Most of us can’t send our kids to the exclusive private schools or take them to Aspen on skiing holidays, but we can still set up the best life opportunities for them.
In Who Gets to be Smart Bri Lee talks about how the Commonwealth government makes sure rich kids in the exclusive private schools, and universities, get the best life opportunities by flooding them via systems that favour those who are already privileged. Even during the holidays, rich kids get further ahead of mere mortals.
The Resilience Project
There is a lot you can do to build your kid’s opportunities. This is the start of a series called The Resilience Project. Through it I will deliver opportunities that will help us all to be exposed to new experiences so that we can all build our capacity to bounce back and achieve our dream lives.
I believe people do their best. If sitting on the couch playing games all holidays is the best you can manage, so be it. Building interests and growing knowledge and skills is a gradual process. We need to make services and systems attractive and easy to use so that all people can engage at their level to build their resilience.
Dave Turner has given us a continuum that gives age appropriate resilience building strategies:
- Primary school we need to expose kids to lots of experiences.
- When kids move into high school they need to start taking responsibility for exploring different opportunities.
- In senior school young people need to engage with workplaces or volunteer opportunities to learn work capabilities.
Time V Quality Time
You can to build your kids’ resilience just by sitting with them and talking.
And that’s not easy.
You will always have other things to do.
You need to set aside time for being with your kids. Just being, not doing. If sitting on the couch watching TV is the best you can do, so be it. Quality time is great, but my kids just wanted to know I was around. I didn’t have to be playing with them. They thought my being at home from work was enough.
The first step is the hardest
The first step on your daily fitness regime is the hardest. When you are out the door in your joggers, its easier to keep going.
Getting started on new experiences is the hardest. Asking someone if you can join their group is the hardest step. Once you have taken that step they will take some of the load and support you to take the next step. Many people get their joy and fulfilment from helping others. By asking for help and appreciating their support you are valuing their expertise.
Check out some of these ideas. You can find Career Exploration for Middle School ideas HERE.
Google “volunteer” in your suburb to find more opportunities.
Try to appreciate the power of standing on the shoulders of giants. See the giant in everyone around you. Everyone is better than you at something, and you have so much to offer to others. By connecting with others you can create a constellation of stars who help each other.
Networks deliver remarkable power to boost life opportunities. We all hope our fairy godmother will come along and make our dreams come true. That may not happen but you can surge your opportunities by creating networks.
Check out the It’s Who You Know that Counts blogpost for tips on how to activate your support network.
Map your support networks and identify how you could build opportunities through it.
By exploring the world during your holidays and engaging with your network, you can enhance your opportunities to create the best life opportunities for your kids.
You can get the gist of Who Gets to be Smart in the Sydney Morning Herald or listen to the podcast she made with the Australia Institute to get mad at what is happening, and get ideas of how to make sure your kids have the best opportunities.