Here’s an example of what i was describing yesterday about approval addiction.
Our son joins the cross country team in 10th grade and it was never about how well he ran.
It was about being part of a supportive team, developing relationships, setting goals, overcoming obstacles, persistence, recognizing progress, celebrating small victories unrelated to run times, and enjoying being a part of a loving community.
We gave consistent and positive feedback on traits like perseverance, courage, creativity, honesty, and perspective.
These are, after all, assets that last a lifetime, long after anyone remembers how fast you ran a 5k.
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How do we push every single day to move an inch? Can our mental attitude continue to grow through midlife and beyond?
In our youth, growth was literally unstoppable. We physically developed one day at a time for the first 18-21 years. Then things began to slow dramatically. This is the nature of living things. Birth. Growth. Reproduction. Decline. Death.
The physical manifestation of this metaphor is easy to visualize.
But what about growing a teen’s attitude about self-confidence, risk-taking, and personal responsibility?
The ninth-grader’s Math teacher shared last night that for the past two days, the 15-year old has chosen a different seat, and, has spoken up, publicly, twice in one class.
The milestone was on the first day he sat differently. We talked about it for weeks. Finally found a way to make it compelling. This seemingly insignificant act could be the catalyst for his transformation.
This story makes me wonder what this means to any of us, as 30, 40, and 50 year olds.
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