PARENTING ARTICLES : Positive Self—Awareness Knowing Yourself By Dr.Maryann Rosenthal

Nothing shouts so loudly about a society’s success as do the lives of our children, and the lives of our children are a reflection of adult values children have learned by observation, imitation and repetition. We are at a critical crossroad in our culture which has become obsessed with immediate gratification, violent entertainment, celebrity status and skin—deep role models. Throughout human history every powerful, wealthy nation at its zenith has abdicated its responsibility to instill the principles and virtues — that made it flourish — in the generations that followed. As a result, no society has ever survived its own success by staying on top. It has disappeared or lost its position as a global leader. Unless we plant the seeds of greatness in our children, the weeds of apathy and selfishness will take over and the society will wither and decay.

To understand other adults takes intelligence, openness, and experience. To understand our children takes patience, empathy and effort. To know ourselves, takes introspection, honesty and wisdom, and is one of the key roots in effective parenting. One of the most important elements of success is positive self—awareness. Positive Self—Awareness is the ability to step back from the canvas of life and take a good look at yourself as you relate to your environmental, physical and mental worlds. It is the ability to accept yourself as a unique, changing, imperfect, and growing individual. It is the ability to recognize your potential as well as your limitations, and prejudices. It is a vital attribute for an effective parent or leader. And the earlier you can nurture this attribute in your children and others who look to you for guidance, the more they will view their glasses as half—full and filling, rather than half—empty and leaking; and the more they will view the world as offering abundance and opportunity, instead of scarcity and apprehension. Self—awareness is also self—assessment, which is the ability to see your strengths and weaknesses clearly. It is knowing what you have to offer and recognizing that time and effort will be necessary for top achievement. Winners can look in the mirror and see what lies behind their own eyes. You’re a winner when what you think, how you feel, and what you do all fit together.

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Dr. Maryann Rosenthal is a highly respected clinical psychologist on family dynamics and best selling author of Be A Parent, Not A Pushover, recently selected as a book of the year on effective parenting. She is a featured authority on regional and national television and a global keynote speaker. She co-authored with Denis Waitley, the new family leadership program, The Seeds of Greatness System taught worldwide. Maryann lives in southern California with her husband and their blended family of seven children and six grandchildren (and counting).
 
© 2004 by Dr. Maryann Rosenthal.  Permission to reprint if left intact.

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