"The difficulties we have with our children often stem from our own personal 'lacks and gaps,'" he said.
I laughed. I'd come to this conclusion myself, although I hated to admit it. I'm not consistent, I love to live on the fly, I hate to set limits for myself, I hate to sit still...the list of my flaws that show up in my children go on and on.
With his organization, The Boyhood Project (www.theboyhoodproject.com), Kristian hopes to foster an environment in which people can "raise emotionally intelligent boys to transform the world."
Emotional intelligence starts, of course, with parents' recognition and admission of our own contributions to the home environment.
Kristian says clearly, with great sympathy in his eyes, "We have to realize that our own emotional shortcomings make up our parenthology. Sometimes we don't realize that a child's behavior is a reflection of our own belief system."
The Boyhood Project is all about creating what Kristian calls a "center column" between the strict, punishing ways of the last generation and the often too-permissive ways of today's parents.
"Where did we get the crazy idea that to get kids to do better, we have to make them feel bad?" Instead of just praising kids, which makes them dependant on your approval, he suggests we stop hovering and controlling our children and "start letting them know they are accountable for their own success."
Parents taking responsibility is the first step toward raising kids who take responsibility.
"It's hard," Kristian said, again looking at me with big, sympathetic eyes. "But we have to try."
Gold star to Kristian for trying and for helping others, including me, do the same.