My childhood required me to be self-motivated and driven. It was in part to survive but also because I wanted something new that I hadn’t experienced before.
My wife and I are very self-motivated and driven. This means that we don’t need someone telling us what to do every corner. We do need advice, some guidance, and support along the way. But our dreams and hopes give us fuel to be motivated.
We also value freedom and personal responsibility. Our work will need to speak for itself. The way we carry ourselves and care for others will be signs of our freedom and taking responsibility.
We hope to pass these values on to our boys. We know their path will look different than others. We don’t expect them to be like us or to do the things we do. But we hope that they will learn the value and practices of being self-motivated and to take personal responsibility.
I’m not the smartest person. Really. I’m not. But these values and actions push me to exceed my limited “smartness”.
Self-motivation and drive translates into practices of living out of my hopes and dreams, my goals. It means I’m going to think through my goals and how to reach them. It means I’m going to ask others for help along the way. It means that I don’t need someone telling me, step by step, how to live my life but instead to encourage me to keep discovering, being aware, and taking responsibility.
It’s a different way to parent as well.
My kids grades are a reflection of multiple layers. While I care about the letter, I care about the effort and motivation. And it’s their grades to own. Yes, they need support and we’re here for them. Yes, they might not like certain subjects and struggle with some areas. But ultimately, we want them to own their studies.
There is a lot of empathy and grace for this process. Especially during the pandemic. 🙂