The Three Monsters in the Studio and in Life



It’s the beginning of the year and our Learners are learning the processes and systems that will help them soar for the long haul.  For new parents, these early days can feel baffling and stressful. But hold tight. With each day that passes, your child is learning the ropes, making connections, creating friendships and will be able to teach you everything you need to know.

In the meantime, parents can get geared up to support their child’s journeys by knowing the three traps along their child's and even their road:

  1. Resistance: All Learners go through the doldrums now and then. But a real resistance to achieving goals becomes a fear-based habit that’s hard to break. The studio systems are built to send up a flare so Learners don’t get so far down the road of resistance that there’s no easy way back to the path of progress.

  2. Distraction: We embrace a laser-focused purpose for studio life at ROA. It’s literally written on the walls. When a Learner chooses to push or pull others away from our purpose, the boundary systems kick in as they cross boundaries will serve them well in the long run as they learn self-control and intentional decision-making.

  3. Victimhood. Playing the part of a victim is the worst trap of all. Blaming others. Not taking responsibility for personal choices. Criticizing the rules, systems or processes without offering ideas or solutions.  Saying, “It’s not fair.” Punching out angry emails or passive aggressive behavior rather than pondering possibilities. Through the Honor Code, studio contract, Journey Bucks, and conflict resolution processes, our Learners will learn to pull themselves out of this trap and move beyond it to accept responsibility and grow. That’s what heroes do. And we see them all as heroes.

There is a powerful two-part mental posture parents can hold to help our children from falling into these traps.  (For those of us in the habit of defending on behalf of our children or blaming someone else, this posture will take time to practice – like getting flexible enough to touch our toes.) Practice holding these two things at once:

  • Curiosity

  • Open-mindedness

Rather than getting mad, defensive and blaming someone because your child told you someone did not treat them well or was excluded or received a consequence for their actions or has fewer freedoms from making poor choices, ask some open-minded questions of your child with a sincerely curious heart:

Why do you think that happened?

Why is that process in place?

What could you have done differently?

What can you do to fix this?

And then send them back in the game. This is an opportunity for them to build up these skills in a safe place surrounded by people who care about them. It’s the only way they’ll find their way out of the trap.

A few effective words to share as you encourage your child:

I’m curious how you are going to deal with this.

This is hard and I trust you can do it.  

I can’t wait to watch you move forward.  

I believe in you.

I love you.

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