SHRINK RAP: Journeys & Goals
It is important that parents establish a home in which children feel loved, nurtured and supported; free to explore without fear of failure. Children need to feel connected to a system that provides them with values, morals, and priorities. Supplementary systems can be in settings other than the family, such as church or temple, community organizations, or heritage groups, but to be most effective the process should start with being connected to the family. When outside organizational support is combined with the family structure, the positive effects on children's views are dramatically enhanced. They can focus on journeys and goals.
Parents should teach children to stay focused on goals but never to miss the journey along the way. The central idea presented should be that life is not a goal, but a series of journeys and goals. If one only stays focused on goals, one misses life, but without goals the journeys become meaningless. Too often parents focus on the end result, the goal, rather than placing equal emphasis on the process, the journey. Even education should not be looked upon solely as a goal to be reached.
Education is most certainly a journey with a goal, and in many respects one of the most important. Many of our fondest memories and many of our biggest struggles can be attributed to our educational years. These years are the foundation upon which many other journeys and goals are built and are the launching pad for others. Education, both formal and informal, should always be presented as a priority. Appropriate change can only take place with excellent education. As children grow, their education should continue to expand. The more they learn the more they should feel a need to know. Rather than quenching the thirst for knowledge, education should whet their appetites for more.
Compassion along with other positive traits should be blended into assets that complement the self assurance. In many respects we should teach children to believe they somehow have the obligation to others for what has been given to them. If we all teach care and concern for others as tools for moving along a journey toward a goal, we all move toward a better world.
Children should know that their family values life and education as goals. Do not assume that children have
this information. You need to communicate this by word and by deed. Children should believe that to the best of their abilities at that time and in every respect they are ready to embark upon this next goal directed journey.
Children may become frustrated in an effort to control things in their environments and sometimes lose sight of goals or feel the journey is too cluttered. They need to realize certain things are beyond their control. As they mature further, we would hope they are granted the strength to change the things that are within their control, the acceptance of those things not within their control, and the knowledge to know the difference. Make children feel confident stepping into a role in which others can rely upon them, and, yet at the same time, they can help others fulfill their own potentials.
Teach your children that life is both a journey and a goal.
Tikkun Olam- heal the world. Leave it a better place when you leave.