Some believe that we were born “good” and the environment made us “bad.” Others believe that we were born “bad” and the environment ought to make us “good.” One clear thing is that the environment plays a great role in shaping us all. Our experience makes us who we are, and we tend to view ourselves, others and the world, partly, as a result of our upbringing. With that in mind, how do we prepare the next generation? How do we capitalize upon our current knowledge and wisdom to pave a path for a better world for our children, grand children, for our next generation?
During my years of working with children, I have discovered some key steps in preparing the next generation, which I am sharing here as a 7-step guidance. I invite you to also share your own wisdom:
Preparation starts even before the decision of having a child or as soon as we learn that we are expecting one. It then continues throughout childhood and adulthood. In other words, it does not stop. It's an evolving process.
It's now common knowledge that, whether in school, at home, or in the workplace, expectation can make or break any intended results. As caregivers, health professionals, or coaches, what are our expectations for ourselves, for the children, for the next generation? The answer to this question can be priceless.
Love is powerful, it can make wonder and can push us to greatness. The lack of it can indeed lead to the exact opposite. Part of preparing the next generation is to instill love. Help them feel loved, help them love themselves, and help them love others, the world, and the work they do.
Whoever does not feel safe cannot learn, thrive, or succeed. Safety is one of the primal needs and doing whatever it takes to establish safety can be the foundation in preparing the next generation.
It starts with external motivation, and it ends with firm internal and self-motivation. Lack of motivation makes everything seem so challenging and insurmountable. Motivation is a tool that all our children need as they grow up.
No one did it alone. Someone else inspired everyone, and everyone needs a sounding board. Everyone benefits from mentorship and the earlier it starts the more prepared our next generation will be.
We either pay now or pay later, except that what we pay later may be astronomical compared to what we would need to pay now. It's easier to choose to be reactive than being proactive. Furthermore, prevention does not lend itself to immediate results, which most of us tend to be drawn to. However, we all know from the bottom of our hearts that prevention is key.
The future depends on the next generation. In my future blog posts, I will elaborate more on each one of this 7-step guidance. Meanwhile, please share your wisdom. What does it take to prepare the next generation?
Thank you and until then,
Dr. Sidor is quadruple board certified in psychiatry, with vast clinical, teaching, supervision, mentorship, and management experience. He also has extensive experience in public speaking, leadership, business, and research, in addition to a passion for program development and project management. His overall goal is to empower all health care professionals throughout the United States and globally, towards ensuring the continuity of excellent patient care, while balancing the need to take care of themselves. Dr. Sidor is the main instructor for the SWEET Institute, and he is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University. He is also the past Medical Director and Chief Medical Officer for CASES (Center for Alternative Sentencing and employment Services), where he continues to see patients and consult on challenging cases. He speaks and writes fluently in six (6) languages—French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Creole and Italian.