We all need a REAL purpose
This month, our focus is purpose.
Kids need purpose. Actually, humans need purpose.
In their book, Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgent World, H.Stephen Glenn and Jane Nelsen write about the importance of meaningful roles:
“We are the first modern society to attempt to raise and educate young people who, until they become adults, have no role to play in the well-being of the family and community…They seldom have experiences or hear messages that convey, “You are absolutely critical to the survival of our family. We need you. We could not accomplish what we do without your participation.” Is it any wonder then, that many young people feel frustrated, resentful and insignificant?”
In an effort to give kids every opportunity and do for them so much that they wouldn’t have to toil and labour themselves, parents are not giving their kids meaningful roles or purpose. Without purpose, where is self-worth? Where is the feeling of capability? They don’t exist.
So how can little kids have a role to play in the family’s well-being? What about that of community? Generations ago, purpose was genuine. Kids needed to help with the family farm or business. In many countries, that is still the way. In our current culture, it seems as if things have been turned upside down: The family business is there to serve the children and give them their every wish. It reinforces a false superiority, grandeur or ‘specialness’ of these pretty ordinary beings.
Growing up with the idea that “Everyone exists to serve me, I must be extra special. Nothing bad or ordinary can happen to me…” means that more and more children are wondering what possibly went wrong when they find out that they are very ordinary.
That’s why we need to be sure that our kids do see their purpose, here in the everyday, ordinary, real life world.
This week, consider:
How can you expect your child (2+) to contribute to the family or community?
Are you DE-meaning your children by doing everything for them?
Is there a way that your child can help out the family or community on a regular basis? (picking up garbage on the sidewalk, taking plates to the dishwasher, setting the table, feeding the pet?)
Observe what is happening in your family this week around the idea of purpose – your purpose and those of the young people in your life.