Lesson from The Boys In the Boat

connecting with your teenager empowerment mindset Jan 15, 2024

My wife and I absolutely love going to the movies, especially when they're based on true stories. Last week, we had the pleasure of watching a new release called "The Boys in the Boat." While the story itself was entertaining, what really stood out to me was how it beautifully showcased the power of connection.


Let me give you a little background on the movie. Set in 1936, it revolves around the University of Washington's men's 8-man rowing team. After a rigorous tryout, eight boys are chosen to be part of the junior varsity boat. The main focus is on Joe Rantz, who, in the midst of the Great Depression, found himself homeless and unable to afford his tuition. Upon learning that the rowing team provided its members with a job, a place to live, and meals, Joe decides to try out in order to keep his dream of earning an engineering degree alive. As expected, the newly formed team faces challenges initially, but soon they start to show promise. They row as one, understanding that rowing is the ultimate team sport. If even one member is slightly off, it can throw off the entire boat's momentum. On the other hand, when the team hits a series of strokes in perfect harmony, it's an exhilarating experience. My daughter, who rowed on the crew team at Purdue University, can vouch for this fact.


Now, you might be wondering, "That's an interesting story, but what does it have to do with family enrichment or parenting?"


Well, the key takeaway here is the power of connection. After leaving the theater, I felt inspired, and judging by the reactions of others, they did too. This story resonated with our innate need to feel connected. Deep down, we all want to be part of something bigger than ourselves. That's why building connection is one of the three core fundamentals within the H2J Parenting Framework. As a parent, one of your primary roles is to create an environment that fosters connection - connection to you and connection to the family. This is crucial because when your children feel a strong connection to you, they carry your love and support with them wherever they go. They never feel alone or isolated. They know they are a valued member of the "team" and that they are part of something greater than themselves.


In the movie, these young men were brought together by a shared goal - to row the boat as one.


The lesson we can learn from this is that one of the most effective ways to bring your family closer and foster deep connections is by having a common goal that everyone can rally around. Take a moment to consider these questions:


- What does your family stand for?

- How does your family make a positive impact in the community?

- What goal can everyone in the family contribute to?


By finding something that you and your children can rally around, you create a sense of unity and purpose. Here are a few examples:


- We strive to make everyone who enters our home feel welcome and valued.

- Our family volunteers to serve meals to the homeless once a month.

- Mom is pursuing her nursing degree so that we can move into a bigger house and provide a better life for our family.


You might be surprised by how thoughtful and insightful your children can be when you engage them in this kind of discussion.


Your family enrichment coach,


Jim White





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