Home is a road on which our children learn to steer. They learn to steer as they watch us navigate our own pathways. Their steering biases are, to some extent, determined by our DNA and our family history. We may not have control over these boundaries and contours. However, we do have control over the signposts we raise in the home to guide their steering.
As parents, the signposts at home cannot be fixed rigid and unchanging; they must adapt to the new conditions faced by our children as they grow and develop. Speeds at one age are inappropriate for the next. In times of turbulence and transition, our signposts need to raise caution and reduce risks. In times of opportunity, they need to signal the way to adventure and exploration. As parents, we need to signpost for the times and for the seasons.
We also need to signpost for the particular driver them self. Each of our children is developing a unique and particular pattern of steering. The signposts essential for one may be inappropriate for another. One child may be highly trust them self, and the other to highly questionning of them self; each will need specific and different signposts to help them learn how to steer in a healthy way.
As they get older, children’s patterns of steering become more organised and iterated. Biases able to be shifted at 8 are less easy to shirt at 18, let alone 28, 38 or 48. The opportunity to shape a child’s steering lies as they move from childhood to adulthood, through adolescence. The wisdom of the parent is providing the right signposts, at the right time, for the right child.
Reflect on what biases your child may be presenting. All children swerve; all children swing between different biases over adolescence, and most parents will detect some trace of some patterns at some time in their children’s behaviours. That is not of concern. What is of concern is when those patterns become iterated and entrenched. You may be starting to see your child developing a fixed bias pattern.
In these section, you will find articles written specifically for children exhibiting the signs of specific steering biases. These articles will provide practical strategies to steer parents so that your home can be a road that teaches your child to steer well.