This week, we focus on our purpose as parents to be present, positive, and intentional in our relationship with our children.
Clear Waters by Kevin MacLeod
Thank you for joining me on Family of Virtues. Remember to click on subscribe, to receive automatic notifications. When new episodes launch, please follow us on Facebook and Instagram @familyofvirtues. Welcome to our virtues reflections. I am using the official virtues project cards from virtues project.com and you can also use the app called virtues cards available on the app store and on Google play. Let's get started. Purposefulness. Purposefulness is being aware that each of us is here for a reason. We value our lives by discovering the part we are uniquely meant to play. We discern our intention and focus on it mindfully. We visualize it happening. We set goals and achieve them step by step resisting distractions. We give each task, single minded, concentration and excellence. We invest our full enthusiasm into even the simplest job. In the flow of our lives. There are many turns and unexpected events. Within it, there are lessons to be learned and gifts to receive. Purposefulness is trusting the journey. Parenting is our journey. Our lives are challenging enough, especially at this time during the pandemic. Now young ones are around all the time. Testing our patience Sometimes we wake up late. We are not ready for online school, or we have a young toddler that decides to throw a tantrum because we snatched something away from them. Sometimes we may not have had enough time to even have our cup of tea or coffee. The first two cups we've made have gone cold. As we run around crazily to try and ensure that our children are safe and out of danger and learning at the same time, this is a very draining process for us as parents. but let us take this opportunity to discover the part that we are uniquely meant to play. Being purposeful is part of the journey. And if we keep our goals in front of us, then we need to create strategies to ensure that we achieve these goals. Step by step. Rome was not built in a day. And our children are going to need that constant reminding, the nurturing. And in fact, we now have the opportunity to spend this time with them. In mo time in many generations before us and in no time in generations, after ours will parents and children have all of this time together. Now it is our choice that in this unique situation, in this unique time, are we being purposeful? Are we strengthening these bonds with our children? We must always remember that our children may act or behave badly, but it is not the child that is bad. Children that need the most love will ask for it in the most unloving ways. It just means that a child is going through a whole host of emotions and their tiny bodies are not able to handle it. So they go into a complete outburst. It is our role at this time to be patient. To be purposeful to remind ourselves that during these unexpected events, such as a tantrum or an argument that we remember our goal and take an action to respond to the situation that gets us towards that goal. So screaming and yelling at an already disturbed child will not help us and will not help the child. The child needs to learn that when someone is upset, how do we respond? How do we comfort? How do we empathize? Once a child understands these skills, he will also learn the ability to self regulate and to provide comfort to his peers, to his relatives when they need it the most. We must take this opportunity to embrace the teachable moments that come our way. What can we learn from the screaming child? How do we respond to the child? Maybe the child wants something that we have not been able to understand. Is she tired? Is he hungry? Is she scared? Is he hurt? Were we able to find out what happened, how it happened? You see, when we ask a child, why did you do this? Automatically, really using words that accuse the child of doing something wrong. And what happens when we are accused? We get defensive. If any friend or relative asks us a question and starts with why, we already take a couple of steps back and hold our arms out. So the best way is to be purposeful. Be intentional, provide our child with comfort. Maybe it's a hug and it could be a really long one. Followed by a cup of water and maybe just some quiet time, maybe the child just needed to feel safe. Once things have calmed down. If the child has not started speaking, we can always start with, I saw you really upset and that made me concerned. I care about you. Do you want to tell me what got you so mad? Actively listen. And do not at this time, preach to the child. Be a teacher, not a preacher. So listen, just listen, maintain eye contact, provide physical touch, like holding a hand or rubbing the shoulder if it gives him comfort. And then we ask open ended questions, not judgemental ones, but just open ended questions like how did that feel? What was it like for you? What is the hardest thing about this? What do you feel most? If we maintain eye contact and we are genuine in our purpose. Then children will gravitate from, I don't know, to giving us genuine answers, then allow them to come up with their own solutions. What would give you the courage to..? What would be a kind yet firm way to solve this problem? What do you need? How can I support you? Quite often after talking it out, our kids will know what to do. They just needed someone to listen. We should also never forget to acknowledge them after they've shared with us, for their courage, their honesty, their humility, if they are taking responsibility for what they did. Acknowledge them. They need to know this. Parenting with a purpose, takes patience and understanding. So remember, always be considerate to our children by being fully present. Actively listen, when our children are communicating with us, not with a phone in one hand, not while we are standing and they're sitting. At their level, actively listen. And with an older child, if we were busy, when they approached us and we said that we would come back in 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, whatever we said, be trustworthy and reliable, do it. We need to make healthy choices ourselves. Healthy choices that impact our whole family. Our family needs to see that we are modeling the right behavior, the right attitude, everything from our diet, the way we respond to situations, the way we take things lightly and know how to laugh things off by integrating time with the family in our day. So everyone knows it is important that we spend time together. And even integrate ways to honor our spirit by going on bike rides together, praying together, walking together, always having a ritual or a routine that we do together. So, yes, although parenting may be hard if we bring our sense of purpose and our intention to it, look at it positively, then we will be able to focus on the virtues that we need to respond to situations as they arise. The practice of purposefulness. I discern my true calling. I create a clear vision for this time in my life. So when we parent the purpose, then automatically we will have sufficient time in our lives to also allocate to our other interests with a clear and purposeful mind. If we do not parent with purpose, then it will be difficult to purposefully complete our duties and responsibilities. I set goals for achieving my purpose the same way we set goals at work. We need to set goals for ourselves and our family as a collective unit. What do we prioritize as a family and what can we do together to help achieve these goals? I concentrate fully on what I am doing. So when our children need us, then our full concentration is required to help them solve their problems. I enjoy giving excellence to each task. Let's be genuine with our intentions. If we are cooking with them, then we are meant to see the whole activity out, not just leave it halfway. And our attitude of excellence will demonstrate to our children that work is worth doing, when it has done well with excellence they learn from us. I find the opportunity in every experience. Recognize teachable moments as they come along. Every moment is an opportunity. Victories, defeats injuries, arguments, disagreements. There are so many opportunities where we need to learn from each other. So let us have the wisdom to find opportunity in every circumstance to convert the situation into a positive one. I am thankful for the gift of purposefulness. It gives my life true value. Thank you. Once again, for joining me for our virtues reflection. Stay tuned for this Friday's episode with guest Pam Mundy, as we further discuss purposeful parenting. 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