When I first visited Central Asia, I peeked into a Buddhist monk’s modest dwelling. A roof, lots of books, but otherwise no possessions.
Because I was young, I asked: “Don’t you have any furniture?”
Amused, he pointed to my backpack: “And where’s your furniture?”
“Me?” I was surprised. “I’m only here for a while.”
He nodded and let me think for a long time before replying: “Me too. All of us.”
Life is like a river. Short and constantly moving. And we’re a drop in the current. Before we know where we are, whoosh…. we’re floating into the infinite ocean. Some sooner, some later, but in the end we all discover that what the monk said was not far from the truth.We’re here only for a moment.So what are we to learn, find, pass on?
What will you print on paper?
We are all born with empty reason.Our mind is a clean, blank, but sticky piece of paper on which some things get stuck:the words, actions, and habits of others, and progressively our own experience and awareness.We then carry all of this our whole life, and we even pass it on to others as our truths or warnings.
Twice I have been at a birth, twice I have held in my arms a blank page that has been breathing for barely a minute and felt great responsibility for how I will influence what is written on it – the beliefs, convictions and fears.
How does one be a dad who makes sense in a child’s life and at some point in the future transforms into a happy memory?How does one be more than just a gatherer of furniture and give a child an example, motivation, and inspiration for individual success and the solutions to problems that will come?
Every Monday at school meetings I am asked what is important for me during “childrearing”, so here I will talk about five basic points I think are important:
1. Spend Time TOGETHER
In my articles I write that the first law of any relationship is simple:If we don’t spend time with a person, in the long term we teach that person to live without us, or to live with someone that does spend time with them.This concerns not only your life partner, but primarily your children.
Children work like litmus paper. They progressively become a particular colour depending on the environment they inhabit the most. Therefore, we need to ensure that we always play a material role in their environment so that nobody else—a malefactor over whom we have no control and about whom we don’t actually know anything—takes them under their wing.
Contribute energy to common moments.You will get back double.
Although in the adult world it is said that time is money, children need more time than money from their parents. Remember, the time we spend on a child creates memories for them. Their toys will be put aside one day, but memories can be carried through life wherever they go.
It might be because of my advanced age, but I don’t remember all the things my parents gave me; what I do remember perfectly is all the important moments they spent with me. They are wonderful memories of when I was the clear priority for them. When they put everything else aside. When they taught me, when they showed me life and the world.
My memory of childhood does not comprise of possessions, 99 per cent of which I cannot remember, but of experiences that remain in my memory and through which my parents will be alive as long as I am.
2. CONCENTRATE When Listening to Children
It’s the most frequently heard phrase:“My children are the most important thing for me.” For a long time I have paid attention not to words, but to actions.Priorities for me are shown by what people spend their time on in the most concentrated way, not what they talk about most frequently.
My life has been most influenced by the people who listened to me – by those who listened to what was bothering me, what I didn’t understand, what I needed help with. They listened to me, so that I could listen to them.
As I child there were many things I didn’t understand.For example, why I listened to fairy tales in which good defeated evil, when in real life this was not the case. Whereas Jack was always successful, I felt weak against evil, uncertain, confused. Whereas all the animals stood with the prince, I was often alone against evil.
I got to know betrayal, defeats, wounds. I missed out on love, victories, fulfilled desires. Today I know how difficult it is to talk to children—how to show them that they are genuinely important to us and equal. And that they aren’t just empty words.
3. Show Children a POSITIVE Solution to Problems
Children may not always be very good at listening to their parents, but they’re certainly good at imitating them. They may not get specific directions or steps from their parents, but they do get a pattern of behaviour from them—their approach to life, to behaviour regarding themselves, to dealings with others, to solving problems.
When we argue with our partner.When we’re at the end of our tether.When we don’t know what to do and, in a rage, blame everything on others…Remember that those two little eyes are watching us.Remember that those two little ears are listening to us.And remember that every time we resign ourselves to something or show ourselves unable to constructively deal with a problem we teach our children to do the same when they grow up.
The goal of a parent is to ensure that their child is able to get by once they no longer have their parent to hand.Many parents behave as though they should deal with their children’s problems themselves their whole life.However, it is better for them to teach their children—through their own examples—how to deal with problems on their own, using their own head, own courage, and own energy.
I know how painful it is for parents to see their children lose.A child has to learn, though, that failure is not the opposite of success, but part of the path to success.A child has to understand how important it is to find the path to success themselves and that not only are they the best person to do this, but they will be all the more happier when they succeed ALONE.
We should work with small children as though they are adults.We have to allow them to come to us with their problems and proposed solutions.It is our job, as adults, to merely supervise how they themselves try to get the best possible results.
Children need to know that we are always with them. Not only in the good times, but also in the bad. That they can turn to us at any time, share something with us at any time, get our advice at any time, but that we will be no more than the light in the tunnel of their life. We will light their way, but they have to travel alone. Because THEY CAN.Because they WILL COPE.With our support.
A defeat? Have a cry. But also give thanks. After defeat you are not the same person you were before. You are more knowledgeable.
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