When we’re asked what makes us feel successful as parents, I’ve noticed that our answers often involve our kids’ choices. But as I reflect, I can’t help but wonder if that is a perilous decision. After all, what if we do everything “right” and our kids still don’t “turn out” as we expected? Or worse still, what if our kids ultimately define success differently than we do? Might we then condemn ourselves to a life of stress and perceived failure?
Because we only truly have control over ourselves, hinging our sense of success within may prove more beneficial. And teaching our children to do so will in turn help them to take more ownership over the course of their lives.
To me, this is all tightly woven with being balanced. My days feel most scattered when I have neglected important roles, and they feel most successful when I have managed to give each the attention necessary. This week’s provocation is intended to help students consider what it means to find balance in their own lives, and to recognize what a lack of balance looks like.
Resource #1: Labeled food plate (story here)
Resource #2: Mobile by Verena Fels
A humorous and more direct connection to “balance.” I like how it addresses how we sometimes take ourselves too seriously in seeking balance.
Resource #3: Nuggets by Filmbilder
This video gets into the heavier topic of how drugs cause dependence. However, its representation can be expanded to anything that causes us to have extreme dependence, causing a lack of balance and self-control in our lives.
Resource #4: Yelp: With Apologies to Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” by Tiffany Slain & Let it Ripple Studio
The “looking for an info fix” here might add an interesting element to this discussion. I am a huge proponent for teaching kids the potential for good within tech use (rather than just teaching them not to do bad things); however, even with the most positive perspectives, might the result still be negative if balance is not part of the conversation?
Resource #5: Cinder Edna by Ellen Jackson & Kevin O’Malley
If you’ve missed this spunky twist on an old tale, it’s worth checking out! Adds a great element of what it means to be well-rounded.
Resource #6: Moon, by Alison Oliver
My 8 year-old was very clearly able to see that Moon’s to-do list was seriously out-of-balance. Investigate with your students what else our to-do lists should include to live balanced lives.
- What does it mean to live a balanced life for you?
- What does it mean to have balance in your family?
- How does balance impact our quality of life?
- How does balance impact our societies?
- What are the consequences of a lack of balance?
- What role do humor and flexibility play in seeking balance?
- What changes might I make to achieve greater balance in my life?
featured image: DeathToTheStockPhoto