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What story are you helping your children write?

May 21, 2010

One of our favorite books

If familiar with my company and blog, you know I’m passionate about designing your life + preserving your story….being the author (instead of letting other people/situations write it for you).

When meeting with a new client, one of the first things I do is determine his or her top values. Designing life around these values (that’s where ORDER comes in) will be the focus of our upcoming newsletter.

Personally, these are a few things I strive for:

  • taking care of myself
  • creating an oasis to work in and come home to
  • having fun with style (from wardrobe to wrapping a gift)
  • surrounding myself with people who give good vibes (the people in your life – that’s another blog post in the works…)

Although we each prioritize things differently, if you’re a parent, I’ll bet “family” is one of the top on your list, as it is mine.  I strive to create a home filled with love, acceptance of all others, balance of confidence and humbleness, good choices using critical thinking and spiritual guidance, kindness, joy, fun, order, authenticity… (Okay, NO LAUGHING or ROLLING EYES if you know me personally – notice the use of the word “STRIVE“!)

As hard as it must be, we have to loosen our control as our kids grow.  Although there are no guarantees – no matter how much we feel we “did the right thing as parents” – I at least want to provide a good foundation and help my boys co-write their early chapters before having to let them go.  (Where is my box of Kleenex?)

So how does this tie in with your child’s story?

What most of us don’t realize is the incredible power our story has on our life – not just our current chapter but the earliest ones written when we were children.   These early chapters SET OUR FOUNDATIONS.  *****Your child’s story? It is being written at this very moment.*****  As parents, teachers and mentors our role in this is CRUCIAL.

An article written by Stephen R. Covey, author, leadership authority, co-founder & vice-chairman of FranklinCovey Co. in the 4/20/10 edition of The Huffington Post (link found at bottom of post) prompted me to scratch my morning plans and write this post.

(BTW, the picture above is me holding The Seven Habits of Happy Kids, written by Stephen R. Covey’s son, Sean Covey, published by Simon & Schuster.  My boys LOVE this book!!!  It’s based on the 7 Habits principals and is written in a way kids can understand and enjoy while providing parents with ideas for application.  I highly recommend!)

Back to the Huffington Post article…Here is an excerpt:

Historically, the family has played the primary role in educating children for life, with the school providing supplemental scaffolding to the family. When it comes to developing character strength, inner security and unique personal and interpersonal talents and skills in a child, no institution can or ever will compare with, or effectively substitute for, the home’s potential for positive influence. But with the steady disintegration of the family in modern society over the last century, the role of the school in bridging the gap has become vital!

With President Obama’s recent announcement of his intent to enact sweeping educational reforms and to focus on college and career readiness, I believe we face a great opportunity and a great risk. My point is perhaps best made by 19th Century author and philosopher, Henry David Thoreau, who said: “For every thousand hacking at the leaves of evil, there is one striking at the root.” The risk: continued hacking at the symptoms of our educational problems. The opportunity: strike at the root — unlock the potential of every child to lead their life.

When I look into the eyes of the children, I see the hope of the world. As I watch the talent of the teachers and adult leaders of these schools in action, partnered with devoted parents, I see the hope of the world. Leadership is the highest of all the arts, for it is the enabling art of unlocking human potential. It is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they come to see it in themselves.

Stephen R. Covey

The premises of this article is education reform.  When training the Obama/Bush Presidential Transition Teams in principles of effectiveness and synergistic communication, President Bush asked Covey to join him in the Oval Office.  In a discussion on the state of education, President Bush asked Covey what he thought was missing.  Covey’s response:  “Partnerships between schools and parents in educating the whole child, which includes developing both the character strength and the competencies required to really succeed in the 21st Century.”

Along with many parents I know, I agree wholeheartedly with what Covey is saying.  But what made me write this post was the part about providing our children the ability to “LEAD THEIR LIVES.” This reiterates the significance of helping our children design their lives / write their stories!

This sounds overwhelming.   (I ask myself, “Where do I even begin? Where will I possibly find the time? Patience??!?) But the importance of this to me outweighs the obstacles so…  That is what we’ll be working on this summer at our house!  I do have some great resources, good ideas but would LOVE to your thoughts, your tips… I’ll be blogging about it this summer (a good thing about blogging: the accountability it brings!) If you are wanting to do a little editing of your own story / or your children’s stories I’d LOVE for you to join me!  Send me an email (angela@angelaharrisdesign.com) and we’ll work on our stories together!

Our Children and the Crisis of Education, by Stephen R. Covey, article from Huffington Post, 4/20/10

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