What is your measure of success?
My hope is that my children will grow into confident adults with a sense of well being. I imagine them in a career that feels fulfilling. I imagine a life with healthy relationships. Health, happiness, independence, financial freedom… all these things are part of success.
But how do we as parents help our children get there?
Just yesterday, I attended an all day conference with guest speaker Dr Vanessa LaPointe, a psychologist from Vancouver, B.C. She spent 6 hours answering this very question and I must say that she had the ability to keep my interest for an entire day! Here’s her book:
I will try to give a quick summary of her ideas here.
Basically the ability to achieve success comes from our ability to adapt. And our ability to adapt is based on brain function.
So how to you help your child grow a healthy brain?
Love. And Play.
Of course there is more to it than just that but in a way it really is just that simple.
As parents, we need to focus more on the relationship than on getting them to behave. If we see behaviour we don’t like, it is best to think of that child as struggling and consider how best to support the child through that struggle.
Significant adults in children’s lives need to be in charge, they need to be loving, they need to be present. Firmness and kindness is needed at just the right balance. We need to give children time to play. And that play needs to come from within the child and be focused on the journey rather than the end result.
Want to read more? Get the book! I have not read it yet but by listening to the author speak, I know it is worth the money you will spend.
Do you have a highly sensitive child? There’s a section in the book devoted to sensitive children too.
So what does it mean to be successful?
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends. To appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Finally, I’d be interested to know… how do you define success?