By Thomas Claiborn, Prevent Child Abuse Arizona Parent Advisory Council Member
4D means “we are Different by Design but Dynamic by Decision.” We’re ‘different by design’ means that we all have different strengths, perspectives, and experiences. ‘Dynamic by decision’ shows us that these differences, when grouped together, inform the best decisions made for humanity.
I don’t know if we have any better picture of good and bad decisions made by differences than the American Story. My family and I recently had the opportunity to watch “Hamilton” where we watched the paralleled life of two orphaned friends, Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton, as a revolution took place a new nation was born. These two men never quite learned how to use their differences for the greater good of humanity, but instead their own selfish ambition led to the unfortunate homicide of Hamilton being killed by Burr. This left Hamilton’s wife a widow and Aaron Burr a villain in the history books.
In our household, part of our parenting to win strategy is to stay on mission. Our purpose as parents is to educate, impact, and lead our children to aim beyond success (which focuses on adding value to oneself) to significance (which focuses on adding value to others).
Yet, due to our history, we find ourselves in a world divided by fear, pride, and ignorance, lacking cross cultural engagement which ultimately keeps us from reaching our full potential as the human race.
We are all faced with the question: “how we dismantle the perverted powers of racism and break down the barriers of systemic oppression that works against our children’s success?”
Our world is in great need of a revolution. We have a lot of work ahead of us, and it starts with our children in our homes and in our communities. How do we develop an environment in which all children will grow in boldness, confidence, and access to opportunities for their well-being?
I suggest that we do that by 4D Parenting – focusing on reminding our children that they are unique, different, and complex. This reality was designed to be a source of complement, not conflict.
We can coach and model for them what it looks like to be aware of, acknowledge, and appreciate our differences so we can make better decisions that benefit us all. Skin color, ethnicity, customs, language, temperaments, and personalities are a few ways we are different. We are different by design, but dynamic by decision. If we all start viewing the world in 4D, I think we can win.