Parents – this blog is for you. Picture me handing you a hero T-shirt. Consider it a uniform; find fellow heroes and huddle up!
School is in session. Parents, you’re celebrating the return of routine…for another few days. In the beginning, the students are celebrating that most of the homework is for their parents!
And some version of struggle – big or small – is coming closer. If it’s the small version of struggle – that’s good. Tension is required to grow. If it’s a bigger version – responses from parents and children can get confusing, at best.
When children struggle — when, not if — my professional perspective is to look first at the causes and not just at the symptoms.
The good news is – one of the causes of a child’s struggle is often their parents. Yes – I meant to say that – and I offer this thought with great hope and no shame.
There may be a part of this parenting story we have forgotten; may I have the privilege of reminding you?
Parents, ultimately you get to be the heroes in your family’s story. There is a battle going on in all of our lives – and you get to model how to fight it.
You are not designed to be just the chauffeurs, cooks, cheerleaders, providers, event planners, uniform washers, and organizers of your children’s lives.
You are designed to be their heroes – the ones that have an admirable ambition for your family – and for the world, and who battle the challenges that keep your family from enjoying the fruit of this ambition.
And I think, if you’re honest, one of your ambitions is that your children will one day be heroes, not just celebrities.
Our world needs heroes – people whose impact and influence is for the good of all – not just for the good of themselves.
So you get to model a heroic lifestyle for your children – you get to impact and influence your families for good – so your children can impact and influence their families for good.
They’ll then know how to impact and influence the world for good, too.
What is a heroic lifestyle? Three simple elements:
A heroic lifestyle –
- (1) has a selfless ambition – that your family does more than survive, they thrive – no matter what it requires of you,
- (2) that battles the challenges that keep your family from thriving, and
- (3) that offers others (including your children) a plan to battle the challenges that keep them from thriving, too.
When our children are not thriving – our family is struggling.
Our task as heroes is nothing less than to develop our children into the heroes they are created to be – whether they look like heroes today or not.
Our duty as heroes is to see in them what they can’t yet see in themselves…and to call it forth and cultivate it so that one day they can see it, too.
Too many of our children can’t clearly see who they’re created to be. This is evidenced in the ways they are not motivated by mature goals – and in the ways they’re stuck in an immature world.
They’re content with lesser things that numb the pain of hitting a bull’s eye on a small world target.
Or they’re very discontent – because either they don’t really see any target for their lives very clearly,
– or because if they have a clear target – they’re frustrated with the obstacles in their way, and the false traditions we seem to be ignoring – that keep them from thriving.
Now we’re back to the good news we started with – one of the causes of a child’s struggle is often their parents – and I again offer this idea with great hope and no shame.
You are the target setters and target clarifiers in your families and in the lives of your children.
You are the ones who battle the challenges that keep your children from thriving – and train them in the strategies that teach them to battle the challenges with you.
And you are the ones who equip and train your children with strategies so they can hit this admirable target you are aiming at together.
You get to inspire them to choose their own admirable targets, too.
You are the ones that direct their lives and order their steps and establish the culture in your homes – so that as adults they are well fueled and well trained to live a heroic lifestyle.
One more distinguishing – and vital – idea about a heroic lifestyle – it is the only lifestyle that is deeply satisfying.
We are all created to be heroes – nothing less. Our kingdom may be as large as the world or as intimate as our marriages and individual families – but we are all heroes by design.
When we settle for anything less – when we settle for celebrity status, or when we celebrate awards for performance alone – we are setting our children up for something less than they are created to be.
In this way, we are setting them up to need pain relief. We are setting them up for addictions and distractions and a self-focused life.
We are setting them up to connect in toxic relationships – to be bullies, or to be the victim of bullies, to see relationships as us vs. them.
We are setting them up to perhaps just destroy evildoers instead of disarm evil, or to fight or flight instead of persevere in the careful and arduous pursuit of reconciliation and justice.
We are setting them on a course – for themselves, their families, and their future – to be less than big enough to set both the oppressed and the oppressors free.
Only the life of a hero is a deeply satisfying, full, and free life.
You can be the hero.
Being a hero is not the same as being a fixer or an enabler or a manager or a pleaser or even someone who offers a good program or who has a reputation of running a tight ship or a well-oiled machine.
Only a hero brings up fellow heroes. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Apples come from apple trees. Figs come from fig trees.
Fixers come from fixer trees. Pleasers come from pleaser trees. Rebels come from rebel trees. Slaves come from compliance trees. Abusers come from abuser trees.
Heroes come from hero trees.
The coolest part is no one is born a hero. We can’t be heroes on our own.
For any of us to become a hero tree ourselves – we have to be the fruit of a hero tree.
We have to be genetically modified – so we can have what we don’t naturally possess. We have to be the product of another’s selfless ambition – on our behalf.
If we are going to be heroes, we have be grafted (connected) to God — and to others who are heroes – so that His nature becomes our nature – and so we can learn from each other to live a deeply satisfying life of selfless ambition.
We get to be heroes to each other. We get to offer to others – and to our children, our family and friends – what they don’t have on their own.
And they get to offer us what we need, too.
This is the clearly defined target of my online class –
connecting…and reconnecting – at home.
The goal of this class is to offer you a way:
– to huddle up with other heroes, and connect with others who will help you impact and influence your relationships for good – especially the relationships in your family.
We’ll look closely at three key life tools:
- our relationships,
- our habits, and
- the ideas we trust –
and we’ll be honest about the impact and influence of the tools in our toolboxes right now.
If you’d like to know the details about the class – the cost, what you will experience, and what will be expected – please visit the contact page on this website, and comment “connecting – and reconnecting – at home” in the message box.
You’ll receive updates and more information about the class – scheduled to last for seven weeks and to launch on Oct. 1, 2017.
If you’re one of the next 20 contacts – you’ll reserve a spot in the inaugural launch class – limited to 50 heroes – 30 of which have already RSVP’d.
The inaugural launch class is being offered at a significant discount compared to future classes; as a hero in the first class, your cost will be only $49.
Watch for an exciting remodel of our website – coming soon – that will allow us to offer you a way to register and pay directly on our site.