On yesterday I sat in on my daughters classes to not only observe her behavior, but to observe the behaviors of the other students, as well as their interactions with the teachers. My goal was to make note of teachable moments to reinforce with my daughters. As I transitioned between classes I also observed the behaviors and conversations in the hallways. Needless to say, I was not happy with what I observed up close and personal.
Recently, I have been afforded the opportunity to stay home and be more present in my daughters lives and I dare not take it for granted. Unfortunately, many parents are not able to do the same. When they are present it's usually to come and bail their student out of trouble. What about the proactive approach. Being present before trouble hits home.
As a single parent I have struggled for years to be present while balancing between being the head of my household as the primary bread winner. This has been extremely difficult over the last ten years. Both of my daughters have been given the same opportunities, however, one of them has chosen to not only rebel against my authority, but the authority of the village I have worked hard to surround her with. Call it strong willed or age appropriate behavior if you may, but enough is enough. My next approach is tough love and a short leash. Also seeking the RIGHT mentors for them.
We work hard to give our children everything wether they deserve it or not. What they really need and desire is for us to be present. To sit down and listen. To watch and observe. To fight on their behalf. As they mature in life they need to know that the village supports and loves them, in addition to their parents. What are we doing? How are we showing up?
If you don't have children of your own, how can you step up and become a mentor to the children in your villages? Within your community, churches, schools, and even in your families. There are children who are in need of a mentor. Parents need help! Instead of complaining and talking about our children, step up and be a solution to the problem. They are not only our future, but your future. The choice is yours.