There is no doubt that moving is one of the greatest stresses a family can face. No one is immune to the negative effects of stress, but with the right set of skills and support everyone has the opportunity to successfully overcome obstacles in life.
Our thoughts affect how we feel. Those thoughts and feelings ultimately impact our actions. Our ability to take control our negative thoughts, shifting them to more positive and productive ones, is deeply rooted in our temperament. As discussed in a previous post (Moving Families-ThruTheEyesOfTemperament) temperament is a set of inborn traits that we are born with, essentially manageable but unchangeable. Our attitude, what we value, and our self esteem can be changed and it is within this space that parents can help their children manage the stress of moving to a new home.
Encouragement builds courage and self-esteem, both critical elements for dealing with any obstacle, including the stress of moving. The challenge we face is when in our effort to build self esteem, we unknowingly create a sense of entitlement. When everyone wins regardless of effort or ability, we diminish the value of striving – striving to improve, striving to realize more of our full potential. We can create a sense of “I showed up. Where’s my reward?”
Legendary coach John Wooden defined success as “peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” Coach Wooden’s results were undeniable, not just in the number of victories during his tenure but in the number of athletes who graduated with a degree as a result of his leadership. When we build self esteem by encouraging best effort, regardless of reward, we build what Dr. Carol Dweck calls a “growth mindset.” A growth mindset is about learning and seeking out opportunities to learn, success is a journey not a destination. A fixed mindset defines success in certificates, trophies and material achievements. Success is “fixed” in the outcome, not the journey.
For more information on mindsets, you can read an edition of the Minnesota Youth Hockey Coaches Association's newsletter written by Dr. Dweck here Mindsets .
As your children walk the “journey” of adjusting to all the ups and downs of moving to a new home, the growth mindset tells them that it is hard work but hard work pays off. Through the journey of adjustment, they will come out on the other side stronger and more confident to face the next challenge that comes their way.
For more information about the Moving Families Initiative, please visit www.movingfamiliesinitiative.com.