Have you ever heard that “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with?” Motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, famously made this statement. It relates to the law of averages, which is the theory that the result of any given situation will be the average of all outcomes. In other words, our children are greatly influenced by those closest to them. It affects the way they think about themselves and others, the decisions they make, and paths they take.
Imagine how difficult it is for us, as adults, to learn and live this lesson, let alone – teach our children the same thing. Teaching our children to be aware of the people they listen to, take advice from, and follow is something we must instill at a young age. This will help them be able to deflect negative peer pressure in their teenage years.
Unfortunately, the world inundates our children with negative examples. We must teach our children to manage the negative choices. How do you keep yourself and your family aware?
Here is an exercise that you can discuss with your children to help become more mindful of your child’s friend circle. Take a minute to jot down some notes on the following:
- What is the kind of person you want to be when you grow up? Describe how you can be the best you can be.
- Who are your 5 best friends? Describe how they are making you a better person. Is it in a good or bad way? What can you learn from this?
For this next question, it does not matter whether the person is a famous movie star, profession athlete, or family member. It can be someone who has already reached the goal you have set. Let your mind run wild here.
- Who are the top 5 examples of who you want to become? They should be people you want to become and/or respect. There are no rules It does not matter whether the person is a specific or general person, outside of your friend circle, living in a different country, or is dead. It can be someone who already reached the goal you have set. Let your imagination run wild here!
- How can you increase contact with people in #4?
Be the Role Model.
Our children will learn from our choices just as much as we do. Surround your children with great role models and mentors. We are the first role models that children learn from.
Ultimately, we want our children to be surrounded by others that will protect them, lift them up ,and be an example of our behavior when we are not around. These people can be our age or our children’s age.
Make Sure You are a Safe Place Where Your to Child Can Communicate Freely
The key to your child’s self-awareness and overall growth is good communication that is honest and open.
- Encourage your child to talk freely to you.
- Let him/her express his/her thoughts clearly and without worrying about what you will think. They may say “Mom, I need your friend hat on right now”. What do friends go? They keep things a secret and doesn’t judge. So, you should do this for your child.
- Appreciate the fact that he/she talks to you about his/her feelings and share that you are happy to talk with them.
- Even if you do not agree fully with what is said, do not judge or make fun on their opinion. Instead, guide gently in a positive way.
I hope we have given you a few ideas on conversations with your children’s or students’ awareness. To continue the conversation around the Life Skill of Confidence – Awareness, be sure to check out my friend Tiffany’s blog at TiffanyRave.com.