I hope that you all had a safe March break and enjoyed the extra family time. It is always good to step away from our routines and devote additional attention to our families, regardless of the destinations and activities that we choose.
This week, I came across an article that reminded me about the importance of the way we frame things. Often times, we fall into the trap of listing the “don’ts” and the “no’s” of behaviours instead of focusing on the desired outcomes that we hope our children will develop. While we certainly need to set proper boundaries and redirect our children when they cross those lines, spurring them on towards the goal or target tends to be more effective.
I was recently chatting with a parent who was speaking to me about their child’s bedtime routine, which often resulted in arguments that ended in frustration and tears for all parties. To counteract this, they chose to focus on the positive outcome and create a favourable experience to get there by motivating their child.
Zig Ziglar captured this concept well, as he stated, “When you focus on problems, you get more problems. When you focus on possibilities, you have more opportunities.”
As I reflected on this article and real life example, I was reminded of the paradigm shift that Jesus brought us in His teachings. The Old Testament focused on the laws, which were more about the things that the people of Israel could not do. More often than not, they fell far short of the mark. In contrast, the New Testament contains more instructions on what we should do. For example, Jesus summarizes all the laws or commandments in Matthew 22:36-40 by telling us to do 2 things: love God first and love our neighbour second. If we focus on loving God and others, we won’t want to lie, steal, or deceive them. Paul also writes in Ephesians 5:1-2 to be imitators of Christ. We cannot set the bar higher than that.
My hope in sharing this with you is that we raise the expectations for our children by pointing them to whom we should emulate and His character traits, rather than focus on those we should not. I know this is quite a challenge that I’m issuing to myself, as well as our community.
J-D Lussier, Principal