Parenting is Changing!

I am a Baby Boomer, raised by the Traditional/Silent Generation.  I can remember after losing my parents and being raised in an abusive home life, I became a bully.  “Children learn what they live.”  I was a bully at school, because I was being bullied at home.  As my empathetic GOD seeds begin to grow, I became an advocate/defender; had the tendency to speak/stand up for others that struggled to do so for themselves.
Encore51I can remember being told too many times, “Worry about yourself.”  I understand what the authority figures were trying to teach, the one that was not speaking or standing up for themselves, “you need to learn to speak or stand up for yourself.”  Yet, what their response did was taught me, “you shouldn’t speak/stand up for others.”
Now as an adult, who understand the need to examine and evaluate the things I was taught and trained to do, I can see how these situations should have been handled with an interactive approach.  Instead of stomping on the growth of my empathetic seeds, a better response would have been, “Thank you for letting me know.  It appears that you have a good relationship with this person; so how do you think we can work together to get them to speak/stand for themselves?”  This response would have presented inclusion, engagement and collaboration to my empathetic seeds.
I feel the “worry about yourself” response is an easy, comfortable and legitimate response to ignore the problem.  I can only imagine the power of my growth had I been included in the opportunity to embrace the challenge.  I can only imagine the power of the growth of the person that I was speaking/standing up for had they been encouraged to engage in the challenge.  I can only imagine the power of the authority figure to collaborate and watch us both grow in the challenge.
I was immensely impressed yesterday (March 24, 2018) as I watched the youth (the Gen Z/iGen/Centennials generation) nation-wide engaged in the March for Life.  These youths are being raised by Generation X and/or Generation Y/Millennials and I can tell they have changed the parenting game around!  I can tell these Generation X and Y parents are not saying, “Worry about yourself!”
I can tell these parents have learned that this mentality kills collaboration.  They are saying, “How can I help you, help them?”  While you may see a girl like Marley Dias, an African-American 11-year-old who launched a campaign to collect books that focused on black girls, when she noticed all her mandatory reading was about white boys and dogs.
I see involved parents focused on encouragement and engagement.
I can tell these parents have learned to foster inclusion and are not saying, “Do as I say; not as I do!”  I can tell that these parents have learned that this mentality kills innovation.  I can tell they are saying, “What do you want to do about it?!”
While you might see a girl like Naomi Wadler, an African-American 11-year-old who was concerned about Courtlin Arrington, a black girl killed in school shooting, but ignored in the media.
Students and young people gather for the "March for Our Lives" rally demanding gun control in Washington
I see involved parents focused on encouragement and engagement.
Ultimately, I saw the other youth, after watching her modify the march at her elementary school from 17 to 18 minutes to include the life of Courtlin Arrington, embrace inclusion and collaboration by asking her to speak at the March in Washington, DC.
While you may see Amazing Children doing Amazing things.
I see Amazing ParentsChangers with modified mentality that is encouraging their children to Encore58
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Empowering, Encouraging and Promoting a Change in Parenting

Until next time…

Discovering My GOD Seeds

I believe the greatest gift you can give yourself is to discover your GOD Seed(s).  These are seeds that were made especially for you, grows within you and used by you.  This has been one of my greatest challenges; discovering what my GOD seed(s) were.

When I was faced with the challenge of what I would do as an empty-nester, I realized the need to embrace a self-evaluation.  During my self-evaluation period, I realized in order to ascertain my purpose in life, I needed to detect my GOD seeds.  Going into this self-discovery, I knew I had obtained and maintained the gift of resilience.  Yet, I did not see it as a GOD seed, because my resilience had been a learned behavior that was entrust upon me in my need to survive as an abused orphan and a parent-less single-parent.

I needed to know the seeds that I was born with; not the gifts that I had learned.  I realized this self-discovery should have been initiated and nurtured early in my life and here I was just beginning to explore them as an empty-nester!  I developed an urgent hunger within myself.  It seemed as if the more I craved the discovery, the less I found.
I decided to resign from my 23 ½ years of federal government service to attend graduate school and hopefully discover my GOD seed(s).  Graduate school did just that for me!  It was after studying abroad in South Africa and during my oral comprehensive exam with Jacquelyn Frank, PhD, Lisa Moyer, PhD and Frances Murphy, PhD.  Dr. Murphy, was the South Africans have affectionally grown to call “Prof,” was my Study Abroad Professor.  During this session, she explained to me for the first time in her many tours of leading students in studying abroad, I was the first student for which she learned so much from!  She further explained how she was moved by my empathy.  After listening to her, I responded by saying, “Well, I’ve always been this way; so, I assumed everyone was this way.”  All three (3) of my Professors unanimously responded, “Oh no, everyone is not that way!”
Through this awareness, I reflected on how I have always been a defender for people who struggled to stand up for themselves, an advocate for people who struggled to speak for themselves and the first one to join the team of underdogs; I could never thrive in the life of the privileged.  This graduate school session is when and where I realized my gift of empathy must be my GOD seed!
Now, that I knew at least one of my GOD seeds, I wanted to learn more about it.  I slowly began to learn that empathy is on a decline while narcissism is on an incline.  This awareness has presented a challenge for me to discover how can I use my gift of empathy in a world that self-absorbed?!
Until next time…