a generational investment by river bennett

River Bennett (Photgraphy River Bennett)

“The trick to balance is to not make sacrificing the important things the norm. “ Simon Sinek

School holidays came at me like a slow motion cross punch. 

I saw the mountain of work in my office growing by the second and the daunting feeling of getting through it with three active boys at my feet. 

"I don't know how…..," I kept whining to my husband over and over again. 

I wanted this to be a win for them and a win for me. 

I remember someone saying once, "If we juggle life, ultimately something will fall and break, but when we find how to balance life it's a win for everyone." 

I believe this to be true. 

I sat at my desk and thought about what outcomes I wanted to have for my boys these holidays.

What did I want to teach them? What was to be the lasting impression of these holidays as they headed back to school?

Was it going to be me herding them out of my office, getting them to feed themselves and make them sort out their disagreements on their own?

Was it going to me loosing my mind and yelling at them to stay quiet while "Mummy is trying to work!!"

Was it sitting them in front of the TV from morning till night ... (I've done this before so no judgment here :) ) 

I truly believe our children are our biggest assets and our greatest investment.

It's what I like to call “Generational Investment.”

Soon, our children will be running this planet, so what are some important things we should invest into them at this age? What do they need from us that will make them great leaders and see clearly when their future calls?

Here are a few thoughts I wrote down: 

1. Find ways to teach them gratitude 

I recently watched a video of a classroom of kids in Africa opening up a Christmas shoebox full of gifts, gifted to them by sponsors. 

I have never seen anything like it. The squeals, the joy, the dancing over simple things such as a pencil case and cartoon stickers. I watched as so many of them would peak into the box and then shut it and scream with excitement as though they couldn't believe it was actually theirs to keep. 

I showed the video to my boys with tears streaming down my face. 

Zion watched and said "Mum we need to give more. Let's do, like, 100 of them." 

Over dinner that night I asked my boys to look around and find the things they were grateful for. 

I was amazed at what they came up with.

"Our basketball." 

"My brothers." 

"My imagination that makes me imagine stuff." 

"Lego." 

"Magic hands." (that was Knox.) 

"Legs to run." 

"An awesome cubby house we made out of our bed sheets!"

Oddly enough, their gratitude – focusing on the things they do have, led them to some seriously fun adventures (that didn't cost me a cent.) And the joy it bought them as they played together! Priceless. 

2. Make them run.

Boys need to run. Every-single-day. 

Creating the habit of physical exercise every day is not only important to their health but also to their minds. It keeps them sharp, keeps them fresh.

So a run at the park with a morning coffee in hand suited me fine. By the time we would head back home they were blissfully worn out and ready to chill out and watch a movie while I knocked over some work in the other room.

3. Teach them how to see the good in others.

I often tell my boys, "Friends can come and go but you will always have your brothers." 

Whenever a fight or disagreement occurs, which is usually over a toy, I remind them of this. 

I then get them to tell me one thing they love about each other. 

It drives them crazy, but always gets a laugh in the end.

This, I hope, teaches them to always see the good in people, even when no one else can.

4. Spend time with them outdoors and DO NOT TAKE A PHONE. 

Our current world can be pretty obsessed at capturing moments with our camera. It's as though we are taught if we don't photograph it, it never happened. 

But something magical happens in the heart of children when we engage completely and wholeheartedly with our kids. Giving them our full attention. That we show we are fully present.

It shows them that we are listening. That we actually care about their thoughts and ideas.

(What an honor it is that they would even tell us!) 

 

I hope none of us miss the opportunity that awaits us these school holidays. 

Work will always be with us. It will still be there tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. But I hope we spend the days finding moments to engage with our kids and invest wisely into their lives. Wow, they grow up fast. I honestly believe children are our best asset and our greatest investment, so let’s invest well.

 

For more from River Bennett check out:

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