I read a very interesting article recently that featured in Forbes Leadership about the ‘Crippling Parenting Behaviours That Keep Children From Growing Into Leaders’. Here are some of the key points.
1. We don’t let our children experience risk
We spend our lives warning our children about danger and protecting them from possible harm. We are so health and safety conscious that we often prevent our children from learning how to cope with pain, emotion or risk – essential adult skills.
2. We rescue too quickly
Life skills that we had to learn 30 years ago are now just a touch of a button away and many children are not learning how to basic problem solve. Don’t keep rescuing them or parenting for the short-term; think about your long term goals to equip your children with adult skills. So, the next time your child leave his sports bag at home, don’t rush it up to school, let them problem solve their way out of the problem.
3. Don’t over-praise
Praise is great – but it must have value. If you ‘rave’ about each and everything your child does, your praise will soon lose its value and not mean as much. Especially if it’s always about ‘trophy’s and success’. They will also start to notice that only mum and dad are singing my praises and this could affect their self-esteem and they become ‘conditioned’ to expect continuous praise. Use praise wisely and carefully and not always in connection with outcomes – something praise behaviour and kindness and manners too!
4. Guilt is not a good leader
Your child doesn’t have to love you every single minute. Saying ‘no’ or ‘not now’ and teaching them delayed gratification are essential skills. Don’t use material rewards continuously and it is OK for one child to receive something over another – that happens in life too!
Some final tips:-
1. Allow them to attempt things that stretch them and even let them fail.
2. Discuss the consequences if they don’t achieve certain goals
3. Get them to do projects that require patience, so they learn to delay gratification.
4. Teach them that life is about choices and trade-offs; they can’t do everything.
5. Celebrate all the progress they make on their childhood journey