Friday, August 15, 2014


Didn't you just love to swing when you were a kid?  Somehow when you are sailing into the air, fantasies form in your head and you imagine all kinds of supposedly impossible adventures.  There is really nothing quite like it!  Even big kids and parents love to get on the swing every now and again and relive those cherished thoughts and memories.

So, why do we love to swing?  Perhaps it is that great feeling of weightlessness.  There is nothing tying you down.  Perhaps that swing is associated with all the playful, carefree things you loved to do when you had no responsibilities or restrictions on your life?

Let's think for a moment about those things that restrict us.  Is it the voice in your head saying, 'No, you can't do that because it is too hard, it is too expensive, you have never done it before or you saw someone try it once and they got hurt'?  When I was young I told Dad that I would like to go to University.  He said, "We aren't that kind of people in our family!"  My immediate thought was, 'Just watch me!'  I could have just believed him and given up on the idea, but I am very pleased something made me override that voice.

When I was at University I learned about Erikson's psychosocial stages of development through life and clearly remember the 8th and last stage.  He stated that you can either look back on your life with integrity or despair.  I decided then and there that I would never allow myself to look back with disappointment due to lost opportunities just because I listened to my own thoughts, self doubt or negative comments from others.

As parents we need to seriously look at our own lives.  Will we look back with integrity, or despair?  Are we already planting seeds of doubt or fear into our kids' heads which would discourage them from trying anything outside their comfort zone, or ours?

We all know the motto, 'You can do anything or be anything you want to be.'  Sometimes we want to protect our kids from trying to do something we know, or think, they can't possibly do.  Should that stop them from trying?  The worst doesn't have to be failure.  It could easily lead into something they have not thought of before, so we need to encourage them to reach that place rather than wallow in disappointment.  When we protect them from failure they may never really discover their true talent, interest or gifting.

The most amazing thing is that sometimes the seemingly impossible, does happen!  Don't we want that to be our experience and that of our kids?  It is never too late to make positive changes in our lives.  Try it!

Written by Sally Burgess, Forefront Families LLC
Photo source: Scott Crain - with my sincere thanks.

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