Our habit this week is Be Open to Continuous Learning. Teaching our children to live each day with this perspective makes them more resilient and open to the freshness of life. I think that this is an area that adults need to practice more than children. Children seem to be much more open to new ideas and learning than adults.
Take an inventory of the amount of learning your child has accomplished this year. If you account for each intelligence: interpersonal, naturalist, kinesthetic, visual-spatial, logical-mathematical, linguistic, musical, and intrapersonal, you might just experience some wonder and awe. This growth is the result of constantly believing in the unique capacity of our children’s mind and encouraging them to learn something new everyday. Constantly remind your child that today is the first day of the rest of their life! Carpe Diem! As we wake to each new day, opportunities, challenges, and wonders await.
Knowledge is doubling every 18 months and by the year 2021 it will double every 13 hours. It is essential that our children learn how to sift through the nonsense knowledge and seek what is true and valuable. Being open to ideas and new knowledge is what has made our country the leader in innovation and invention. Take the time to ask your child that age old dinner table question, “What did you learn in school today?”. Help them to realize that everyday is a unique opportunity to grow into a better version of ourselves. Here are a few ideas to stretch this habit:
“Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another.” – John Dewey
“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.” – Louis L’Amour
“There is no finish line.” – Nike Corporation
Bold – Adventuresome – Courageous – Explorative – Daring – Vagabond – Venture – Entrepreneur – Free Spirit – Just Do It!
These are all words and phrases to describe the habit of the week: Taking Responsible Risk. When a child experiences safety, unconditional love, acceptance, and is free from undue judgement, the freedom to explore ideas and new ways of creating things is undaunted. Most professionals, artists, engineers, doctors, craftsmen, and teachers are expected to take responsible risk. When they do, our quality of life improves. This habit is only considered a habit when adults provide freedom to practice. Many times responsible risk causes us to fail forward. After persistent effort is made (and often many more failures), learning occurs –children experience empowerment and efficacy to risk again. Take some time this week to share personal or historical stories about great adventures that required responsible risk. Remind your child of the times they also took risk and enjoyed the victory.
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T.S. Elliot
“The only way to truly succeed, is to risk failure.” – Bobby Jindal
Wonder, as a noun, causes appreciation, excitement, and sometimes stupefaction. As a verb, wonder makes us want to know something more and be creative. Consider the multitude of inventions that all started with the question, “I wonder what would happen if I …”. Great thinkers consider what might be possible with the improbable. Planes would never have flown, music would never have been sung, and bridges never built had somebody not wondered. Allowing and encouraging wonder let’s our children realize that a box only stores what already exists; thinking outside of the box let’s our imagination redesign the shape and size or our boxes.
- Heart – share something wonderful and awesome about your family.
- Mind – research an inventor and examine how they came up with an invention.
- Body – sign up for a race.
- Soul – provide quiet time for wondering. Turn off the electronic noise and wonder.
“Wonder rather than doubt is the root of all knowledge.” – Abraham Joshua Heschel
“You only lose energy when life becomes dull in your mind. Your mind gets bored and therefore tired of doing nothing… Get interested in something! Get absolutely enthralled in something! Get out of yourself! Be somebody! Do something… The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have.” – Norman Vincent Peale
“I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
“Wonders never cease, as long as we never cease to wonder.” – Ziggy (cartoon)