Children gain new understandings daily, merely by applying themselves to learn. The self-improvement progression is the same for adults; we can always improve our knowledge, develop our character, increase our strengths, shore up our weaknesses, and bring healing to our relationships. Albert Einstein wrote, “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”
Writing goals down in a self-improvement journal is a great place to start. Set a routine to reflect on these goals daily. Evaluate areas where progress is being made. Identify habits that are helping and habits that are running interference. Remember, goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound are more likely to be achieved than goals that are not.
Simple tasks such as reading every day, meditating, and even waking up early are easy to accomplish, yet easy to neglect. The self-improvement process is a choice that starts from within.
We have such busy lives! Between work, children, and a thousand other responsibilities, a personal growth journey can seem like too much of a time commitment. Do we view self-improvement as reserved for people who aren’t super busy? Do we view it as a luxury afforded to those who have earned success? These toxic thoughts poison us from taking charge; beware of being ensnared by their false narrative. Successful people are successful because no matter how busy they are, they specifically set aside time for learning. Anyone can read ten pages a day. Anyone.
Who Are We Becoming?
American author, Jim Rohn, wrote, “Success is something we attract by the person we become.” What is our attitude? What is our philosophy towards life? As we consider the time investment needed for personal growth, reframe the question. This isn’t “What am I getting?” but “Who am I becoming?”
Who we become is so much more valuable than what we get.
American author, Ernest Hemingway, wrote, “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” We’ve all witnessed people who glide in and out of challenging conversations with ease, leaders who seem to effortlessly keep their team focused on the prize. The gifts of persuasiveness and eloquence don’t materialize overnight. By reading consistently and dedicating time to self-improvement, we can slowly but surely join the ranks of conversational genius.
Self-Development for Children
First and foremost, children should know that we love them exactly as they are. One of the coolest things about kids is their uncanny knack for living in the present moment. This moment right here, right now, matters most. As children progress through grade school, gently let them in on this secret: there are special books thaat can help us learn just about anything.
As children grow and stretch themselves, they might pout, complain, and offer resistance. When mom makes learning fun, we stunt those counterproductive energies and nourish a growth mindset. Mothers can minimize the “pain” experienced as children struggle to learn by leaning on a strong mother-child bond to connect with reassuring love, eye contact, and trust during the learning process. Remind them that attitude is everything; nurture, coach, support, and even gently tease their misperceived “agony.” Get them smiling during the growth process, help them help themselves, and enjoy the great fun of learning new things.
First, show them how to do something. Then, do it together. Finally, pass them the reins to try for themselves. While first attempts without our help may be unproductive, learning success comes in the form of experiential learning. As mothers lead children back and forth from “We do” to “You do,” gradual improvements inspire growing self-confidence.
Good vs. Bad Influences
Self-improvement comes from neither osmosis nor genetics; good and bad social influences are coming for our children’s minds. By making time to teach our children, attentive, nurturing mothers can get there first.
Classmates, curriculum, and mainstream media promote ideas that can distort both values and priorities. Maternal guidance is vital for counteracting negative influences and preparing children for real world success. English author, Stephen Richards, wrote, “You are essentially who you create yourself to be, and all that occurs in your life is the result of your own making.”
Thought Provoking Conversations
As children grow, they become increasingly capable conversationalists. Mothers should spark and cultivate intellectually stimulating social interactions. Icebreaker Deeper Talk by BestSelf is a pack of 150 prompt cards designed to enrich self-expression, helping parents and children go beyond small talk to explore higher level opinions, fears, and possibilities for the future.
Answer Questions with Questions
Sometimes, answering a question with a question will encourage children to focus on their own ideas and observations. Rather than dictating knowledge, invite kids to brainstorm possibilities by exploring concepts and discovering answers for themselves. This head-first, “throw-them-in-the-fire” approach helps them establish fundamental skills for independent learning.
When we link formal structures (e.g. the classroom) with informal structures (e.g. the museum), crossover learning shows children there lots of ways to gain knowledge.
Indian Hindu philosopher, Swami Vivekananda, wrote, “Things do not grow better; they remain as they are. It is we who grow better, by the changes we make in ourselves.”
As with all good habits, mom teaches best when she leads by example. If we read and grow daily, our children bear witness—and are more likely to adopt a strong positive attitude and love for learning that transcends into every area of life. Remember these words of Jim Rohn, “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”
“For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” —Hebrews 6:10-12 KJV
This exciting book helps children practice core skills, providing a survival kit for them to dip into when they need extra help or motivation.
The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.
A roadmap to guide teens from where they are now to where they want to be in the future. Updated for the digital age, this classic book is a handbook to self-esteem and success.
The pathway for developing the habits that give us the security to adapt to change and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.
In the original Think and Grow Rich, published in 1937, Hill draws on stories of Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and other millionaires to illustrate his principles.
PLEASE NOTE: As an Amazon Associate, Mothers Truly Matter earns from qualifying purchases. The information in this post should not be construed as providing specific psychiatric, psychological, or medical advice, but rather to offer readers information to better understand the lives and health of themselves and their children. It is not intended to provide an alternative to professional treatment or to replace the services of a physician, psychiatrist, or psychotherapist.