November 14: Raising Confident, Competent, Successful Children

My wife, Carla, is a huge supporter of the idea of empowering children to do everything they can possibly do for themselves, and I love her for it.  It has helped me to become a better father to my children.

There are so many “secrets” to raising successful children.  If our only purpose as parents is to ensure our children grow up to be good, kind, contributing, strong, self-sufficient adults, then what are the best, tried and true ways, to do this?

One thing that I think is important for us to teach children is the importance of trying and never quitting.  I think it is KEY to let them know that failure, making mistakes, and losing, is not only an option, but extremely important in the learning process.  It is ultimately okay and perfectly acceptable and normal to fail and make mistakes along the way, but it is never okay to give up and to quit.  Failing, making mistakes, and losing,  and then learning from it, is a part of life, and an opportunity to optimize who we are and grow.  Giving up and quitting is a part of an inner death, and how we stop growing.

One thing we can learn from Deepak Chopra is that it is important to tell our children is:

“I will never pay your bills, support you financially, or give you expensive gifts; however, as long as I am alive, you will never go hungry.” 

I think that instilling within our children the ideas of self-sufficiency from a young age is important.  It’s not something we want to spring upon them later in life.  We don’t want such ideas to be a surprise.  It is useful to teach them to work for what they want, instead of expecting everything they want to be handed to them.  This instills within them the knowledge and expectation from a young age that if they want something, they need to get out there and earn it.  If they never learn how to do this, they will become discouraged, frustrated, and bitter, later in life.  They may get stuck in a Victim State, blaming everyone but themselves for their failures and misfortunes.  Wouldn’t we, as loving parents, rather see them fail when they are younger in small ways and learn their lessons, rather than when they are older, with dependents of their own, and watch them fail in some pretty big ways, becoming more dependent on us as parents, and feeling hopeless and nihilistic?

It is helpful and empowering to be allowed to fail, learn, and acquire the necessary skills to deal and cope with it at a younger age, while in an environment of unconditional love and acceptance.  Building emotional fortitude early is much more useful early on in life.  When we, as parents, rush ahead of our children and brush away all the difficulties, challenges, and learning experiences in our children’s path, with the best of intent, we cause them more harm than good.  We take away much-needed opportunities for learning, growth, and personal improvements.

What are some other lessons that you think are important to start teaching our children at a younger age so that they will be more successful and able to contribute and be self-sufficient later in life?

The 5th Rule in the book, THE 12 RULES FOR LIFE, by Jordan Peterson, contains information on parenting I wish I had come across MUCH earlier in life.  I highly recommend buying the audiobook and listening to it OFTEN.

Today I will allow others to learn and grow instead of taking those opportunities from them.  I will choose to not do things for others that they are capable of doing for themselves.  I will reflect on what I have learned, how I have grown and become better, and realize the value these opportunities afforded me in my own life.

We, as parents, ALWAYS do our very best.  The teachings of Ram Dass have empowered me to love, accept, appreciate, and allow myself and others to simply BE what they are without judgement or criticism, more and more.

Teaching our children the art of VISUALIZATION is massively impactful.  John Earl Shoaff was a master at this art.

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Remember:  Mindset matters.  Character counts.  That which we choose to consistently focus on is what EXPANDS in our lives.  WE CREATE our realities.

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