Category Archives: Parenthood

Creating team spirit of success under stressful conditions


A few years ago, the football team of my son, age 9 at that time played against Ajax. I was not the coach. At the break the score was 3:0 for Ajax. I spoke with the coach, and told him that the team do not trust that they can win. He answered: Ajax pick their players from 4000 kids, I pick them from maximum 20. I asked his permission to talk to the kids. He was open and caring, and allowed me to talk to them during this break. The game ended 3:3.

After my speech with them they were fighting and went for the win. They did it.

Imagine a military unit that lost 14 out of 40 people in one blast, in enemy area, and look devastated. Agreeing to this reality, could mean my death too.

Both realities are actually the same reality, with different application.

A few points should be trained and delivered:

  • The difference between winners and losers is never the result, but the spirit. Winners will transform every result to a growth and drive moment, while losers will only torture themselves.
  • Forgiving is an expression of guilt. Meaning – we have made mistakes that were not supposed to be done. Will this attitude reset the reality to where it was?
  • We need to get them involved in shifting the reality into the desired reality. Forgiving will not get that attitude. The way to do so is to relate together to the following questions:
    • What are the results that I call mistakes?
    • What was my intention? (By values and results)
    • What were the actions that I took?
    • What did I miss?
    • What are the opportunities evolving from these results?
    • What do I need to correct? (if there is a correction needed)

This spirit needs to be trained and coached at any time and any result. This is not a trick of one time. It can be done in every break and end of a game or competition. Unfortunately, some answers to coaching and trainership can be delivered only through real-practice and not over this platform.

Why do they fight with each-other?

Raising happy and powerful kidsWhen starting to create my family, I was clear that I would like to have 2 and even 3 children. In my dream, I saw them playing together, the grown-ups support the young-ones in their growth. I was aware that in many other families, and in many stories that I heard – there were fights and conflicts between the children. But, I thought that in good parenthood and proper attention, these fights can be prevented.

Nowadays, looking at how they behave with each-other, sometimes it is very far from my dream. What went wrong? What is it that got our children to be kind to other children, but, negative and sometimes hostile to each-other?

This reality is very common in most families. This happens, not because we intend bring up our children to be selfish. But we are falling into some simple mistakes that are creating nurturing ground for these fights to occur.

Some of those mistakes are:

  • We believe that our children are not manipulative, and thus show them that it works for their selfishness to manipulate us.
  • We believe that we need to protect the ‘weak-ones’ without considering that those are manipulations
  • We tend to lecture about how important it is to be one good family, but we do not let the children pay the consequences when they violate it
  • We tend to ‘solve’ the problems, and thus let the children manipulate us
  • WE do not maintain a clear ‘family-culture’ that brings the wanted family dream into      fulfillment, but we move into fast-reactions.
  • Above all – we do not lead and train our children into the wanted culture, but we expect them to get it out of our ‘preaching’ speeches.

Once family-culture is created and translated into functioning definitions – clarity will show-up for all family members. This is the beginning step. The next step is to create a leadership concept within the family that will allow every member to identify benefits and prices in the family life. The next step will be to maintain the ‘family-culture’ and to translate events from family life into growth process. This is a path that must be followed regularly, and cannot be neglected.

It looks as a hard work. NO – it is different. It is much harder and more painful, many years later to see the whole family structure collapses. The it will be to-late.

This is one in a series of blogs by Yiftach Sagiv about how we can raise happy and powerful kids. If you want to know more about the program than go to the Essence website for more info.

Raising happy and powerful kids: Are we a family?

Are we a family or just group of individuals with different interests?

When we, as parents – went for the “life-project” which is called “parenthood”, we had a kind of a dream, idea, wish, hope that was that we shall be a real – good – supportive family. From the moment the first child was there (by birth or adoption), this dream was and still is challenged. We face different opinions between us – as parents, which creates tensions, discussions and even conflicts. Sometime later, the child starts to bring other challenges and confrontations, which look so different from our dream. Not only these direct confrontations with our children are sources of doubts, but the discussions on how to bring up our children are becoming heavier. From these confrontations a serious question is evolving: Can our dream of the united – supportive – family be realized? How come that so many families (including our relationships with our own brothers/sisters) are facing arguments and discussions that look very far from our desired family-life? The answer to the last question – whether the dream can be realized is – YES, it can be and it has been proven to work in many families. The more relevant question is HOW can we create it? What is it that we are missing, or what is it that we do not know how to apply, in order to fulfill this important dream?
In order to realize this important and yet sensitive dream, we have to realize that we need to be able to integrate several sources of expectations, to bridge over several different personal cultures, to communicate in a variety of communication styles and to handle external sources of influential people like our own parents, teachers, neighbors and friends.
The beginning must be by setting very clear foundations for the family that will allow well-defined freedom for every member of the family to express their wishes, but still maintain the “family-unity” spirit. Once the foundation is prepared, it does not mean that the “rest-time” session starts. No, it just means that the foundation was prepared properly, and now we need to fill up all the means and methods to make this foundation ready for future steps.
It looks complicated, and actually it is, when we are not trained to do so. But after sometime of getting familiar with these methods, it is becoming easier and promising.

This is the first in a series of blogs by Yiftach Sagiv about how we can raise happy and powerful kids.

If want to know more about the program than go to the Essence website for more info.

What is the balance between – Freedom, Empowerment and Discipline?

Am I empowering, or, am I demanding ‘too-much’ from my children?

It is the never-ending argument between me and my partner: I think I am empowering our children, and she says I am expecting too much. She claims that I am dictating the ‘family-life’ when I demand too much from the children, and I find that she is ‘too-easy’ on their behavior in the family.
Then – sometimes later, the whole family goes on a ‘roller-coaster’ of frustration and disappointments from all sides – through questions like: How come they do not understand? Why don’t they keep their agreements? Why is the house looking like after a ‘revolution-war’ and when will they grow-up?!
We want to empower our children, to be independent and free. But when they take actions, which we find that contradict our expectations – we ask them: ‘who allowed you to do so?’ ‘Why didn’t you ask permission?’ ‘Why didn’t you understand by yourself?’ No wonder that what our kids start to avoid us. And then, we start to ask ourselves – Why aren’t they sharing with us openly? There are several keys that are necessary to solve these complications:

  • Family vision and agreed mutual platform of the family. Family vision will create a platform for all family-members, to identify themselves, and thus ‘will put all noses in the same direction’.
  • Agreed boundaries of the freedom amongst the leaders of the family – in most cases – the parents. These boundaries are not set to limit the freedom, but to clarify the boundaries of the ‘play-field’ named – family.
  • Coordination of diversity of solutions in specific events. This coordination will leave every parent in a functional effective zone, without necessity to be the copy of the other parent, and yet will create a platform of agreed differences.
  • Simple and supportive ‘house-rules’. House rules are important for all members of the family to create mutual clarity for ‘family-unity’.

All these are quite simple to achieve – once there is clarity how the process is worked out. After being ready with all those – come the next step – launching these keys in a wise way into the reality of the family.

This is the second in a series of blogs by Yiftach Sagiv about how we can raise happy and powerful kids. If you want to know more about the program than go to the Essence website for more info.