oday, we conclude this series of messages centered around raising purpose-driven children. We took some time to define what a purpose driven child is in the first post. We also identified the reasons why it is important to raise purpose-driven children. Also in the first post we identified the very first thing that we as parents need to do as we raise the purpose-driven children.In the second post, we looked at two more ways of raising purpose-driven children. So far, we have discussed 3 different aspects of raising purpose-driven children. Today, we shall look at 5 more, but first, let us do a recap.
Children are by nature hero worshippers. They are the greatest sponges you ever saw, absorbing nearly everything that they see. In cases where a child sees your passion over something, they get so emotionally attached to it and they easily download it. It is like hard wiring a virtue into their system. Therefore,[ictt-tweet-inline] in order to raise purpose-driven children, one needs to live on purpose too[/ictt-tweet-inline]. Peter J. Daniels say that we have no moral authority to tell our children that they should do great things when we are not doing so.
In other words, showing it is much more potent than preaching it. Of course a child cannot be exactly the same as you are. Tony Robbins for example does not expect his children to be a coach like he is, and he tells them as much. However, living out his purpose on earth is the best lesson he can give to his children. So in order to raise purpose-driven children, it is important that we passionately show it as we pursue ours. They need to see our sweat, our commitment, our blood, sweat and tears. There is no better teacher than that. At times, they will come and ask you “why?”, and at that moment, you will be able to tell them and they will understand. It is much more potent than a theoretical lesson.
The best way to learn is experiential. We could teach purpose-driven children using theory or even using visual aids. However, working it out together is the real deal. This is really how they get to learn and internalize. It could be done in two ways. First, we get involved in their “projects” by encouraging them and mentoring them. I mentioned earlier that a child can pay for another child’s school fees. This is not revolutionary, it is basic. When a child is helped to identify people that they can impact and helped to gather resources by their own resourcefulness to meet this need, that is true education. That is the best way to raise purpose-driven children. But we do not do it because we are not intentional about it. A child who is mentored this way might now start applying their theoretical studies in a different way. They might now see the importance of making it in life, having a reason big enough “why” they are pursuing the excellence. If however the rewards they get in life are pegged on passing an exam just for the sake of it and not seeing the rewards right now, we are losing the plot. As I said earlier, what we are doing is planting seeds of purpose in the child. Those seeds will no doubt grow.
Ethan is already taking some lessons in Robotics. I have no clue where that will lead him. However, at the youngest age possible, Ethan has shown a great interest in drums. I am not surprised he told my wife Beth that he wants to be a drummer when he grows up. The thing is that I have not seen another kid in our vicinity with that kind of focus and passion on drumming. So what do we do? Do we discourage him from that because “There is no money in drumming?” Hardly. We will encourage him to pursue that talent and gift to the latter.
As we do this, we shall never forget to remind him why drumming is important to him, “So that I can make people happy as they listen to music.” To be frank with you, I have no clue the extent of gifts and talents that the boy has at 6 years old now, but I have been old enough to know what works and what doesn’t. For example, I was gifted with writing (still I am), but never really pursued this gift. I was busy pursuing degrees. What I am today and where I am going is largely dependent on working with words than with degrees. A gift or a latent is the most obvious pointer to purpose in a child. Therefore, to raise purpose-driven children, we need to excavate these gifts and talents that they have, and be ready to spend large on them.
I now this will get controversial, but I will say it anyway. I have come out of a school system that never at one point focused on raising purpose-driven children. If you asked the ministry of education to tell you their purpose for education, you will be shocked. They have numbers and metrics that they are targeting but sadly they have no tangible reason or purpose beyond providing “an educated work force”.
The interesting thing is that all of us parents (or let e say most of us) have already gone through that school system. We know what works, we also know what doesn’t. And yet for some reason, we are still sending our own children into the same old rut, and we are expecting different results. That is not good. Now, I am not saying that we should not send these kids to school. I am saying that after they have come out of school, we need them to be ‘defrosted’ from its effect and impact. Like we said earlier, if you asked any kid who is through with school the world over, “What next?” you will get almost the same answer from nearly 90% worldwide—I want a job.
Is there anything wrong with jobs? Nothing wrong other than them being the end in themselves. That is why we need to ‘defrost’ these children and point them to purpose.