A lot of you that know us have seen our family in action. We have a lot of great adventures, and we generally enjoy being around each other all the time. We’ve always spent a lot of time together, but especially this last year. My favorite times are on the trails where we end up in all kinds of conversations. All we have to focus on is the beauty around us and our feet moving over rocks and roots. The simple stage allows an easy set-up for great talks.
It seems that every month, we are having to shift our parenting approach. The kids are growing so fast, and it’s such a rewarding part of life to walk their growth with them. It also keeps me and Sonya vigilant about the conversations we are in and how to guide our kids towards maturity and leadership.
One of the areas that has been coming up a lot has been not limiting themselves with their words. They do what many adults do. Things like:
I don’t like baseball.
I’m not good at climbing.
I don’t like vegetables.
I can’t read that fast.
I like to respond, “Why limit yourself with your words? If you say you can’t, then you won’t. You’ve forced yourself to have to be congruent.”
I know the power of words. I write, speak, persuade, coach, consult and lead for a living using words. They make us step into things or can halt opportunities altogether.
If we tell all our friends we are going to run a marathon by Christmas, guess what will happen? You will have peer pressure to train. You have this strong pull to be congruent.
Likewise, our kids are understanding that if they limit themselves, rather than open themselves up to new experiences, then they force themselves to be congruent the other way. They have to live into their limiting words. It shuts down opportunity to enjoy fully and grow.
We have seen an immense amount of new beauty and scenes. We have met so many wonderful people as well as shady characters. We have lived fully in all the places we visit. It’s been wonderful, and I have watched the kids stretch, get scared, grow excited and love life. Their little hearts have been filled to the brim.
So the last thing I want to hear is any self-talk around limitations. I think they are getting it. They are letting life happen and being open rather than protecting themselves from failure, disappointment or heartache. As a dad, I love seeing this openness happen. It helps them become more free in living life.
Having a free heart is a wonderful place to be. Experiences and adventure can do a lot to open up our hearts. I have talked to people that have traveled or ventured on amazing adventures and have seen it in them as well.
But making sure we guard our lips and keep ourselves open to life and what’s around the corner is just as vital. Our kids are learning this, and I get excited to see how their determination to experience things makes the new things welcome.