Taking Work-Life Balance To The Next Level: Every Child Matters

by Donovan Grant on April 12, 2011

 

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.

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  • Donovan, how many parents don’t hear the cry of their kids or their voice even. I believe kids need the support of their parents or someone who will encourage them as they grow higher in education and years. Parents are responsible to raise their kids to do their best in all areas of life for great balance. Thank you Donovan for your heart in education.

  • Donovan, what you are doing is so wonderful. I lack self confidence and often wonder how or why that is so. I applaud you and Sarah for seeking to strengthen her son’s self confidence. Good job!

  • marla

    thank you Donovan! love reading your posts. I try and keep all of these gems you write in mind for my son!

  • Many parents here in Florida are just like Sandra when our children transition into middle school at about 12 years old. They go to bigger school, less supervision, they each own a locker to put their books and folder. Everything is new to them. They wear uniform in elementary school and when they move on to middle school- they have to choose their clothes daily. That put pressure to girls and some boys, who are going through physical changes as well. So there are lots of concerns. I agree that we should be pro-active, prepare them with necessary skills mentioned above and point out what might happen…Great points, Donovan.

  • Donovan, self-confidence is an important part for any child going through transitioning; the parents who are supportive and cultivate this in their children are amazing people.

  • Donovan,

    I love all the points in your article. Parents and teachers both need to invest in children beyond the academic aspects. It takes a village… Thanks for your work, D!

  • Carol, you got it just right there. Some of the kids I work with have lost confidence in a parent and sometimes an outside positive influence is just the remedy to help them stay on track!

  • Elvie, I think we all have those moments where we need someone to come along and whisper in your ear “you can do it”. It’s great for children and adults to have a great support network around them!

  • Marla, thanks for stopping by and encouraging me to keep sharing the messages that I have been gifted with. Do let me know if you have any special requests!

  • Claudia, I share your story having seen so many kids especially boys slip backwards from the ages 13-15. Just that small reinforcement would make a big difference in their lives. Let’s keep the momentum going!

  • Thanks for those kind words Solvita, the good thing is that all it takes is the right few words said at the right time. Three phrase that I know work is “you can do it”, “I believe in you” and “it’s your choice”.

  • Hi Antoine, my wife and I have always supported teachers and made it known that we teach our kids over and above what they do at school. It is an essential ingredient for teachers and parents to work together to get the best out of children. The village is the best way for sure!

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