This summer was challenging for us because I was not able to register the kids to their swimming lessons, so their day to day activities were not that full. Sharyn went home to get married and since I was their adult supervisor during this time, I used that opportunity to apply what I think is best to prepare them for the future - learn the household chores early and be responsible.
Because I worked in an environment where people needs to be trained right in order for them to successfully accomplish the tasks, I have lived and breathed the principles of learning and what a waste if I will not apply them in my own household.
This summer we implemented a schedule for washing the dishes distributing the tasks and letting the kids take turns. This was also a team building activity as each one need to look after what the other person is doing. So far, summer ended and there are zero broken glasses or plates from these activities.
The only permanent thing is CHANGE.
If there is one thing that I need to learn by heart that will always be required by everyone regardless of age, location, situation or stage in our life, that is CHANGE. Since I am privileged to learn some principles in school and experienced hands-on implementation of change for continuous improvement (ISO and computer systems), I want to share some tips to help with managing or even adapting to change. Below is the change curve and it is interesting to find out the different phases (colored) we go through until we accept it. The stages are what the change implementors provide in each phase.
1. Stage 1 - Open your mind and your heart and close your mouth. When we are faced with a sudden different situation, we need to stop complaining or being angry or blame others and try to understand what's coming. This is the time to contemplate and reflect on why this might be happening. But do not analyze too much. It's not only about you. We need to avoid questions like "what have I done wrong?" or "Is it me?" There is a reason apart from you why there is change. Maybe it's time to ask God for wisdom and let Him guide you through the process. Begin with the end in mind. Envision the future by thinking about you in the new set up.
2. Stage 1 and 2 - Learn about the change and its benefits. One thing we Change Implementors do is to provide information about the change. "What is the change? Why and What's In It for me?" are the questions you need to ask yourself or whoever is proposing the change before you start complaining or being negative about it. A good change implementor has to provide the explanation on the benefits of the change in order for it to be successfully implemented.
3. Stage 3 and 4 - Just Do it. Training and hands-on experience is the best way to learn and to discover the benefits. You actually doing it is better than someone telling you that you will experience this and that. It's easier to adapt to change once you get your hands on the new gadget, or new app, or perform a new task.
Do you remember the time when computers first came or the ATM or mobile phones? I am from the Gen X crowd and I knew a lot of Baby Boomers didn't want to even try these new electronic discoveries. Lots of new models, technologies were invented decades after they were first discovered and I am still amazed about the rapid change that came with it. Those who adapted to it not only became the first persons to experience it but they also participated in improving the technologies. Who would have imagined that a phone will have a camera and a music player at the time the first mobile phone was created? The changes you saw in the gadgets were from the clamour and "what if" questions of those who actually used the phone. Now those who said they were better off with a wired, landline phone because of radiation waited for it to fail but later watched at how the technologies evolved. I see these grandmas and granddads now asking the younger generations to show them how to install an app in their new phone.
The thing is, whether you like it or not, whether you will adapt to it or not, Change is here and you cannot prevent it. An inspirational frame hanging on my office wall when I was still in the Philippines says "CHANGE - if you cannot ride the wave of change you will find yourself beneath it. "
Now going back to my children and their doing the household chores - they are going to be in that stage anyway when they go to university, or get married or be on their own. I believe that the parent's greatest gift they can give to their children is to teach them how to live by not only showing them but also letting them experience the true essence of life. Life is not always easy and they are not entitled. Even the bible said, you will work in order for you to eat. As early as now I want to show them that it will not be easy, the change will come and go but we need to prepare them, to be tough, to be adaptable and learn from it all.
I have seen, experience and can honestly testify that those who adapt to change easily have more potential to become successful than those who resist to change.
P.S. I was a proud mom when I showed Kyle how to order on his own and he came back with the right change and with the right product from Wendy's. I asked how was the experience and he said it was easy. Well, other helicopter moms will not dare let their kids do that.