I was listening to Moody radio today about a local school district deciding to forbid student use of personal electronics. There was a process for exceptions and the distraction is serious. Listeners called in to acknowledge the difficulties teachers experience with students using their electronics for good, bad and even ugly reasons throughout the school day. More often listeners expressed concern over fairness and the undue hardship this would create for both the students and the teaching staff. The local commentator clearly struggled with rules that limited freedoms as it “didn’t prepare children for the real world”. But I wonder, what kind of world are we preparing our children for?

Preparing Our Children with "Freedom Reducing" Rules

My brother recently shared with my father and I the expectations of his daughter’s new soccer coach. She and her friends have played soccer together for years and have each encouraged each other in both good times and bad. They are a dedicated bunch, and at 13, she made the personal decision to take her game up a notch by joining a team with a more experienced coach.

If you have any experience with high school sports you know that parents can be a little rambunctious. The coach provides guidelines as to how they can best encourage their child before, during and after the game. If a parent’s expectation includes any of this common “rambunctiousness”, they are directed to find another team. He encourages self-respect, dedication to each other and a winning attitude in every person…always.

A few “freedom reducing” rules meant to build self-respect include, where and what they are to eat, their sleeping habits and after practice forty-five-minute foot skill training on their own. Rules meant to encourage dedication to each other include listening to the coach’s instruction during the game or explaining “what they did wrong” to the rest of the team on the sidelines. They are to write after a game what they did well and where they need to improve. Their notes were then immediately compared to notes of coaching staff made before anyone left the field. These rules teach healthy self-efficacy and relationship building while they were playing. It builds within each child a moment-to-moment intent to improve along with an expectation for honest feedback.

Their coach also insists that they play their best - always. No “hogging the ball” is tolerated when an opposing player is not as experienced. They play as a team - always - as though they are playing against the best team in the world. They go to the games in the same bus and stay at the same hotels for away games, parents stay at another hotel. They are a team, and they know it.

Preparing Our Children to Create a Better World

I believe we’ve gotten a little lost about what works in “real life”. There needs to be a purpose behind each “right” we fight for. An authentic connection to what’s good for our children, what’s good for their relationships and what is good for the greater good prepares them for the kind of world they will want to create.

As a part of our responsibility to our children let’s support all efforts that encourage:

  1. A deep connection to who they are. (Oneness Within)
  2. A deep commitment to their ongoing relationships. (Oneness Between)
  3. A deep respect for all others and the greater good. (Oneness Beyond)

They deserve the opportunity to discover who they are and to become world class players!

To learn more ways to prepare your children for life in the real world by guiding them along their journey to self discovery, sign up risk-free for the Oneness Approach Master program. It is specifically designed (with lots of video on a variety of topics) to help you gain a deeper understanding of what your children think and feel in order to effectively lead them down the path to success.