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August 12 2017

Kindful Kids Weekly

Quote of the Week

"It's not only children who grow, parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can't tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself." -- Joyce Maynard

Being The Person You Want Your Child To Become

"Somewhere buried deep inside our hopes and fears for our children is the terrifying truth that there is no such thing as perfect parenting and there are no guarantees. From debates about attachment parenting and how much better they parent in Europe to disparagement of "tiger moms" and helicopter parents, the heated discussions that occupy much of the national parenting conversation conveniently distract us from this important and difficult truth: Who we are and how we engage with the world are much stronger predictors of how our children will do than what we know about parenting. [...]

There's no question that our behavior, thinking, and emotions are both hardwired within us and influenced by our enviornment. I wouldn't hazard a guess on percentages, and I'm convinced that we'll never have a precise nature/nurture breakdown. I have not doubt, however, that when it comes to our sense of love, belonging and worthiness, we are most radically shaped by our families of origin -- what we hear, what we are told, and perhaps most importantly, how we observe our parents engaging with the world.

As parents, we may have less control than we think over temperament and personality, and less control than we want over the scarcity culture. But we do have powerful parenting opportunities in other areas: how we help our children understand, leverage, and appreciate their hardwiring, and how we teach them resilience in the face of relentless "never enough" cultural messages. In terms of teaching our children to dare greatly in the "never enough" culture, the question isn't so much "Are you parenting the right way?" as it is: "Are you the adult that you want your child to grow up to be?"

This excerpt from Brene Brown's book Daring Greatly highlights what she's learned from years of research in this field.  Her "Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto"  serves as a powerful reminder about how to be the person we want our children to become.

Reading Corner

Title: Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead
By: Brene Brown
Stages: Any

Why?  "In a powerful new vision Dr. Brené Brown challenges everything we think we know about vulnerability, and dispels the widely accepted myth that it's a weakness. She argues that, in truth, vulnerability is strength and when we shut ourselves off from vulnerability - from revealing our true selves - we distance ourselves from the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives. Daring Greatly is the culmination of 12 years of groundbreaking social research, across every area of our lives including home, relationships, work, and parenting. It is an invitation to be courageous; to show up and let ourselves be seen, even when there are no guarantees." -- Penguin Publishing

Recommended by Kindful Kids Editors

Be The Change

Find some quiet time this week to reflect on the big question Brene Brown asks: Are you the adult that you want your child to grow up to be? Reflect on ways that you already are this person and also areas that you want to grow in to become the person you want your child to become.


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Kindful Kids was formed in the spring of 2011, to serve as a resource for parents who are keen to teach children about compassion and service. It is a project of ServiceSpace.

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