My daughter is in JK and I’m going to be honest, so far she has shown signs of being a bright little light. From the ability to pin a movie title by the first 5 seconds of the intro to picking up on language nuances of sarcasm and analogy at the age of 4 years has struck me. When it comes time to learn words and putting in effort for something that doesn’t come so easily though, she is a natural human. She doesn’t want to do it, she wants to be given the answer. It’s sort of cute how we start to sound out the letters of a word and then she looks at me to give it away. Do I do it. No way! I have explained to her that the only person that can do the actual learning is her and that I can support her but the ultimate effort must come from her own will. She gets it and then we continue on figuring out the words. Or we put them away to come back to another day.
I realize that the very discipline that I have created for myself through my yoga practice is now something I can begin to teach my daughter how to use to cultivate her own skills. It feels sort of surreal because I can already see a few different skill sets that I know she is capable of growing, but the tough part will be to stand back and allow her to decide which of them she will invest herself into. Being a parent has just so many beautiful aspects to enjoy, and also so many lessons to teach me about how to create an environment that will best allow my child to unravel her own gifts in due time and in their own course.
It isn’t easy to help a 4 yr old understand that instinct isn’t all that can be relied upon for success in life, when up until this point, that is what has ultimately guided her. I remember watching an educational tv show about how human beings operate and we unknowingly gravitate towards putting effort into things that we have a natural ability for. An example of not nurturing a skill with no talent for me was math. In university I knew I had no real math skills going in but I went to every tutorial and lecture, read every text chapter and did every exercise for my psychology stats class. By this time in my academic studies, it was too late and I was lucky to finish with a passing mark. Math always seemed like gibberish to me, I just couldn’t visualize it. So I never really pushed myself to succeed because it seemed so difficult. It ended up making any higher education involving complicated mathematics, unavailable. I don’t want to encourage that behaviour in my children. Yes, I want them to enjoy their natural capabilities and support their growth, but I want most to help them nurture their weaknesses so that they will be more well-rounded individuals who are capable in a myriad of circumstances. This will likely make them unhappy with me at first, but later they will understand why I took the time and effort to encourage them to move into these other more uncomfortable aspects of their lives.
One thing that I have learned and continue to recognize with awe is the eternal understanding that life brings not only joy but many other powerful emotions to help us to understand the fragility of life and the importance of enjoying each day for what it has to offer. Some days there is more positivity and others it is more difficult to work through the parts that make us more resilient and capable but they are equally necessary and worthwhile to be mindful of and experience. Our natural tendency to shy away from challenge and discontent is really a guiding light to learn more about ourselves and to condition ourselves to survive in different circumstances. I mean this from a personal and business perspective. Let’s face it- the business perspective is really the jungle that we must navigate through in modern life. It is a skill that must be openly be taught to our offspring. I am not an expert, but I can teach my children how to genuinely and positively navigate their surroundings to respect those around them AND cultivate a level of comfort for themselves and their families to the best of my abilities. For now, we will work on learning how to read:)
What ways do you like to employ to help teach your children about self discipline? I would be interested to hear your ideas and perspectives on this topic. Hope you all have a wonderful week! Much love to you!