In a time when tablets and smartphones invaded our homes, it’s good to remember us parents that human contact is essential in our family. It’s good to feel connected and that this bond passes from parents to sons. I share with you 5 inspiring advices from parents to their sons.

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1. Reinvent the musical chairs’ game

When the chairs where set on a circle and facing out, I knew it was time to play and do everything so that when the teacher would stop singing, I could quickly seat so that I wouldn’t be excluded from the circle. And this was until there was only one chair and two children fighting for it. Years later, seeing my daughters doing the same, I understood that they were actually learning to compete against each other. What for? To win. What? I couldn’t find out. Neither did them. We decided to reinvent the rules and create a goal: every child had to seat on a chair with touching with their feet on the ground. Result: more fun, more cooperation, more creativity, better bond with everyone and better results. In the past, only one could win. Now, everyone wins. In companies, in families, in sports. Life is not about exclusion. It is about creative inclusion. When you bond with others, you’re bonding with yourself. Bond.

2. Learn to light up the matches

At the age of 3, my oldest daughter came to me holding a box with matches asking what it was and I immediately had two thoughts. First: You are going to get burned, drop it. Second: If, in Norway, you give 3 year old children in kindergarten a knife and they start sculpting, why can’t I teach my daughter what to do with fire? In order to protect, the first reaction is to condition our children’s learning by telling them “don’t do that, don’t go that way, you’re going to fall, to burn, to be hurt”. By doing so, the unconscious message we are passing onto our children is that risk is the enemy of growing up, when we all know that diversity and risk-taking  is one of the laws for evolution in life. She learned how to light a match at 3 years old and also the consequences of it. Nowadays, she is a teenager knowing that in order to evolve she needs to take risks. Encourage the risk, track the experience and absorb the knowledge. Evolve.

3. Change the “I can’t” for “I need help”

As a result of the linguistic constraint of parents and educators, one of the most used mantras by children is “I can’t”. a mantra is an unconscious statement repeated over and over again, related to a very strong emotional charge. “I can’t do this, I can’t go that way, I can’t talk, I can’t” is embraced and repeated within the neuronal system with present and future highly restraining effects that get later replaced by “I can’t relate, I can’t have the job I want, I can’t have money, can’t be happy?, Can’t feel good”. This way of thinking and speaking cannot be eliminated, but it can be replaced through a simple question towards our sons: “What do you need?” Perhaps they don’t understand at first, second or third time, but there will be a moment when everything changes, because we cannot do it alone. Alone we face serious restraints, together we find creative solutions.

4. Follow your talent, hire an accountant

My parents had the dream that I would have a career in accounting. At 21 years old, during a Microeconomics class of the Bank and Insurances Management degree, I realized that I was unhappy for too long. All of us parents want our children to be happy, most of the time our way. We think we know what is best for them, what to study, with whom and when and we forget to watch, just watch without interfering, what they really like doing that makes them happy, putting aside questions like “how are you going to get money from that? Or how are you going to pay your bills?”. Years later, I realized that what I earned with my talent allowed me to hire an accountant. I didn’t have to become one. Years later, I believe that any parent should have the goal to encourage his children to find and improve their talents so that they can live a life with a meaning.

5. Always take a book with you

Life is made of stories. Actually, life is a set of stories to which we decide to give  certain meanings. You tell that a person becomes the set of books he reads for a period of 5 years. A good book caries adventure, sparks curiosity, calls for creativity, brings love, raises wisdom and yes of course inspire us and make us dream. A good book has the mission of touching someone’s life with a good plot. May it touch the life of our children time and time again, following them all around, changing thoughts, call on emotions, opening hearts and allowing for so many learnings. Wherever you go, always carry a book with you and your children will see in you an example to follow.

I wish you inspiring advices.

Mário Caetano
Coach & Inspiring Speaker

 

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