Do you like green eggs and ham?
I do not like them, Sam-I-am. I do not like green eggs and ham!
Would you like them here or there?
I would not like them here or there. I would not like them anywhere…
…..I do so like green eggs and ham! Thank you! Thank you! Sam-I-am.
If Sam-I-am can get someone to eat green eggs and ham, what can we do with a bit of persistence? Persistence is one of our three power P’s! Patience, Persistence, and Positivity. Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor is a child. Anything worth importance is worth fighting for. Whether it’s our children, our school, or our country – persistent hope and faith in the value of our time and energy toward these things will pay off. It takes three to twenty attempts to learn something. Well, we are blessed with the daily company of our children for at least 18 years. It’s not an option for us to stop parenting. We get this time to persistently and lovingly teach them the truth about life and learning. We are it! We are the people who love them more than any other and have chosen to be their greatest advocate in their journey to learn and lead. When frustrations are high and you aren’t sure what to do next, consider using your paus-itivity button and encourage your persistence. You will never regret using another ounce of love.
In exasperation, we might tell our children, “how many times do I need to tell you…”. In fact we do need to tell, teach, and train our children many times. Persistence has seven times more influence on success than intelligence. Neuropathways don’t become pathways in one or two tries. Just like a path through the woods doesn’t get forged after a couple of passes. Additionally, using alternative strategies to solve problems activates other lobes of the brain and generates creativity. We are challenged to practice patient persistence. It is never an option to give up on our parenting. It requires that we pause, reflect on our strategies, stop doing what doesn’t work, and persist with the same message, but maybe a new strategy.
“Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” – Babe Ruth
“Little by little, one travels far.” – J. R. R. Tolkin
“Be like a postage stamp, stick to something until you get there!” – Josh Billings
Can anyone be a leader? Is the title reserved for the famous or is there a leader within everyone of us? It can be said that extroverts tend to take the lead when it comes to group projects or those with interpersonal intelligence are able to stir up a crowd or team and lead them to victory. It takes the Martin Luther King Jr.’s and John Wooden’s of the world to rally the people and lead us toward greatness. But there is also a leader within every person. We are each gifted with particular talents that only we can give to the communities in which we live. Our personal journey toward the best versions of ourselves is the quest to discover the leader within. There is only one you who is on a journey to find that best version of yourself. Children will believe this if we point it out to them and help them to recognize how they are talented, capable, and uniquely gifted. Give your child opportunities to lead with their interests and abilities. Whatever our brain does a lot of, is what it gets good at. Therefore, providing opportunities to lead will create leaders.
Leadership is an accumulation of other strong habits. When we practice positive and productive intellectual and personal habits of mind, we grow the fruits of a healthy well being. I strongly believe that every child has leadership capacity in his/her own right. The unique gifts and talents brewing within can lead an industry, a sport, a mission, and a household. To educate (educe) or parent (bring forth), is to draw out those qualities and watch a child lead in his/her family, school, and community. When we discover our purpose and develop the skills and confidence to be really good at that purpose, we lead. Our nurturing and encouragement supports this quest and is alive in every child.
The primary habits that make up leadership include two sets that we promote at AACA (TRRFC & 7 Habits of Highly Effective People). Speak, write, and practice these with your children and we’ll watch them grow into great kids and great leaders!
TeRRiFiC Citizens are Trustworthy – Respectful – Responsible – Fair and Caring people who practice the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:
- Be Proactive
- Begin with the End in Mind.
- Put First things First.
- Think Win Win
- Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
- Sharpen the Saw; Heart, Mind, Body, & Soul
“You can do what I cannot do. I can do what you cannot do. Together we can do great things.”- Mother Teresa
Did you know that the origin of the word kindness is nature? Kindness is natural. When we do something kind our lives grow, friendships strengthen, and smiles widen. Kindness is a simple behavior with dramatic consequences. Like every habit, kindness is a choice. It is a choice to be tender, noble, caring, compassionate, and warm hearted. Adding a bit of kindness to someone’s day is like adding a bit of water to a wilted plant. Within minutes the plant comes alive and regains its perky self.
Being with children enlivens my spirit because they have a knack for random acts of kindness. There have been countless times that my mind and spirit are wrapped up in the business of administering a school and along comes a student handing me a little note of appreciation or a drawing of a stick figure with a cowboy hat. Recently I received a note addressed to Misdobee 🙂 Immediately, my administrative mind melts into a puddle of humility. The natural instinct for children to be kind is so obvious. We can nurture this nature by congratulating it, expecting it, and explaining to children how powerful it is. A little kindness goes a long way. Having children practice kindness even when it is difficult nurtures healthy and respectful little people.
Here are a few ways to practice kindness:
- Heart – cheerfully greet a new acquaintance.
- Mind – send a card or letter to a friend or family member.
- Body – draw a stick figure doing a random act of kindness.
- Soul – look up kindness quotes on the internet and hang them on the refrigerator.
“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain
“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Disciplining with Kindness
Correcting our children doesn’t have to be at the cost of kindness. Clear correction and redirection is most effective when we are firm, fair, and friendly. Without any sense of sarcasm, we can discipline our children with a peaceful countenance. Our face usually says a lot more than our words, and sending a message without anger and frustration helps our children to know that they are loved despite their mistake. It doesn’t mean that there won’t be hefty consequences, but we don’t have to add a grouch face to go along with them.
You can’t rush something that you want to last forever. Being patient, persistent, and positive are essential elements to parenting and it starts with patience. Patience is our ability and choice to suppress reactive desires in order to produce a more positive result. Reaching into our frontal lobes and allowing wisdom to speak clearly can give us the extra few seconds to listen with understanding with empathy.
KEYS TO PATIENCE
- Create opportunities to practice patience – It takes 3-20 times to learn something and 30 – 60 times to fix something learned wrong. Let your children know that if they can’t take a no as well as they take a yes, then we need to practice “no” more often.
- Your children are intelligent human beings – treat them that way. Expect that they can learn and anything less won’t give them the dignity that they deserve. They can control their behavior when we consistently expect them to.
- Slow down your response time. Put a pause on your response. When our children want our attention, help them to learn that non-emergencies can wait when we are in the middle of something else. I used to tell my children and students who wanted my immediate attention that I wasn’t ignoring them – I was paying attention to someone else.
When we say “no” to the multitude of requests from our children, what we are really saying is “yes” to something more important. We are saying yes to their health when we say no to another piece of candy. We are saying yes to the wonder and awe of their minds when we say no to screen time. We are saying yes to greater happiness in the future when we say no to a moment of pleasure. Patience is the realization that waiting for a big YES is better than being irritated by a little no.
“Patience is a form of action. – Auguste Rodin
“Patience may be bitter, but its fruits are sweet.” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau