As a child growing up, one begins in search for a sense of identity.
Identity is imperative with a sense of purpose.
As an individual starts formal work, work begins to craft identity, (evolving) purpose, relationships with self and others.
How do we, as parents and an elder, assist these developing individuals, on a quest to find what they are gifted with and pursue a journey of life purpose and a (healthy) sense of identity?
I refer to the book ‘The Path to Purpose’ for some notable points:
- Set aside time – to speak to your child about what makes one’s work, paid and non-paid, meaningful . Aging purposefully and healthily means work does not only serve a monetary role as one gets older.
- Open your child’s mind to achievable choices – caution against tellable misfortune – pose essential questions – and, listen for answers.
- Take an interest in your child – see your children as interesting and capable – they matter (‘mattering’) – everything they do in this world matters.
- That problems will occur – explain about the problem in a hopeful manner – in a way that shows it’s not their fault a problem exists – hold Conversations – side-step panic-stricken – put some emphasis on hope.
- Show your values, through words, deeds and examples – journey parenting with a team, of like-minded people – seek out mentors who can teach, social as well as practical, skills.
Awareness of the above, to unify, both life purpose and vocation.
Also holding steadfast, love, hope and faith.
As adults, we can foster in a young person’s life, a discovery, of what holds meaning for them.
To get in early, on a journey of well-being.
1 Erickson’s Theory, p. 2 from Mehta, K. & Ko, H. (2014). Gerontological counselling: An introductory handbook. Singapore: Write Editions.
2 Damon, W. (2008). The path to purpose. USA: Free Press.
3 National Council of Social Service (NCSS). (2017). Understanding the quality of life of seniors. Retrieved from https://www.ncss.gov.sg/NCSS/media/NCSS-Publications/Pdfdocument/Understanding-the-Quality-of-Life-of-Seniors.pdf
4 World Health Organisation. (2020). What is healthy ageing? Retrieved from https://www.who.int/ageing/healthy-ageing/en/