clubs, work shops, coffee bar and tons of books to read, just to name a few.
When was your last visit to the library?
I’m lucky that my three children love going to the library. The girls are older and they go on their own now, so my trips now are with my son, Emmanuel. He’s nine years old and probably been visiting libraries since he was three, so when he gets there he cruises the aisles as if he’s in his own world. He is the boss and I no longer have a real say in what books he chooses to read (within reason, of course).
When you look around the library on a Saturday morning, it is noticeable that there are more dads with children there than mums. It’s almost as if mum has said “make yourself useful and take the kids to the library.” As we greet each other with a good morning, there is that expression on dad’s face that says “this is my quality time with the kids.” There is no doubt that trips like this mean something special to dad and the children.
Recently there was quite an amusing and noisy moment in the toddler’s book section. Dad and his five year old daughter (at a guess) were having a disagreement. The little girl had chosen a book and dad was trying to explain to his daughter that the book was too easy for her. “Daddy, I like this book! Daddy, I want this one! Mummy would let me have it if she was here!” It was so funny to watch and this young lady was not giving up. In the end, dad conceded. Somehow he came to his senses realised, that it wasn’t that big a deal. Children are permitted to take out up to 12 books, so it’s ok for his daughter to have a “just because” book.
This story is typical example of parents trying to impose their ideas on children and stopping them from having fun. Another approach is just to come along side the little people and see it from their perspective and allow them to have a say too. When we do this, it helps them to build their own confidence, self-esteem and assertiveness. These three components are crucial for our children in this 21st century.
Are we as parents trying to live our unlived life through our children? It makes sense for us to take the lessons that we have learnt and help to give our children the best start that they can have in life. In fact it is our job to give them every opportunity that we can to be the best they can be. The thing that seems apparent is there is a small amount of selfishness in our motives that can make us compelled to get what we want, rather than what our children want.
Now it’s ok to want the best for our children and train them to be accountants, lawyers, scientists, sport stars and all the top jobs. The question is what is their passion? What do they want? What are they really good at? What is it that they already do so well that you know they are destined to be a star in that area?
As parents, these are the type of things that we need choose to consider from time to time.
In the end, Saturday morning trips to the library are about more than picking up a few books. It helps your work-life balance and it’s your opportunity to watch and learn what turns your child on outside the home. My children are some of the best teachers that I’ve ever had. Your children should be the same for you too. Let’s make trips to the library and experience that the children remember for years to come. Let’s make their little lights shine. After all, when our kids our happy, our work-life balance tips into our favour.
Roll on Saturday . . .
I believe in you and I am grateful to you for allowing us to serve you each and everyday!
Donovan Grant is a "Honest and True Step By Step Work-life balance and Career Coach. His systems help the average career changer as well as high flier get extra-ordinary results quickly. www.donovangrant.com.