Several years ago, my wife, Michelle, and I were driving down the Florida Turnpike headed to Miami to go on a cruise to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. Only about 30 miles outside of Orlando, we suddenly came to a complete stop. As far as the eye could see we saw nothing but taillights. We literally were in a parking lot of cars both in front of us and now behind us.
We began to panic because we had a cruise to catch and were frantically searching our GPS trying to find alternate routes. There was one major problem: We were stuck. I noticed on the horizon there appeared to be a cut-through where cars were making U-turns. With cars in front of me, to the side of me and behind me, the only option was to maneuver my car out of the space I was in and drive down the narrow space next to the guardrail. I had to honk my horn to get people’s attention to allow me to get by. Needless to say, we were given a bunch of dirty looks and even had some obscenities hurled at us. Little by little, we made our way down that narrow space on the shoulder of the road to the cut-through. Finally, we were able to shift and make a U-turn. As we were now headed the opposite direction, it was amazing to see the hundreds of cars that were stuck in the traffic jam we had just escaped.
That experience serves as a reminder of how so many families today find themselves going with the cultural flow down the highway of life. Consequently, many families find themselves getting trapped by all the distractions, pressures and temptations that negatively affect their kids without realizing there is a way of escape. Here are 5 ways to make the SHIFT and get your kids and family moving in the right direction.
S-Start With the End in Mind
Zig Ziglar once said, “It’s just as difficult to reach a destination you don’t have as it is to come back from a place you’ve never been. Great families don’t just happen, they are purposeful. What is your vision for your family? Remember our decisions (not intentions) determine the direction and destiny of our family.”
H-Have Family Core Values
Our values drive our decisions and reflect what is important to us. What’s on the inside will show on the outside. Having and holding core values is the only way we can keep our families moving in the right direction. Identify three to five core values for your family and post them in your home. Your core beliefs will help you fulfill your desired destiny as a family.
I-Identify Your Child’s GPS
We all have gifts, passions and strengths. The earlier our children discover those abilities, the quicker their lives will take on a greater sense of purpose and direction. Don’t confuse activity with accomplishment. Helping your kids find their strengths and passions will build their confidence and bring focus and fulfillment to their lives. When kids lose their why, they will lose their way!
F–Form Healthy Friendships
As the old saying goes, Show me your friends, and I will show you your future. As we can all testify, the old proverb is true: Bad company corrupts good morals. The best way to ensure your kids form healthy friendships is to get to know the parents of your child’s friends. It’s takes a village to raise great kids!
T-Teach by Example
If we’re willing to admit it, our actions as parents speak louder than words. There is no such thing as a perfect parent, nor is there a perfect child. Let’s remind ourselves that yesterday ended last night. Remember, as parents, it’s never too late to start doing what is right for our family.
Let’s make the SHIFT as parents to lead our kids in the right direction.