Did you listen to your parent’s advice when you were a kid? Did you do everything they recommended you do? Was the help they gave you worth following? Or did you want to experience the world for yourself?
I get it, there is a scale through which we operate. Some of the advice we listened to and some we ignored. Sometimes we felt the rush of risk-taking was worth it and so jumped in, and other times we heard that voice inside our head and chose to follow the sensible advice of our parents. Some of us went all in with our parent’s, while others went our own way.
Is it so wrong for children to experience life on their own with no input from adults? There is a belief in some African nations that we have no control over the youth, they will turn out as they turn out. The idea is based on the thought of a young tree sapling that is blown by the elements as it grows. Some will grow to be healthy and robust, while others grow wild and crazy. Either way, it is up to the child to figure out his path in life. Maybe this is taking it too far, but it does have a certain poetic ring.
Maybe our job as coaches, teachers and parents is to be the stake that holds a young tree up as it establishes itself in the soil. We stand strong helping it grow straight up. We hold our ground in the storms of life and guide it through those early and often turbulent years. We give it room to grow while working to be flexible enough to move with the growth.
So, a question to ask might be, what do we want in our children’s future? Do we want them all to be earning millions, living in big houses, driving nice cars at the cost of some common human decency? Or would we rather children grow up with a little less material possessions but have a good sense of positive values, live lives that matter, and be good honest, respectful human beings?
Not that both wealth and a good human existence can’t be gained. But, there does exist an emphasis on achievement over contentment with life.
A recent research project surveyed parents and asked what they want for their children. A large number of those surveyed wanted their children to be good, decent human beings and weren’t that concerned with grades. The researchers then asked the children about what they thought their parents wanted from them. The results were the complete opposite, they thought the main focus was on getting high grades, going to a decent college, and getting a well-paid job.
Are we creating a clear message for our children to understand what we want for them? Do our children have a clear sense of purpose and meaning in this fast, busy, noisy world?
I don’t believe they do. I think they are confused and lost. I know many children have issues with not believing they are good enough. This is certainly true for the children Pure Game work with.
To combat this, Pure Game works hard to think about advice that will help children succeed in life. We work hard to put this into a curriculum, to help them navigate the challenges of life. But what if they don’t want to hear it, what then?
That is a question that has me staring up at the ceiling in the wee hours of the night. My thoughts often become self-defeating and hopeless. But then I realize we are at least doing something. All we can do sometimes is put stuff out there and hope it sticks.
This is where YOU can help!
The Pure Game staff has a limited amount of advice, life lessons, and experiences to pull from. We need more.
Take a moment to answer one or all of the following questions:
- If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give to your childhood self?
- What is the biggest lesson you have learned this year?
- What did your parents teach you?
- What is one thing you want to teach your kids?
Either leave a comment below or email me your advice. You will become an Impact Champion because your answers will be passed on to the kids of Pure Game. You will create an impact in a child’s life and all from the comfort of your own laptop.