How Do We Keep Our Children Growing and Learning?

First, we need to ensure that they keep growing.  Growth promotes growth.  When a child gains a new skill or discovers something new, they get excited,  grow in confidence, and continue growing. Some kids are naturally inclined with a nature that is willing to face challenges and grow.  In addition, some refuse age appropriate limits and create considerable angst for their parents as a result. Will, my two year old grandson is one of these kids who prefers to experience life head on – regardless of the risk involved.  He wants to “do it myself” like his older sister and brother. He has no fear of getting hurt or fear of failing.  He will jump right in and attempt things well beyond his years.  A few weeks ago, he quietly disappeared- never a good sign! He had located the keys to their Expedition, opened the heavy door, climbed up into the seat, put the key into the ignition and had the engine running. The garage door was open and the two year old was trying to put the car in gear when his parents found him!  Motivating him to try new things will likely not be an issue as he has a built in “nothing is impossible” mindset. Will however needs wise boundaries, faithfully set and enforced,  so that his unbound energy can be directed productively – and safely. What makes a child quit growing and become complacent instead? Mostly it has to do with their mindset – how the challenge of growth is viewed from within. Will’s six year old cousin Jude is more hesitant by nature.  Behind...

What happened to Carly?

Sitting on the edge of her dorm room bed, Carly pondered her next steps.  She yearned for a “restart” button that would send her back to the very first day of class, when she had started out with high aspirations. With only two weeks left, not only was her first year of college almost over but her ambitions to become a nurse were also finished.  Unless she found a school that would accept her dismal transcript, she was likely done with college all together. How had it all gone so wrong in just her first year?   Her heart pounded rapidly as anxiety once again threatened to choke her heart.  And how could she tell her parents about the letter from the registrar?  Her influential father had paved the way for her, convincing the admissions officer that Carly’s high school transcript really did not reflect the student she would be in college. Carly has promised her parents that she would rise up and work hard, that paying for her college tuition would not be a waste. She crumpled up the letter, and threw it across the room at the pile of dirty clothes littering the floor. Not invited back! How fair was that? Didn’t they understand that she, as a freshman, needed time to adjust – time to get used to the expectations and pressure of college? No one seemed to care enough to hold her accountable. Sure, she got morning wake up calls from her mom, but after a brief exchange of words, she habitually rolled over and went back to sleep, too exhausted from the night before. Besides,...