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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Best Article EVER!!!!

I just read this article and loved it so much I had to post it on my blog. It is AWESOME!! It is exactly what I have thought forever! We coddle our kids. We tell them they are good at everything. We don't let them suffer the consequences of their actions. All of these things are creating a generation of kids who cant fend for themselves, make decisions, have no work ethic and cant  handle disappointments. They are lacking in so many areas because WE are doing it to them!!! 

This article is awesome and I could have literally written it myself. I see this in the schools and working with kids. It is SOOOOO true! I get a bit of flack for not stepping in when my kids do stupid stuff and allowing them to suffer the natural consequences of their actions. I also get flack for telling my kids NO!! If they didn't earn it then they don't get it. Just because the boys broke a hockey stick does not mean I need to run out and buy them one-- they need to earn it and work for it and then I am happy to replace the stick. I also get flack for the "risky behaviors" I allow. These "risky behaviors" involve allowing the kids to climb OVER the play set or swing from a part of the swings that might cause my girls to get hurt. I allow them to scale walls and God forbid they might fall and get hurt-- oh well-- they will learn not to do that in the future-- right?? I catch a lot of flack for all kinds of parenting decisions but I will tell you that I am raising responsible kids that know I am not going to bale them out or give them an inflated sense of self worth. My kids will know what they are good at and what they are not good at and I will make them earn the things they want-- not need-- but want. I talk to my boys and tell them the stupid things I did and we talk through their decisions. I let my kids play outside till the street lights come on-- just like we did-- and I punish when they do stupid stuff. This is not rocket science. I raise my kids like I was raised 30+ years ago. 

We have dumbed down our kids and our kids and their futures are suffering. Do you want to know how many classes on field trips go down to the farm where Kevin farms - www.amysfarm.com- and the parents are bathing their in sanitizer for fear they might get germs on them. Do you know how many parents see Emery and the other little farm kids roaming unattended playing all day who ask "whose kids are those and why are they not being watched?" The parents are not letting the kids be kids. They hover over the kids and insulate their world so that nothing bad happens to them. Guess what parents??? That's not the real world and a generation has now been launched who were raised that way and IT IS NOT WORKING!!!! These kids are inept and they are not ready for hard work. They have no work ethic because if they don't like the work and it is not making them "happy" then they quit. NO WORK ETHIC!!! These kids have no idea how to work hard because they never had to hold a job because their parents didn't want them to "be distracted from their studies." Guess what?? Studies show the kids who worked-- like I did and like my 15 year old son did all last summer-- got better grades then the kids who didnt work!! They learn how to prioritize and multi-task and most importantly-- HOW TO WORK HARD!!! They learn that they might not be "happy" in what they are doing or maybe not even like the work they are doing-- BUT, after the end of the day, they earned money and that pushes them to go back the next day. 

People, please read this article. It's important for your kids. I'm not saying I am perfect-- my goodness Kevin and I are far from perfect-- but we try to parent realistically much like my parents did 30+ years ago. Its not perfect and honestly it would be easier if I were more indulgent with my kids- but I will not do that to them. To let them experience delayed gratification is sooooo important. Would it be easier to just give it to them and not hear the whining? ABSOLUTELY!! Would I be teaching my kids  that they get anything they want WHENEVER they want it?  YES!! And I will not do that to them. 

Anyway, i will post the link as well as the article is below. 

 http://www.forbes.com/sites/kathycaprino/2014/01/16/7-crippling-parenting-behaviors-that-keep-children-from-growing-into-leaders/

While I spend my professional time now as a career success coach, writer, and leadership trainer, I was a marriage and family therapist in my past, and worked for several years with couples, families, and children. Through that experience, I witnessed a very wide array of both functional and dysfunctional parenting behaviors. As a parent myself, I’ve learned that all the wisdom and love in the world doesn’t necessarily protect you from parenting in ways that hold your children back from thriving, gaining independence and becoming the leaders they have the potential to be.

I was intrigued, then, to catch up with leadership expert Dr. Tim Elmore and learn more about how we as parents are failing our children today — coddling and crippling them — and keeping them from becoming leaders they are destined to be. Tim is a best-selling author of more than 25 books, including Generation iY: Our Last Chance to Save Their Future, Artificial Maturity: Helping Kids Meet the Challenges of Becoming Authentic Adults, and the Habitudes® series. He is Founder and President of Growing Leaders, an organization dedicated to mentoring today’s young people to become the leaders of tomorrow.

Tim had this to share about the 7 damaging parenting behaviors that keep children from becoming leaders – of their own lives and of the world’s enterprises:

1. 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 experience, 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.
Why do parents engage in these behaviors (what are they afraid of if they don’t)? Do these behaviors come from fear or from poor understanding of what strong parenting (with good boundaries) is?

Tim shares:
“I think both fear and lack of understanding play a role here, but it leads with the fact that each generation of parents is usually compensating for something the previous generation did. The primary adults in kids’ lives today have focused on now rather than later. It’s about their happiness today not their readiness tomorrow. I suspect it’s a reaction. Many parents today had Moms and Dads who were all about getting ready for tomorrow: saving money, not spending it, and getting ready for retirement. In response, many of us bought into the message: embrace the moment. You deserve it. Enjoy today. And we did. For many, it resulted in credit card debt and the inability to delay gratification. This may be the crux of our challenge. The truth is, parents who are able to focus on tomorrow, not just today, produce better results.”
How can parents move away from these negative behaviors (without having to hire a family therapist to help)?
Tim says: “It’s important for parents to become exceedingly self-aware of their words and actions when interacting with their children, or with others when their children are nearby. Care enough to train them, not merely treat them to a good life. Coach them, more than coddle. “
Here’s a start:
1. Talk over the issues you wish you would’ve known about adulthood.
2. Allow them to attempt things that stretch them and even let them fail.
3. Discuss future consequences if they fail to master certain disciplines.
4. Aid them in matching their strengths to real-world problems.
5. Furnish projects that require patience, so they learn to delay gratification.
6. Teach them that life is about choices and trade-offs; they can’t do everything.
7. Initiate (or simulate) adult tasks like paying bills or making business deals.
8. Introduce them to potential mentors from your network.
9. Help them envision a fulfilling future, and then discuss the steps to get there.
10. Celebrate progress they make toward autonomy and responsibility.

3 comments:

  1. Yep. I read that article too, last week. It really resonated with me as well!! My kids will know the value of hard work (already do!) and will be able to make it on their own. Good for them and good for me. ;). Good for you, too!

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  2. I love this article too and 100% agree with it. I gave a 2 part seminar on the 10 biggest mistakes parents are making and these were among them…overpraising, rescuing, doing too much for them, etc.

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