It is strange how certain memories stay with you with each of your children.  With my son, I can remember like it was yesterday us driving together to peewee football practice with the windows down listening to “Jefferson Airplane” by Reliant K.  With my daughter, it is dancing with her at her big end of the year dance recital.  They had all the dad’s do this and we felt like dorks, but the memories were more than worth it!
We are on the second week of the Journey to the Center of You Child.  These two blogs are to help you as a parent have some key areas to focus on with your children.  In the last blog we talked about, being excited with your child and making security your focus.  We will end the series this time focusing on
one main area: Big Picture Focus.  Helping your child see and understand the big picture of life will help them be prepared to handle all the crazy stuff that will happen with life as they get older.  There are 3 main areas to focus on for Big Picture living.

1. They are not the center

  • Children need to see that you have a life apart from them. This is hard when school, soccer, etc… take over our schedule and our lives.
  • We have to be diligent to make sure that our children’s schedule does not become the center of the families universe.  There are seasons of business, but too many families allow their child’s schedule to rule the family.
  • This is dangerous because it communicates that they are the center of our universe.  They will get used to that and will eventually wonder why they are not the center of everyone’s universe.
  •  I’ve seen too many marriages that have taken a back seat to their child’s schedule and the outcome of that is not a good one.

2. They will suffer defeat

  • The biggest problem with participation trophies or scoreless games is they do not help our children learn how to handle defeat.
  • Everyone will suffer defeats and setbacks in life.  If you have never learned how to properly mourn defeat and then overcome it as a child, it will cripple you as an adult.
  • To many millennials do not understand defeat because they have been shielded from ever losing or they have been taught that defeat is never “their” fault but someone else’s.
  • Do not shield your child from defeat or they will never develop the emotional and spiritual muscle to overcome.

3. They are in a marathon

  • Life is a marathon and not a sprint.  Let your child see the good days and bad days of life in the grand scheme of our whole lives.
  • Tell stories of your victories and defeats as a child to show them that life does keep moving.  Your stories of embarrassment will help them see that it is not the end of the world because you are still here.  Your stories of victory show them that there will be wins in life and this can encourage them.
  • Through those two lenses they will see that a long term view of life can help in the everyday.
The biggest problem with these three areas is too often they were not well modeled for us.  I would encourage you to reread over the three areas and ask yourself, “How do I stack up in each of these areas?”  As a parent, what you model is what is lived.  You can talk all you want but if you blame others and never take responsibility when you suffer a setback, you are not properly teaching your child what to do with defeat.
Parenting is not easy but any investment you make in your own spiritual & emotional growth as a person will be multiplied in your children.  The journey to the center of your child starts with you.
What areas of focus do you need to start working on?