A fabulous gal I know wrote an article for the Huffington Post last week called, “Bounce Back from those Adulting Blues and Create a Life You Love in 4 Steps”. She herself graduated college and got a prestigious job at Google making what most would consider a good salary. Then she quit. She had all the money, but no time to enjoy it. She now runs her own coaching company called The Queen Life. Reading her words prompted me to think about how I’m raising my children.
If we look around at our circle of friends, acquaintances, and family members, it doesn’t take long to recognize a pattern. A quick scroll down our Facebook feed on Monday morning will tell the same story. Most adults are overworked, underpaid, stressed out, holding down a job to pay bills, and living for the weekends. The average American adult will tell you if money was not an issue, they would not be working their current job. I myself have worked the office jobs where everyone plays the Lottery together and dreams about winning the big prize so they can all quit. This is the normal American life.
So my question is: Why are we sending our children down that same rabbit hole? If the end result of how we traditionally raise our kiddos is adults who are deeply unhappy with how they spend most of their days, why do we keep doing this? Why do we not stop to ask if there is a better way? This is not about private or public school. It’s not about homeschooling or boarding school. It’s about intent. What expectations are we placing on our children from a young age? I’m willing to bet most of us have never thought about it, and those who have are going the “graduate college and get a good job” route. Amirite?
The problem with this is that our children have God-given assignments, gifts, talents, and passions designed by our Creator to leave an imprint on mankind. We cannot go on autopilot and raise our children with the sole purpose of getting an education and a job. If we do, we miss out on the rich heritage of who they are, and we place them on the same road to the “Adulting Blues” my friend mentioned in her article (cue F.R.I.E.N.D.S. theme music).
So what is the solution?
It is said that 65% of the jobs today’s children will be employed in haven’t been invented yet…so let’s teach our children HOW to learn instead of WHAT to learn. Let’s raise them to seek purpose instead of position. Let’s help them discover who they are to become instead of what they’re supposed to be doing. Let’s give them the option to pursue the things they’re passionate about, and let them know the desires of their heart were placed there by God. Let’s give them wider horizons, and a broader spectrum. Let’s show them they have the ability to change the world, and stop comparing them to our definition of success. This school year, let’s focus on their character development more than their popularity, their work ethic more than their report cards. Let’s teach them to dream wide awake, and let them know they can not only earn a living doing what they love – they can break records!
Also, be an example. It’s not too late to leave your own rut and pursue the life you want instead of the life you automatically inherited. We have the ability to stop the natural progression to grown-up gloom in our children – and if we raise them purposefully, we can literally change the whole course of our generations to come.