Just as we all have different personalities, so do our children. Now both the children have positive common elements, however, one is bold and decisive and is not afraid to make known her mind while the other would listen attentively and follow through without questioning at times. This made me quite uncomfortable and I decided to introduce some change.
One day, we were discussing about school and we exchanged notes. At the end of our conversation, she agreed to my viewpoint and I told her that it’s not acceptable. So, my spouse and children looked at me strangely. I told my daughter that you should not be afraid to stand up to me. In fact, you should cross examine me and question my decision-making.
My spouse said, “This is so against all that we have tried to teach them.”
Even my daughter was stumped and asked, “Why?”
I told them, “The world is not getting any better and I would rather teach you how to stand up for yourself and hold your ground when you are right at an early age. You can test the water in a familiar environment. The other choice is to leave you in the midst of vultures. So, I would encourage you to think differently and ask why a certain task should be done only in a certain way. This will allow you to widen your horizon and teach you how to manage people both up and down the food chain.”
She started to understand the concept and I explained further that she wouldn’t have a solution for everything but it is important to think on her feet. She will learn with time and experience by having these discussions.
“So, please don’t worry and feel free to challenge me because I will truly appreciate that you are growing with a better perspective to life.”
After years of investing in this concept, we have seen a marked difference in her approach to dealing with people, as she is well equipped to challenge the status quo. She can debate and hold her line in the sand by having thoughtful conversations supported by facts.
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