A few months ago I came across a post written by Maya Frost introducing her book “The New Global Student”. I ordered her book immediately, read it, and then invited everyone else in the family to read it. They did, much to my delight, and as a result, the way we look at “education” completely shifted.
Today, I received an email from Maya who is changing course. Instead of focusing on “studying abroad, saving on college costs, avoiding student debt and getting a personalized international education”, she is moving in another direction. She is growing along with her life and taking her own advice. To live outside of the box.
She sums up in her post, what I try to communicate on a daily basis over the last 20 years as a parent educator.
1)“Fear causes paralysis.” You cannot parent effectively from a place of fear. Get informed. Gather new information. Practice. Take risks. Make mistakes. And find strength in my confidence and belief that YOU can do this and YOU are the best parent for your child, until you have developed your own confidence.
2) “I can inform, cajole and cheer (and I continue to do so, with active members in the forum) but in the end, the decision to overcome fear in order to soar is not mine to make.” My business partner and I talk about our lives with our families, the deep connections we have with each of our children (9 between the two of us), the joy we feel when we are in their company and we marvel at how fortunate we are. The feelings we have are indescribable. We arrived in this place because we pushed through our fears and we work tirelessly in our job as parents.
3) “Exhaustion limits perspective.” I say this all the time in my program. In order to remain emotionally available to your children, you must quit your jobs as the maid, the bottle washer, the chauffeur, the head-chef, and personal assistant. When you are exhausted from managing your children’s lives (plus your own) you have no reserves left when your kids really need you. We have a choice. We can choose to remain emotionally available, so we are there for our kids when they truly need us to be present and accessible, or we can fill our lives up waiting on perfectly capable kids, performing useless tasks, so we can openly complain about how much we DO for our kids and how lucky they are to have us.
4) “It’s easier to ignore than to innovate.” In the case of Parenting On Track™, one of my favorite and most powerful strategies is to indeed ignore. The difference is that we are intentionally ignoring what it is you do not want. We do this so that we do not find ourselves behaving worse than our children. We do this so we do not fuel the fire or feed the weed, as I like to say. We do this so we have creative energy to develop a roadmap for success, a plan, a pro-active strategy that will move our entire family closer to what it is they want. When we ignore what we do not want and we focus on what we want, we step into the innovative process. We take chances, we learn to trust ourselves and we share this with our children.
5) “The world is changing, and ultimately, it is up to each of us to decide if, when, and how we will change along with it.” The strategies our parents used are no longer valid. We must adapt our parenting styles with the ever-changing world we live in.
6) “Life goes on.” In the end all that matters is the relationship you have with your kids. We are not perfect. Our children are not perfect. Do your children know, believe, feel like you are their biggest champion? If that is true for them, that’s all you need.
In tribute to Maya and so she knows that people are taking advantage of all she offers, here is a recap of what’s happening at my house.
Colin is pursuing an education that is completely “hands on”, out of the ordinary, and is absolutely suited to his unique personality and nature. As a result of his positive experience in taking risks and following his passion, he has applied to Peace Corp and fully expects to begin his 2 year volunteer service in 2011. Talk about a non-traditional education that holds up against ……
Zoe, who graduated this year, was accepted to Whittier College, but decided to travel abroad for a year spending 26 -40 weeks volunteering in an early education program in Argentina. Her love of children, travel and Spanish inspired her to “think outside of the box” and to jump into life, before she committed to a classroom setting. Her confidence and willingness to do this, was in part, the result of her reading Maya’s book.
Kiera and Brady are still in the process of examining all of their options and oh what fun it is. Instead of SAT tutoring, financial aid paperwork, and pulling hair out about application deadlines, student aid and writing entrance essays they are enjoying this summer and engaging in conversations about possibilities post high school. It is pushing all of us in the family into re-examining our lives in general.
Click here to learn more about Maya Frost.
If you want to raise confident, cooperative, capable, respectful and responsible children in the 21st Century, I created a 12 Chapter multi-media program that walks you through step by step and shows you how to do this. Click here to learn more.
If you are considering purchasing the Parenting On Track™ program or contemplating when or if to dive into the Do Nothing Say Nothing week of the program. I invite you to read Maya’s latest blog post.