7 Par­ent­ing Be­hav­iours That Stop Chil­dren From Be­ing Suc­cess­ful

The Miracle - - Women -

In the course of his re­search, lead­er­ship ex­pert and au­thor of best-sell­ing psy­chol­ogy books Dr. Tim El­more has dis­cov­ered sev­eral ma­jor mis­takes which par­ents of­ten make when rais­ing their chil­dren, which can re­duce their self-con­fi­dence from an early age and limit their chances of be­com­ing suc­cess­ful in their ca­reers and per­sonal lives.i To help you avoid mak­ing the com­mit­ting the same er­rors, we’ve re­pro­duced them be­low. 1. Take a look. We don’t let our chil­dren ex­pe­ri­ence risk We live in a world that warns us of dan­ger at ev­ery turn. The “safety first” pre­oc­cu­pa­tion en­forces our fear of los­ing our kids, so we do ev­ery­thing we can to pro­tect them. It’s our job after all, but we have in­su­lated them from healthy risk-tak­ing be­hav­ior and it’s had an ad­verse ef­fect. Psy­chol­o­gists in Europe have dis­cov­ered that if a child doesn’t play out­side and is never al­lowed to ex­pe­ri­ence a skinned knee, they fre­quently have pho­bias as adults. Kids need to fall a few times to learn it’s nor­mal; teens likely need to break up with a boyfriend or girl­friend to ap­pre­ci­ate the emo­tional ma­tu­rity that last­ing re­la­tion­ships re­quire. If par­ents re­move risk from chil­dren’s lives, we will likely ex­pe­ri­ence high ar­ro­gance and low self-es­teem in our grow­ing lead­ers. 2. We res­cue too quickly To­day’s generation of young peo­ple has not de­vel­oped some of the life skills kids did 30 years ago be­cause adults swoop in and take care of prob­lems for them. When we res­cue too quickly and over-in­dulge our chil­dren with “as­sis­tance,“we re­move the need for them to nav­i­gate hard­ships and solve prob­lems on their own. It’s par­ent­ing for the short-term and it sorely misses the point of lead­er­ship—to equip our young peo­ple to do it with­out help. Sooner or later, kids get used to some­one res­cu­ing them: ”If I fail or fall short, an adult will smooth things over and re­move any con­se­quences for my mis­con­duct.” When in re­al­ity, this isn’t even re­motely close to how the world works, and there­fore it dis­ables our kids from be­com­ing com­pe­tent adults. 3. We rave too eas­ily The self-es­teem move­ment has been around since Baby Boomers were kids, but it took root in our school sys­tems in the 1980s. At­tend a lit­tle league base­ball game and you’ll see that ev­ery­one is a win­ner. This “ev­ery­one gets a tro­phy” mentality might make our kids feel spe­cial, but re­search is now in­di­cat­ing this method has un­in­tended con­se­quences. Kids even­tu­ally ob­serve that Mom and Dad are the only ones who think they’re awe­some when no one else is say­ing it. They be­gin to doubt the ob­jec­tiv­ity of their par­ents; it feels good in the mo­ment, but it’s not con­nected to re­al­ity. When we rave too eas­ily and dis­re­gard poor be­hav­ior, chil­dren even­tu­ally learn to cheat, ex­ag­ger­ate and lie and to avoid dif­fi­cult re­al­ity. They have not been con­di­tioned to face it. 4. We let guilt get in the way of lead­ing well Your child does not have to love you ev­ery minute. Your kids will get over the dis­ap­point­ment, but they won’t get over the ef­fects of be­ing spoiled. So tell them “no“or ”not now,” and let them fight for what they re­ally value and need. As par­ents, we tend to give them what they want when re­ward­ing our chil­dren, es­pe­cially with mul­ti­ple kids. When one does well in some­thing, we feel it’s un­fair to praise and re­ward that one and not the other. This is un­re­al­is­tic and misses an op­por­tu­nity to en­force the point to our kids that suc­cess is de­pen­dent upon our own ac­tions and good deeds. Be care­ful not to teach them a good grade is rewarded by a trip to the mall. If your re­la­tion­ship is based on ma­te­rial re­wards, kids will ex­pe­ri­ence nei­ther in­trin­sic mo­ti­va­tion nor un­con­di­tional love. 5. We don’t share our past mis­takes Healthy teens are go­ing to want to spread their wings and they’ll need to try things on their own. We as adults must let them, but that doesn’t mean we can’t help them nav­i­gate th­ese waters. Share with them the rel­e­vant mis­takes you made when you were their age in a way that helps them learn to make good choices. (Avoid neg­a­tive “lessons learned” hav­ing to do with smok­ing, al­co­hol, il­le­gal drugs, etc.) Also, kids must pre­pare to en­counter slip-ups and face the con­se­quences of their de­ci­sions. Share how you felt when you faced a sim­i­lar ex­peri-

ence, what drove your ac­tions, and the re­sult­ing lessons learned. Be­cause we’re not the only in­flu­ence on our kids, we must be the best in­flu­ence. 6. We mis­take in­tel­li­gence, gift­ed­ness and in­flu­ence for ma­tu­rity In­tel­li­gence is of­ten used as a mea­sure­ment of a child’s ma­tu­rity, and as a re­sult par­ents as­sume an in­tel­li­gent child is ready for the world. That’s not the case. Some pro­fes­sional ath­letes and Hol­ly­wood star­lets, for ex­am­ple, pos­sess unimag­in­able tal­ent, but still get caught in a pub­lic scan­dal. Just be­cause gift­ed­ness is present in one as­pect of a child’s life, don’t as­sume it per­vades all ar­eas. There is no magic “age of re­spon­si­bil­ity” or a proven guide as to when a child should be given spe­cific free­doms, but a good rule of thumb is to ob­serve other chil­dren the same age as yours. If you no­tice that they are do­ing more them­selves than your child does, you may be de­lay­ing your child’s in­de­pen­dence. 7. We don’t prac­tice what we preach As par­ents, it is our re­spon­si­bil­ity to model the life we want our chil­dren to live. To help them lead a life of char­ac­ter and be­come de­pend­able and ac­count­able for their words and ac­tions. As the lead­ers of our homes, we can start by only speak­ing hon­est words — white lies will sur­face and slowly erode char­ac­ter. Watch your­self in the lit­tle eth­i­cal choices that oth­ers might no­tice, be­cause your kids will no­tice too. If you don’t cut cor­ners, for ex­am­ple, they will know it’s not ac­cept­able for them to ei­ther. Show your kids what it means to give self­lessly and joy­fully by vol­un­teer­ing for a ser­vice project or with a com­mu­nity group. Leave peo­ple and places bet­ter than you found them, and your kids will take note and do the same.

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