The Greatest Gift in the World
What is the greatest gift you can give to your children? Is it a house full of toys, the best sporting equipment and fancy vacations? Or, is it an even greater gift to provide your children with an example of health, strength, adaptability, centeredness and love? Which is more important? Which will have the greatest impact on their lives both now and in the future?
Today’s Gen-X parents (of which I am one) are notorious for protecting, sheltering and coddling their children. According to the book The Fourth Turning, this is mainly in response to today’s parents being raised by Boomer parents who pretty much left them to their own devices. This phenomenon has led to “play-dates,” SUVs, an obsession with safety and parents literally having to chauffeur the kids to every single activity.
There are legitimate arguments for and against this type of parenting but as a result I hear from many fellow parents that they have given up on their activities and even self-care because they feel that by doing so they are giving their kids an advantage. So, the parent stops playing their favourite sport, going to the gym, taking the class, attending the seminar or getting the care because they feel these resources are better suited to helping their child get ahead.
You Must Give to Yourself, In Order to Give to Others
While this is commendable and my wife and I certainly make sacrifices for our boys, this line of thinking is insane. The bottom line is that the more you give yourself, the more you have to give your children. I have witnessed many parents sacrifice their way into a major health, psychological or stress crisis that left them unable to give much of anything. Aside from a crisis, don’t your kids deserve the best you have to give?
A small but powerful shift in thinking can lead to a world of difference. What if instead of asking “what can I afford (time, money, energy) for myself,” you changed it to “how can I maximize my health, energy and adaptability so that I can contribute the most to my family?” Can you see how these 2 different questions lead to 2 different results?
A Better You = More to Give
The great news is that it is not an either/or scenario. You can protect and coddle and spoil your kids and still look after yourself. In fact, when you look after YOU first you will quickly see how you can spoil THEM even more!
So make sure you take the time required to exercise and play sports that you enjoy. Being physically fit and active will give you more energy to ship your kids to arenas and recitals. Eat great quality food. In addition to more energy you will think more clearly and be in a better mood for your family.
For myself and many others, Network entrainments is the glue that holds the whole thing together. NSA care increases our ability to adapt to stress, creates better mental and emotional well-being, increases our quality of life, and has been proven to decrease the incidence of colds and flu. It also helps to produce a body that can handle even the craziest of weeks. Are you and your family not worth at least 15 minutes a week on the table?
Gifts From My Parents
This article got me thinking back to my own childhood and the wonderful gifts my parents left me. Among the greatest were being able to watch my father play ball with a fire, intensity and passion that I hold with me today. Another is the experience of living with my parents when they took their health into their hands, began seriously weight training (my mom was the city bench press champ!). Not only did they create physical strength, but more importantly a strength of spirit that literally impacted every aspect of OUR lives – and it still does.
We ARE the Legacy!
Remember parents, we are the link between all of the generations before and all that will come. We are responsible for connecting the past to the future. We ARE the legacy. Our strength, our health, our choices and our happiness affect all others. You are worth it, and so are they.