My two oldest children have been wanting some money of their own lately. Neither of them has come right out and asked for it, though being children I suppose they could. At any rate, rather than asking us for a handout, they put on their entrepreneurial thinking caps and brainstormed ways to earn money for themselves.
With us getting pounded from a nasty Nor’easter, their pondering naturally circled shoveling driveways and such. Unfortunately it wasn’t a feasible plan because we live in such a rural area, there are no sidewalks and the houses can be half a mile apart. Not good news when you’re not old enough to drive yet…
The thing that struck me was that rather than giving up and saying “forget it” they continued to think on it and I heard them say more than once “HOW can I earn more money?” I was so proud! *pats self on the back* They weren’t grumbling about how unfair it was that there are no jobs for young teenagers, nor were they complaining about their parents (us) never giving them any money. They simply wanted to find a way to make that money themselves.
I do not believe my job as a parent includes making my children’s lives as easy as possible. No, I believe my job as a parent includes teaching my children to become self sufficient, competent, compassionate adults. If Matt and I were to hand our children everything and not make them earn it, how could they ever appreciate what they have?
What I’m most proud of is their ability to ask themselves HOW, rather than getting stuck on all the reasons why they couldn’t make any money.
Many people get stuck on the “why not” and never get around to asking themselves HOW they can make something happen. Asking yourself HOW can open up so many possibilities that you may not see immediately. When you find yourself up against an obstacle, try allowing your subconscious time to process the more open ended question of HOW rather than shutting it down with all the reasons “why not”.