Listen to this Chapter
A Future Promise
Look To The Future
As parents, we have a natural desire to protect our children and keep them close. While it’s important to make sure that our children feel safe in life we also have the responsibility for preparing our children to be able to eventually live life on their own. Ultimately parents and teachers share a common goal in caring for children. Both are trying to help provide kids with the tools necessary to eventually become independent, productive members of society. In addition, they are trying to help children see a vision of their future and identify realistic goals that they can work towards. When families and schools work together to accomplish these goals, kids reap the benefits. They become more resilient. They are better prepared for the next phase of their lives. They will be ready to take go to college, vocational schools, or jump right into their careers.
To Prepare Your Children…
Families that are successfully preparing their children to be productive adults understand some important concepts. First, they understand that resilience matters. Children that learn to be resilient carry it with them into adulthood. And, since challenges are inevitable, resilience is important for the transition into adulthood.
Finding the balance of being supportive, but also encouraging independence, can be difficult. Sometimes, we need to allow kids space to try to work through challenges on their own. Rather than immediately helping out, we can give them time to come up with solutions on their own. Simple practices, like asking children to solve their own problems, can build their confidence. For example, if a child presents you with a problem or difficult situation, you can turn it back around. You can ask:
“what do you think some possible solutions might be?”
Encourage your kids to participate in their problem-solving. Take the role of a supportive collaborator rather than the main problem solver. By the time kids get to high school, they can be very adept at problem-solving. They will realize that they can do hard things, and their confidence and sense of optimism will grow. They are developing resilience by becoming resourceful and not giving up easily.
Help Them Find Passion
Help your kids explore their passions and their interests. Sit down with your kids and help them find things they are good at or interested in. Teach your children that they can learn new skills. Learning new skills teaches them the process of learning. If they are good learners, they will be ready for college and their future careers.
This skill is critical! In fact, readiness is one of the biggest factors contributing to a successful transition into college or a meaningful career. What do we mean by readiness? Well, kids have both the knowledge and skills to take the next step. They gain knowledge in school. But, schools don’t always teach many of the skills they will need. Often, that’s up to you, their parent. You can help them to be resourceful, increase their resilience, and teach them to love the learning process.
Help Them Identify What They Are Good At
From a very early age, all the way through the teenage years, children should identify things that they like to do and are good at. We should be talking to our children regularly about what they might want to do or be when they grow up. As a starting point, you may want to find out what subject in school is your child’s favorite. Help them explore how other people who like that subject make a living as grownups.
This is also a great excuse to just talk to your kids. Ask them about the things that they like. Even if their tastes seem foreign to us, we can still explore that with them.
- Discussions about video games can turn into discussions about technology and innovation.
- Discussions about sports can turn into discussions about health and fitness.
- Discussions about music and entertainment can turn into discussions about art and expression.
Children with broad exposure to ideas and experiences have a higher likelihood of being able to set specific goals. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive:
- Walk around a college campus if one is near you.
- Tour a museum to learn about people or explore historical locations together.
- If possible, bring your child to work to see what you every day.
- Arrange a virtual tour by exploring areas or skills online and discussing them.
When your children know that you are interested in their interests, they can become more focused on pursuing them long term. In addition, the time together can help strengthen your relationship as well.
Resilient People Set Goals
We learned about the “power of a future promise” in the section on rock bottom resilience. That future promise is another way of describing a goal. Resilient people are typically goal-oriented. They recognize the power of setting their sights on something and working toward it.
Help your kids make a successful transition to their future career by making goals and working toward them right now. It’s never too young to start. Every time we help our kids set a goal then work toward it, we are preparing them to successfully transition into adulthood. We are also developing their resilience.
When we believe we can fulfill a future promise we’ve made to ourselves, we have hope. Hope is a vital ingredient to resilience. Cheer your kids on as they work toward a career or college goal. You will tap into the power of that future promise.
Identify what your children are good at? What are their passions? What are some things you can do as their caregiver to help them develop opportunities to enhance or use those talents and passions?
Finding something to look forward to, something that can give you a vision, or the incentive to keep going, can make all the difference in your life. It can be something small, or it can be something bigger, like a future event. If you can identify something to look forward to—you’ll be more apt to find the resilience to get through your circumstance. ”Christian Moore – The Resilience Breakthrough, page 239