If we are honest, many of our days could be viewed as unexciting and uninspiring. Much of life is performing what we perceive as mundane, everyday tasks and obligations. Then we sleep (not enough), wake up and repeat. However, we live in culture that has trained us to strive for accomplishment in each moment and experiences that are bigger and better than the last. Many of us are in a state of constant competition to keep up with how great we think everyone else's life is. Average is not good enough any more. We are all being programmed to seek Instagram worthy moments all day every day. Our expectations are high. No wonder our kids are struggling with anxiety. Perhaps we can all begin to play a part in healing our social fabric by learning to find the extraordinary in the ordinary and modeling this for our children. There is a way to find miracles and beauty, even in the doldrums.
In today's interview, clinical psychologist Dr. Roger Olson talks about three different characters that each of us can develop that will help strengthen minds and build connection and resilience. Each character represents a set of skills that children can learn from their parents. The Captain refers to executive functioning skill. In other words, one's "capacity to meet challenges and accomplish goals." The Lookout refers to mindfulness, awareness and perspective taking. The Storyteller is all about making sense of our life story, reframing obstacles as opportunities and shaping our inner dialogue to be language that has the potential to serve our highest self. All of this, of course, begins with parental modeling of these character traits and skills.
Quicklinks to Resources from this Episode
Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water: Reflections on Stress and Human Spirituality
Mindfulness and Character Strengths: A Practical Guide To Flourishing
Thirty Million Words: Building a Child's Brain
Character Strength Survey
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression
Thich Nhat Hanh and The Mindfulness Bell
Question Prompts for Reflecting on Your Own Childhood (Adult Attachment Interview Protocol)
Meditation apps: Headspace, Calm
Mindful Parenting Classes - St. Luke's, Boise, ID 208-381-9000
Vashti Summervill is a PCI Certified Parent Coach and a certified teacher in the state of Idaho. She is the secretary of the Idaho Suicide Prevention Coalition and the co-chair of the St. Luke’s Pediatric Family Advisory Council.