The beginning of a new journey at ROA is usually a high. The newfound freedom of being in a learning environment that buzzes with joy and intensity is exhilarating. Our children are nervous and overwhelmed, yet intensely alive with anticipation and eagerness.
But the day will arrive when they come home sad, mad, frustrated, hurt, confused or “bored.”
The honeymoon is over. And the real work of learning and growing has begun.
This is the gritty path of the hero’s journey and it is not for the weak of heart.
So what can we as parents do when it’s no longer wonderful or fun and our children hit a wall or want to quit? Or what if we just want to pave the way for them to make things easy for them?
There are three traits of a Socratic Guide that are also transferable mindsets for parents – especially on the hard days.
Be calm. Emotional outbursts hurt children. As a parent, you can be a safe place for your children when your reaction is a calm, peaceful one. They need to know your honest feelings but they also need to know that you have self-control and your emotions don’t rule you. A zen-like calm is the ideal state for a Socratic Guide and is powerful for a parent, as well.
Be consistent. Our Guides hold boundaries that are clear and agreed upon. There is no confusion about what happens when a boundary is crossed. Creating your own family covenant would be helpful so accepting consequences is not emotional or dramatic. It’s consistently clear-cut. Boundaries are actually freeing for children and even adults. We all need healthy ones.
Be confident. “I’m confident in you. I trust you can do hard and important things.” This is the fundamental belief at ROA. We believe every single child is a hero who will find a calling and change the world. Carrying this mindset into your home can change everything.
Bottomline: the day will come when suddenly the hero’s journey feels confusing and hard. But you’ve got the perk of learning and cultivating the three traits of a Socratic Guide and using it to be that safe, trusted, confident and calm parent that a young hero craves to come home to.
(And please know that you are never alone on this journey. You have support systems all around if you get overwhelmed with the tough journey of parenting.)