One of the MOST INCREDIBLE things you can do in life is to reveal your own vast potential whilst serving and guiding your children.
A special-forces friend of mine from WWII once said to me “Modern children love their parents, but they are not inspired by them and they certainly do not want to be like them.”
Hearing this had a profound effect on me but it was what he said next that really stunned me.
He then said “My Father was the sort of man that led by example, with courage and made me want to be just like him. Your generation doesn’t have that any more so you feel lost and misguided.”
I didn’t even have a response to his comment and thought about it for a long time afterwards. Probably because I was raised without my Father and the men I did have in my family were far from healthy role models.
We now have a society where Fathers and their children are becoming more and more disconnected.
Is it that our children don’t respect us, or, is it possibly that we don’t respect ourselves?
Perhaps due to our own failings we put immense pressure on our children to become something we were too distracted or too afraid to become.
Or perhaps it is due to our own financial success in life (or lack of it) that we struggle to recognise as parents the unspoken pressure we place on our children to be “enough”.
Sadly a sense of helplessness or even anger about the disconnection between those who are nearest, and so incredibly dear to us, can start to poison a family unit.
The most daunting prospect as a parent is messing it up.
It’s not entirely our fault.
We are so engrained within ‘the system’ we don’t recognise any alternative.
Influences outside of our control can take disproportionate importance ~ news, social media, mean “friends”, rogue family members (we all have one at least!). The pressure to adapt to each micro society we are part of can be huge.
it’s also no secret that men in general are often humiliated on TV and in movies, often depicted as the useless clown.
It is no wonder therefore that our children are struggling at times, especially boys who are taught that masculinity is wrong as are the more aggressive and competitive feelings that accompany growing boys and young men.
What’s happened to those days gone by when children aspired to be like and guided by their parents?
Nowadays we don’t expect our children to introduce themselves as “Uhtred, son of Uhtred” as the lead character does in the series ‘The Last Kingdom’ set in the 9th Century AD! However, we do seem to have gone so far the other way that children are specifically going out of their way to not be like their mothers or fathers.
The human race has evolved and thrived through collaboration.
By serving others, we serve ourselves.
For us as Fathers the change from selfish to selfless can be instrumental in facilitating our own personal change. To be a Father, a man, we must lead from the front but also be last in comfort and provisions, protecting and providing for our family first and foremost.
This change in our sense of self can be a monumentally hard transition ~ one that no one can ever prepare you for ~ but it is one of the most powerful opportunities in your life for personal growth.
This change to becoming selfless is far more likely to succeed in achieving the changes you would like to make in yourself, because it is devoid of the usual self-obsessive therapy and egocentric personal development courses we, as a society, are immersed in.
Since I started coaching over 30 years ago in the 1980’s I have seen an exponential shift in society.
We are living in a rapidly changing world.
So rapid, we can’t predict the world we are preparing our children for.
In addition to this, we have given far too much responsibility over to schools, the media and our government in terms of how our children are influenced.
Our culture has become all about shifting responsibility on to someone or something else.
it has also produced the harmful trend of feminising boys and men. This isn’t just having a harmful effect on males but on girls, woman, families and an entire society.
In turn, this has increased the growing disconnection between parents and their children, especially Fathers who were the natural protectors of the family unit.
By expecting more of our childrens’ outside education and influences we expect less of ourselves as parents.
If you are reading this, you know that parenting is not all about mechanics.
By mechanics I mean school runs, sports club taxi services, healthy meals, days out and holidays. No.
It is SO much more…
It is being prepared to face the emotional challenges our children will face as they transition to adulthood. It is being that leading light for them in the dark. It is showing them the way of becoming a man or a woman through example.
“Prior to meeting Simon I had moved between varying fitness regimes, gyms, various self help schemes, guides and practises all to try and find a way of dealing with family life, work, health and the ups and downs of ones very existence and place within society. None of this seemed to work and if they did it was only temporary. I was lost and trying to make sense of a difficult family situation, blaming myself for failings as a parent …
… Since working with Simon I have developed a deeper understanding of myself and who I want to be. His methods have delivered a greater clarity of direction for me and have made me take responsibility for where I am now, not only as a human being but as a husband and parent.“
Testimonial from Steve ~ Business Owner and father of two
Sadly, most of us have at least experienced our children being bullied, either physically or emotionally. A surprising number of children are demonstrating addictions from an early age.
Many parents are now facing a disconnection from their children. Worse still some children are self-harming, suffering from mental health issues or tragically even attempting suicide.
That sense of utter helplessness and uncertainty as a parent can be all consuming.
Thankfully amongst all the sleepless nights, tantrums, tears and disagreements there are golden nuggets of laughter, hugs and pure love and unfettered happiness.
These are the moments we hold on to and yet it’s not enough.
We will buy books on ‘how to connect with your child’ or ‘how not to be angry’ in an effort to increase the number of “golden nugget” moments in the household.
We don’t need any more parenting advice bombarded at us, nor do we need to be told how to micro manage every aspect of raising our children.
We need a way of life with a bedrock of cast iron values; a philosophy of living that will inspire our children and despite a rapidly changing world, it is these values that will remain unchanging and timeless for anyone that wants to live a life of real meaning and purpose.
Whilst accepting and embracing our rapidly changing environment, a bedrock of living a life with unwavering values will prepare us as parents and our children for the world of tomorrow.
Revealing your own vast potential through serving your immediate family is one of the most incredible things you can do…