Taking Work-Life Balance To The Next Level: Every Child Matters
By Donovan Grant
"No one has yet realized the wealth of sympathy, the kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure." – Emma Goldman
Our children are like crown jewels. Those of us who have children can appreciate the value that our children are to our lives. Their innocence, their energy and their ability to bring a smile to our faces is a priceless gift. Let’s face it, when the family is doing well, our work-life balance is equally well.
As parents we recognise that we have a duty to our children. We are called upon to be guide, protector and nurturer; above all we are their comfort when they need the loving touch of a parent, mums and dads. The funny thing is that sometimes we don’t even realise the multitude of hats that we wear for our kids on any given day; teacher, coach, nurse, taxi driver, ‘bank account,’ and their biggest cheerleader. I’m sure that you can add many more to this list . . .
It will be no surprise to know that it is useful for us to understand who our children really are! In saying this, we need to be able to answer questions like…
What is their ideal work or play environment?
What makes them really happy?
What makes them sad?
How can you tell if they are a little off colour or not feeling balanced?
What is their funnest thing to do?
What one skill are they naturally gifted with?
To sum it up, as parents we need to be observant and spot what makes our sons and daughters unique?
It’s important for both parents to get a sense of what makes a child tick
Mums have generally spent more time with the children than dad, so they have that 6th sense about them. Whenever you are able to spot that your child needs help, support, praise or even a good talking to, it means you are on track with knowing who they really are. When you act on this awareness and help your child to move forward, you will be honouring, your role, your gift and your child.
Listen for the quiet cry for help
I met a mum recently named Sandra. She was very concerned as her son would be stepping up to secondary school in September. This is normally a happy occasion for everyone, so I delved for the reason for the worries. Sandra explained that her son was a bright lad and he is doing well academically, her concerns were about his self-confidence and his assertiveness. This is interesting because this young man is the captain and leader of a high standard soccer club. There were no problems or concerns there!
The challenge for Sandra is that her son is 11 and rising to a secondary level, so she wanted to be sure that he could look after himself. Sandra’s deeper worries were focused on the potential for him to be bullied, to get lost in the much bigger school and for her son to lose track of his values and abilities because of peer pressure.
Sandra said “I want him to develop his social skills and life skills and a friend mentioned that you run workshops with young people who need to increase their self-confidence. The important thing to note here is that Sandra knows her child. She knows his strengths and his weaknesses and she was willing to invest in her sons future by finding the solution that he needs.
It’s time to invest in our children beyond their academic ability
This is a typical story for 11 year old children in the UK (and around the world) rising up into a higher school. This however is not a typical decision made by parents. Many parents will just hear their child’s cry for help and say “you’ll just have to tough it out” or “it’s time to grow out of being a wimp” or “just give it a few weeks and you will settle in”. The difference here is that Sandra chose to be proactive and get the support that her son needed.
Remember this- our role as parents goes beyond putting food on the table, paying for electricity and teaching them how to read, write and do maths. We are responsible to raise our children to be the best that they can be mentally, physically and emotionally.
Just like adults, their self-esteem and self-confidence can very quickly diminish as they move into new and bigger environments. If your child is moving from primary school to secondary school, be sure to give them a hand up and keep them moving forward by developing their social and life skills. Your family’s well-being and your life balance have a lot to do with how happy your children are.
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.