Parenting by Dr. Randy Cale

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Not All Talk

Telling holiday stories of gratitude is great, living them is even better

It’s that joyous time of year when you hear stories evoking gratitude and appreciation. It seems just about everyone is on board with supporting the value of gratitude and “believing in it.” In choosing the rebellious parenting style, a renegade parent doesn’t only talk about gratitude; they live it. Their home is an ongoing source of appreciation, and the family reaps the benefit. They understand the true power of gratitude not only to alter lives but to transform the quality of their family home.

It Begins as an Inside Game

Renegade parents recognize that the world around them is always playing the “outside game.” The outside game relies on the collection of the outside stuff: medals, accolades, and material things to build esteem, fulfillment, and happiness.

The renegade does not teach or support this at home, instead understanding that we all have a choice: fulfillment based on materiality or fulfillment based on character and outlook.

The common choice is to seek fulfillment through accumulating these outside trophies. Most join the herd in that race to compete.

The renegade choice is to make life about mastering the “inside game” first. At home, they demonstrate this by not allowing the trials and tribulations of their day to mute their family’s happiness. Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor and philosopher of antiquity, stated centuries ago that “You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this, and you will discover strength.” The Renegade Parent has this strength and has nurtured a strong inside game in themselves and their children.

Resistance is Futile, Frustrating and Steals Gratitude

The renegade parent realizes early on that resistance to life’s events is futile. In other words, life will often not meet our expectations, but if we respond by complaining, fighting, arguing and throwing angry tantrums, then we have surrendered our well‐being to external events beyond our control.

For example, most of us might throw a small tantrum when we break our favorite coffee cup. This reaction is universally understood because of its commonality; we may even see it as perfectly reasonable and appropriate to the situation.

Yet, not everyone screams, not everyone gets upset. There is a choice here, and the renegade parent chooses calmness and refuses to indulge in the negative thoughts and emotions that stem from the situation. This cultivates enormous ease and eliminates many frustrations. More importantly, this lays the foundation for gratitude to evolve.

Choosing to Say “Yes” to the Moment at Hand

Opening up is the opposite of resistance and is the secret to acceptance in life. The strategy is clear and reaps immense rewards – say an internal “yes” to all that happens. It may sound simple. It’s not. It might sound stupid. It’s not. You might find it promotes fear, helplessness, or giving up, but it’s none of these.

The renegade’s commitment to an internal “yes” brings immediate ease and eliminates fear and frustration. They are truly living in the moment. Most importantly, the “yes” is opening the door to gratitude.

The renegade is using the energy of life and working with the moment – not against it. She realizes that there is something that could always be learned from the experience, and often finds it. Almost every event can be a source for learning, growth, and evolution, and for this, she is grateful.

For the renegade parent no moment passes that doesn’t hold the seed of a lesson, and they cherish teaching this to their children.

Gratitude Signals Abundance and Abundance Triggers Infinite Ways of Giving

Renegades use the state of gratitude as their ally in another way that remarkably enhances their lives. They notice that gratitude always signals abundance, and they find, regardless of their pocketbook, that there is always something to give when truly grateful. Having something to give freely is what we might call the internal state of abundance.

While in gratitude, this abundant state emerges and discovers that there is always room for a smile, a word of support, a sweet nod of encouragement, a patient ear, an extra few bucks for those less fortunate, and even forgiveness. These giving moments accumulate in the daily experience with family, friends, colleagues, and strangers, creating a uniquely profound experience of over‐flowing abundance – and even more gratitude.

The Grateful, Abundant Renegade is Absurdly Happy and Successful on Their Chosen Path

The research favors the renegade model in many ways, both with the inside and the outside game. The grateful renegade is predictably happier, and in that happiness, they tend to be more optimistic, they live longer, and they live more satisfying lives.

The mind is an interesting organ. It has a predictable habit of defending and protecting its habits, regardless of the pain, frustration, and cost. Many parents critique, ridicule and proclaim the absurdity of the renegade path. The renegade does not argue, and in fact, does not care. Happiness and abundance are their rewards.

Cale offers practical guidance for a host of parenting concerns. For more information visit terrificparenting.com.

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