Thursday, April 22, 2010
It's rare that I read an article and have the immediate response to repost it and get it out to anyone I know who will read it - but that's exactly how I felt when I started reading THIS ARTICLE about "Building your Children's Resiliency". My husband sent it to me (no, I'm not an avid reader of the "Art of Manliness" - but I'm glad he is!) after reading it and finding it entirely insightful.
I agree. READ IT.
You don't have to be a parent to appreciate its relevancy, its application, or its candor. To sum up the article, it explores the importance of children becoming resilient in today's world - and how well-intentioned self-esteem building parenting methods of the past have backfired by producing children more vulnerable to fears, depression, and other issues than perhaps ever before. It then gives what I found to be extremely logical, helpful, and fundamental skills of how to communicate with your children in a way that encourages them to develop a healthy and balanced worldview.
While I found this incredibly insightful as a new mother, I couldn't help but realize that these skills have yet to be mastered by many adults as well. In other words - it's not just how I communicate to my child, but it is how I communicate to people that inevitably shape the way I look at the world and how people respond to me.
One of the best things the author of the article says is actually in a postscript:
"PS-What goes for how you criticize your kid, carries over to how your criticize your spouse. Remember, your child is watching and modeling your behavior."
I couldn't agree more.
While many of us would agree that "communication" is the key to any healthy relationship - what are we investing of ourselves in order to develop that?
How many times have you heard, thought, or said "It's not what you say...it's HOW you say it"? Yet all we do is repeat ourselves, nagging and nagging for change to come about. What does that say of us - considering that the definition of insane is continuing to do the same action while expecting a different result. Hmm.
I'd encourage you to read this article and think of one thing you can do to help communicate more effectively with someone you love. Maybe it's your child. Maybe it's your spouse. Maybe it's even a parent, sibling, boss or co-worker.
Josh and I feel strongly about choosing to empathize with each other when it comes to communicating. It's not always easy (ok, it's never easy) but I'm always amazed at how much more understood I feel when he puts himself in my shoes. It takes time - and practice - we've taken multiple classes on the subject and still have to be intentional about making time to show understanding to each other. There are a LOT of resources out there if you are interested in pursuing greater communication in your family. I guarantee it will be worth your while.
Of course...the glue that holds this all together isn't coming from a blog or a class, but from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Lucky for us - there's a BOOK for that too. ;)