On a recent visit to my sons elementary school, I overheard a teacher speaking to her class about positive versus negative comments. She explained the idea of constructive criticism. And I thought, “Wouldn’t it be amazing if adults could learn to think the same way?” Maybe we need to spend time relearning a few powerful lessons and life skills. Or paying more attention to current teaching methods. As much as I respected my teachers (from all those years past), today’s teachers seem to have a pretty good idea of what we all need.
Accept Feedback Gracefully
Just as we ask our kids to do, take a minute and stop. Look the other person in the eye and actually listen when they speak. Give one another the benefit of the doubt when “accepting feedback.” View the feedback as a benefit versus harsh criticism. After all, someone is taking the time to stop and speak with you. Say thank you, walk away, and review what the other person said. Maybe you won’t listen to it all. But perhaps there’s a small nugget of wisdom that can help you next time.
Learn to Manage Your Time
“People often complain about the lack of time when the lack of direction is the real problem.” ~ Zig Ziglar
That is a powerful quote from one of today’s more successful motivational speakers. Start each day by taking a look at your calendar so you can mentally prepare yourself. Use a paper calendar or a white board for the family so you can all visualize the schedule. Tasks or appointments might change, but the important thing is you have an outline of the day ahead.
A friend once told me the best word a child could say was “No.” And if it was said more often, the world might be a better place. I laughed at the time, but I now see that she had a point. I hear more and more teachers explaining personal space to their students, and how listening to someone say “No” is just as important as saying it. As adults, it can be tough not to take on too much, especially for the multi-tasking generation. However, fellow writer and mom Stacie Racho gives great advice when it comes to saying no as an adult. She certainly helped me!
Check In On Others (Show Empathy)
Three simple words that can be so powerful – “Are you okay?” With mental health being at the forefront of our minds lately, it seems even more important to speak those words out aloud. There is a bench at a local elementary school which kids can go sit on when they feel alone. It’s called “The Buddy Bench.” And other kids go over and simply check in and make sure a child sitting there is okay. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all had access to a place like that?
Ask for Help
This last one is personally the hardest for me, and I know for many others it is too. As parents (and adults) who seem to have it all together, it’s incredible difficult to ask for help. Does asking mean we are failures? But then we constantly tell our kids that it’s okay to ask for help. However, we spend very little time showing them that we ourselves do the same. Learning to do this seemingly simple thing will impact my families life for the better and that is what is most important. That is what I need to remember and it is something I will carry forward.