You want to be successful and independent. We all do. When you have kids, though, it’s funny how quickly your aspirations become all about them. What will they do in life? Will they be happy and successful? Inc.com spells out several things that parents of truly successful kids need to do every day. To stay on top of them, here are questions to ask yourself every day:
Do my kids know that I love them?
Everything else flows from this. It’s why you care more about their success than your own. It’s tricky though, this doesn’t mean simply telling them each day (although that’s a good idea), and it certainly doesn’t mean giving in to their every whim.
Instead, it’s all about honesty and maturity. Can you honestly say that when they’re 20 or 30 or 40 or more, they’ll recognise that you do what you do because you always want the best for them?
Am I acting like a parent?
You want to treat your kids like adults so they’ll behave like adults, but kids by definition aren’t adults. Yet, it seems a lot of parents, in the hope of respecting their kids’ choices and encouraging them to make decisions, wind up stepping aside and meekly letting their children make adult decisions.
Am I in charge of their technology?
You want your kids to learn to turn problems into opportunities. When they’re immature however, they’re more likely to turn opportunities into trouble and there’s probably no place in the 21st Century that’s more of a minefield than in personal technology. We’re not just talking about kids stumbling into the netherworlds of the Internet and seeing things that are clearly inappropriate; we’re also talking about the sheer addiction to screens that is even adults to succumb to.
You now find kids at 10, 12, 14, 16 years of age who have their phone in their bedroom at two (o’clock) in the morning. No child should have a phone in their bedroom unsupervised.
Do my children have my full attention?
We all have a lot of things going on. Yet, kids need you often to set those ambitions aside in order simply to spend time with them. Rule number one to make that clear. Eat dinner together every single day.
By communicating that time at home as a family is our highest priority, you are sending the message that family matters. So many kids are in the race to nowhere, trying to add things on to their resume through extracurricular activities with no sense of why. They just burn out at 15 years of age.
Am I praising them for things that are praiseworthy?
Offer support all the time, but offer real praise when it’s really worthy. The first thing is to teach humility, because so many kids have been indoctrinated in their own awesomeness with no understanding of how this culture of bloated self-esteem leads to resentment.
Am I demonstrating a healthy respect for money?
Money is important. Even Bernie Sanders would agree with that. Having it opens a world of choices; not having it forecloses opportunity. But is money more important than everything else? Teach the meaning of life. It cannot be just about getting a good job. It’s not just about achievement. It’s about who you are as a human being. You must have an answer.
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