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Helping Your Kids Develop Their Identity.
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Posted by : David Hirsch on April 6, 2013 - 12:05pm tags : Dad to Dad

The goal of every parent is to raise happy and successful kids. Happiness and success start with becoming clear about who you are and establishing an authentic identity. Knowing who you are can be your and your kid’s greatest asset for success.

One of the most important things we can do as parents is help our children understand what it means to establish your own identity. Remember, if you don’t establish your own identity the world will do it for you.

Go back to your own youth and think about some of the “labels” people gave you or that you gave others. Some were defined by their athletic prowess or lack there of. Others were defined by their looks, the color of their skin, or their religion. Some were defined by their socioeconomic status, by the cloths they wore, and the car they drove. The list goes on and on.

In this fast paced, consumer oriented, got ‘a keep up with the Jones world, is it any surprise that kids and adults struggle with their identity? Think about the kids who; wear multi-colored Mohawks, have multiple body piercings, and who collect tattoos under the guise that it’s body art. These are all superficial examples of youth trying to develop their identity.

If you’re a dad with a colored Mohawk, body piercings, and tattoos, you can skip the rest of this blog post.

What can we do as dads to help our kids develop a healthy, confident view of themselves? My friend Stedman Graham, the author of Identity: Your Passport To Success. indicates “Your happiness and success in life flow from becoming clear about who you are and establishing your authentic identity – first inside yourself and then externally in the world.” Here are some take-a-ways:

  • Building your identity is about knowing what your calling is, learning how to do it well, and creating value in the world.
  • The secret to un-labeling yourself is not to let other people define you. You need to define yourself.
  • The most important point is that you have a choice. You can decide to be a leader or be a victim.

Graham has created a nine steps process:

  • Check Your I.D.
  • Create Your Vision
  • Develop Your Travel Plan
  • Master The Rules Of The Road
  • Step Into The Outer Limits
  • Pilot The Seasons Of Change
  • Build Your Dream Team
  • Win By Decision, and
  • Commit To Your Vision.

Identity is a quick and meaningful read. It might even help you and your spouse in your own lives as well.

From DAD To DAD, helping your kids develop their own identity could be the single best thing you can do to help them be happy and successful.

David Hirsch's picture
About author: David Hirsch
David Hirsch is the father of five, ranging in age from 17 to 25. He is CEO (Chief Encouragement Officer) at TEAMDAD and the founder (1997) of Illinois Fatherhood Initiative, the country's first state-wide non-profit fatherhood organization whose mission is connecting children and fathers by Actively Engaging Fathers In The Education Of Children.
View all posts by David Hirsch

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