Posted December 18th, 2014
It was just 3 years ago now that my book, "The Real Purpose Of Parenting, The Book You
Wish Your Parents Read." was published.
At the time, reviews by the newspaper and magazine writers held comparisons with the hugely popular "parenting" book of the time, "Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother" by Amy Chua.
My book was coined the "anti-Tiger Mom".
And proudly so!
But that was then and this is now.
It's amazing how 3 years later, the world feels so much different.
Honestly, if I were to sit down and write a book for parents today, it would be impossible for me not to include something about the "New World Order" we all find ourselves living in.
Let me be clear..."The Very Violent New World Order", we find ourselves navigating through on a daily basis.
I was meeting via Skype with one of my clients the other day.
He is an owner of a very large company, in his early 40's with a wife, and two school aged children.
He was recalling a story about his daughter, age 11, looking very concerned and sitting very quietly. (an occurrence he assures me is usually reserved for either some kind of everyday flu or cold.)
"Mia, whats wrong? Are you not feeling well?", Her Dad asked with concern.
No, I'm fine. Why?", Mia responded.
"You are so quiet. I thought you might not be feeling well.", He added.
"Dad, I have a question." she said with determination.
"Okay. What's up?", he said.
"What happens to me and Cole (her brother) if you and Mom get killed?", she asked with an eerily serious tone in her voice.
"WHAT?!!!", Her Dad exclaimed. "Nothing is going to happen to us."
"How could you say that, Dad. Listen to the news or look at my computer. People are getting killed everywhere!"
My client didn't know what to say..."Lets eat our dinner and talk about this later.", He whispered.
The New World Order.
The New Violent World Order and the new questions and issues it brings to the family dinner table.
As the culture dramatically shifts to the war zone it has become, we must adjust.
As terrorism escalates and police/citizen conflicts get exploited, our world order may have changed permanently and we must adjust.
This violent world and all its media exploitation may just be the world our children will need to learn to navigate their own experience through.
And it will be even that more important that Parents find a way to teach them the skills they will rely upon to rise above it all.
We will see a ripple effect of anxieties and stresses related to the edge we all feel from the uncertainty that looms.
You see, Mia was right.
Her father couldn't promise that nothing was going to happen to him or them.
The world order is unstable and the community culture is quickly becoming the same.
More than ever, it is the "Family Culture", where a child grows up, and a family identity is formed, that becomes the one place that must be safe.
Yes, safe...from violence and from fear, now just as important as from the concepts of judgment and expectation, we focused on 3 years prior..
The Family Culture is where a parents vision of his/her morals, ethics and values reside.
Parents have the responsibility to create a Family Culture that represents these "standards" in a way where a child feels safe to process their experience and embrace their identity of who they are.
At one time, we focused this Family Culture as a safe place from the "judgment and expectations" from parents and society, so that children can explore and "practice" without worry that they will be condemned for not following a certain script.
But today, parents must be aware, that the concept of "safety" in a Family Culture must be expanded beyond what we know about identity development to a broader sense of clarity, calm, peace and processing.
Children must have a place to make sense of the unfathomable.
Children must have a place where they can hear what they need to hear to deal with the cruel realities that may exist just one click away from their consciousness.
And children, more than ever, must have a coach, (a really good coach), that can tackle the tough questions, deal with the feelings that precede these thoughts, while maintaining the consistency and clarity of what their family stands for.
Here's a metaphor for you....
They say that the only difference between college level and professional level hitting in the game of baseball is the "speed of the pitch."
Well, in the game of life, the speed of whats getting thrown at us has just gone "pro".
Not every great college coach can coach at the pro level.
But every parent will have to try.
Parents, here is my advice.
1. Get a grip on the speed of this new level for yourself.
And..2. Know what and how you are going to coach your child to what your standards are, what you believe to be true and healthy, and embrace the reality of what is in front of this generation.
The game has changed.
It just got a whole lot faster.
But the rules of this game of life are still the same....
**Embrace the truth of who we are in the face of whats in front of us.
Step back onto the practice field with your children and coach them to hold true to who they are while "catching up" to the quickness of whats being thrown at them.
It may be a New World Order...violent and scary!
But its the same old ballgame....
Just with a much faster pitch!