Self-Reliant Part Four

OK -- this stuff is deep. And sometimes hard to take. You ready??

Ever met someone who thinks they have no control over what happens to them in life? They get a "D" on a paper and say the teacher was having a bad day. They get a speeding ticket and make a case for their speedometer being off. ;) OK, so we probably have moments of "I can't change what happens in my life". But ideally, we should have what is called an internal locus of control.

"What happens to me is largely a result of the decisions I make and the effort I put forth. When I can't influence what happens, I can still decide how I will let circumstances affect me."

As parents, we need to model this attitude and the behaviors that follow -- self-examination, self-control...

When we threaten, correct, direct, assume, or expect more of a child than he/she is capable of, we are teaching helplessness.


Ya. Tough stuff.

What does media teach them? That life is a matter of fate, luck or magic. That they should expect instant gratification and instant solutions to problems. That results come from external products (cosmetics, ETC). That permiscuity and drinking are acceptable social behaviors.

We become pessimistic, less tolerant, have a lack of perseverance, and we are much more likely to give up on marriage if it doesn't provide IMMEDIATE HAPPINESS.

Talk about an external locus of control. We can't control our emotions. Or the outcome of our lives.

"When we give in to our children, we are teaching them to put all their intelligence and energy into learning how to manipulate others into taking care of them, instead of learning to take care of themselves."

Start by analyzing your own life. Do you believe that what happens to you is a result of the decisions you make and the effort you put forth?? Do you decide how circumstances will affect you?

MODEL this to your children. Then teach, guide, and offer opportunities to learn to care for themselves. To learn self-control. To learn about natural consequences. To learn about delayed gratification. To learn that they hold power over their inner thoughts, feelings AND actions.