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News & Views - Apr, 1998 Issue #51


by: Glenda Ikuta, Parent Coordinator
Paradise Cove 
reprinted from: WHUTZ UP in Paradise Cove
Feb. 1998 

It is such a temptation to continue to put the focus of your energies and time on your son. After all, he is the center of the Universe. Or so he would have you think! This is a family healing process, not a fix the kid process. And, based on experience, I will share with you that the families that experience the greatest success are the families where the parents model accountability. 

While these families love and care about their child, their focus is on what they can do to move forward with their own personal growth. The most useful coaching I could ever give is for you to take the focus off your child and put it on yourself. Restore balance to your life. No matter how much you love your child, ultimately only your child gets to choose what they are going to do with their life. And the only life you get to have a 100% vote in, is your own. 

Hereís a simple test to get an idea of how in balance your life is. Over the next two weeks, determine how much of your self- talk or conversations are about what your son is doing vs. What is going on in the rest of your life. Keep a tally list of how often you refer to your son vs. yourself, or the other loved ones in your life! 

Siblings truly got the short end of the stick when their brother acted out. Are they still getting the short end of the stick? Or are they getting some quality time and attention from you? For instance, who got the most attention and effort regarding Valentineís Day? You... your spouse...your dear friend that has stood beside you through all of this...your other children... or your son in Paradise Cove? When was the last time you searched Hallmark for the perfect card for one of these people? Who got the most consideration? One of the things parents want most from their sons is respect ... are you giving it to yourself? 

You want to know the best gift you can give to your son? Itís you!! Give him a parent that lives life from a place of integrity, serenity, accountability and self respect. After all, isnít that what you are hoping for, for his life? Do you deserve anything less? Iíve had the kids tell me over and over that this is what they want for their parents!!! 

Are you treating yourself with the same amount of concern, attention, and caring as you are for your boy? Do you have as much commitment to your personal growth as you hope he does? Do you look forward with equal anticipation to a conversation with another family member in your home, as you do to a phone call from your son in Samoa? 

I know your sonís current level is of great interest to you. I know you anxiously await news from your Case Manager that he has achieved the next level. I know how disappointed you get if he gets set back in levels. But what level would you give yourself today, if you were on a level system? And what are you doing to support yourself advancing to the next level? Each week the boys write out their weekly self-evaluation ... might not be a bad idea for us to adopt. 

The families that consistently experience optimal success are the families that are committed to maximizing their individual personal growth experiences. Frankly folks, the kids donít care how much you know ... until they know how much you care ... about yourself! 

Copyright © 1998, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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