Dr. Rich Patterson

African American father and son talking

Focus on Good Energy

I recently saw a father speaking to his son after a soccer game where his son’s team lost by quite a bit.  The son was discouraged and felt like a failure.  The father noticed that his son was frustrated and asked him questions.  He said:  “Did you do your best?”  the son replied, “yes, I did.”  The father then asked, “Did your team work together?”  the son replied that he thought that they did their best.  Then you were beaten by a better team, the father replied.

I like this story because it focuses on the good energy around us rather than our surroundings.  So often in life, that which is around us can be disappointing, defeating, frustrating, and discouraging.  By getting in the habit of finding good energy, we learn to see what will move us forward rather than backward.  Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s, had every reason to be discouraged.  He never knew his mother and was adopted at six weeks old.  His adoptive mother died when Dave was five years old, and his father went around the country looking for work.

He eventually spent some time with his grandmother, whom he credits for teaching him respect and treating others well.  Dave went to numerous schools and struggled with family issues of money.

He became the founder and chief executive officer of Wendy’s, a fast-food restaurant chain.  I’m sure at times he was undoubtedly discouraged, but he focused instead on what he could do, what he could learn from, such as getting fired from his first job.  He made himself a promise that later helped drive himself forward rather than backward.

What can we find in our circumstances regardless of their ugliness?  What good is there in the energy that surrounds it?  What opportunities lie in the disappointments and errors of our life?  As we work with kids, I address this in my book:  Making Sense of Life:  A Guidebook for Teens and Parents.  It is available in paperback, eBook, and Audiobook through Amazon or your favorite bookstore.  I hope you will check it out and find something that you can use with your child.  Here is the link:  https://www.amazon.com/Making-Sense-Life-Guidebook-Parents/dp/1627875018/

Promoting positive behaviors in youth is always to be watchful for and encouraged.  Here are some ideas to help with this, Promoting Positive Behaviors in Youth – Dr. Rich Patterson (pattersonphd.com)

the Youth.gov site has an article on the Effectiveness of Positive Youth Development Programs for you here, Effectiveness of Positive Youth Development Programs | Youth.gov

I wish you the best energy around working with your kids,

Yours for Better Parenting,