Ready or not..here we GROW!
Can you recall as a young person coming up how excited you were to “grow up”? Do you remember counting down until you would be in double digits? What about the moments you’ve spent stroking the weeks and months off the calendar until your 16th, 18th and 21st birthday? Exciting times right? Nothing could quite compare to the moment when you’d be an adult and finally able to explore the universe without much restriction.
Then it happened! Growth came in like a wrecking ball and knocked some of us off our feet. The countdown to double digits, 16, 18 and 21 each came with its own set of changes and guidelines.
What lessons have these growth spurts taught us? More importantly what have these growth spurts taught us that we can pass onto our children, who, are now eager to grow up as we once were?
Here are a few growth spurt lessons I’m sure we have all heard or experienced which we can pass along to our young explorers who cannot wait to get their hands on the next adventure.
#1 – Take Your Time
This has got to be the most repeated phrase by parents across all generations. Our faithful moms and dads have said these three words too many times to recall. They said it as we were now learning to creep and then attempting to walk. “Take your time baby, you will get there…” As a newly weaned toddler deciphering the taste of mashed potato or pumpkin; realizing that we have teeth and what they could do (which included biting our parents :-)).
Mum and dad even told us to take our time as we learned how to run away from them butt naked when it was time for changes. Take your time is one of those phrases parents have more than likely said to their children.
I’m a young adult now and my mom still says “take your time..” and I can’t blame her because life has taught me that sometimes we are in such a hurry to get to the next season of our lives we miss the chance of learning all there is in the present .
I like to think of our life as metamorphosis as work, each stage of this process takes time. Taking our time is a practical way to endure a growth spurt. Much like any seed needs time to blossom, attention to grow and all the right nutrients to become all it should be – time works as a fertilizer in our lives. We are wired to grasp and learn as we encounter various stimuli- we thrive in curiosity and so do our children.
“Though conditions and times may get harsh, a seed is still a tree of potential which becomes greater during torrential rainfall. Over the course of time, that seed begins to blossom into its full purpose.”
#2 – Failure Is Not Your Foe
My dad always used to tell me about the joys of failure and I could not quite understand what he meant until I failed a few times myself. Society teaches that failure is a negative component of life, we are taught that if we fail at something – be it a subject at school or a task then we are a whimpy kid! And who wants to be the whimpy kid? No one! Hence why we ought to teach our gems that failure is just another growth spurt and it is nothing to fear!
There is no reason to run from failure, EMBRACE it for this is the way we learn and grow! Actually, failure is one of life’s greatest teachers. As our children mature we ought to explain the joys of failure; we should teach them about other ways which can possibly work if one method has failed. We ought to teach them the art of Facing Everything And Rising above it (F.E.A.R) instead of facing everything and running from it.
Rising above is the foundation of seeing the joy in failure, running from a challenge does not produce muscle during a growth spurt. It is only when our little ones understand that a challenge gives them a chance to grow that their view of failure will change.
#3 – Embrace Change
Best selling author and leadership guru John Maxwell said:
“If we are growing we are always going to be outside our comfort zone.“
This means that at every stage of life there is an opportunity to learn, do better, be better and achieve more. Our comfort zone is a place where all our favourite habits are, it is a place where we can predict our own moves and find pleasure in doing so.
After a while of hanging out in the comfort zone it is easy to get lazy and develop a lethargic attitude toward life. Can we really say that growth is taking place in this zone? Change is inevitable.
Remember just a few moons ago we were counting down until teen years and early adulthood?
Now we are taking on the role of equipping the young lives in our care to become tomorrow’s leaders and forerunners. As a parent or guardian we should encourage our children to embrace change, building their confidence in knowing that the moment life seems to get a little uncomfortable they should make sure their seat belt is buckled for the ride because some growth is about to take place!
#4 – Trust the Process
Ready or Not, Here It Comes! Everything in life does not always go according to plan- and that’s okay! At times as parents it becomes hard to let go of your babies primarily because you want what is best for them.
However, there isn’t everything that a parent can teach within the four walls of their home. The reach of a parent will only go as far as their experiential and learnt knowledge will allow.
In moments when children venture off into their own adventure it is critical that just as a child grows and goes through their phases, the parent maintains their core foundation principles and trusts the process. Again, metamorphosis is a process. Before we see the beauty of the butterfly, the process entails a caterpillar and a cocoon.
As the process evolves it means that the canvas will not always look like a Mona Lisa, sometimes abstract art may be the only thing the parent sees while looking on at their child exploring new territory. But trust the process! Trust God, trust the timing of His plan and trust that all the core values you have instilled in your child will remain the anchor which holds them afloat amidst life’s seas.
“When you can’t change the direction of the wind, adjust your sails.” H Jackson Brown Jr.
Finally, I find it amusing that Brown Jr says “when” you can’t change the direction of the wind adjust your sails – meaning we really have no control over how the wind blows (smart man).This quote encapsulates the entire landscape of the theme : Ready…Set…GROW simply because there will be many things we encounter along life’s journey which we have no control over but these are the critical aspects of life that we learn our most valuable lessons.
If we choose to adjust our sails – we allow growth to take is natural course in our lives. Contrarily, if we choose to complain about the direction the wind blows we miss the chance for growth to change our lives. Let us not forget that growth can happen at anytime. It is up to us to ensure that we do all we can to learn and absorb the moment for all it has to offer.
Found this post empowering? Tell us how applicable these points about growth and embracing change were to you in the comment section below!
Shaquille Haynes Staff Blogger
Shaquille Haynes is a creative at heart with a passion for providing people with with practical tools to live their best lives! Her love for people is evident in her career choice as she is a practicing tourism professional. Among other things, she is an avid writer/ blogger, dancer, butterfly lover and food connoisseur. She finds great joy in serving those she mentors, mastering DIY projects and colouring the word purple