Parenting expert who interviewed parents known to have trained successful kids has highlighted four major things impeding mental and physical development in children.
In tackling the challenges impacting on proper parenting, Margot Machol Bisnow, a child-growth expert and parenting psychologist focused on ensuring that children’s dream come to fruition, interviewed 70 parents, in the United States in 2016. The parents were said to be known to have successfully raised renowned children. This was in a bid to unravel the true prerequisites for raising successful children.
As indicated in her book, ‘Raising an Entrepreneur’, here are four things she said parents should stop doing as they are against child growth and development.
1. Never neglect financial literacy
The focus of financial literacy for children was never for an early pursuit of money, but to most importantly help them learn amongst other things the value and management of money.
Bisnow illustrated the story of Joel whose parents didn’t pay for his college education. Joel went to college on student loans and from the money he made from working.
“Because I paid for college, I never missed a class. I’d calculated the cost of each class at $500,” he said. “If I was tempted to skip a class, I always thought there is nothing I could do during this hour that’s worth more than $500.” Joel said.
One of the values of teaching Children financial literacy she said was that it instills in them a good work ethic at an early stage, competence and independence.
2. Never Make All the Choices for Your Kids
It can be extremely tempting to constantly make decisions for your kids. After all, you’re the adult — you know your children better than anyone else does, they are naive and you don’t want them to suffer.
But successful parents resist that temptation and instead guide them and not make all the decision while they accept them hook line and sinker. Most parents, for societal ego and respect, are keen on making the most of the decisions for their children especially towards their career path.
Bisnow also related the story of a mother to a renowned CEO Ellen Gustafson who co-founded FEED Projects, providing food in schools for children. Today, she is a thought leader and regular speaker on social innovation, wrote Bisnow.
“Her mother Maura said to me: ‘We encouraged her to be independent, and to think for herself.’ I’d tell her, ‘Trust, but verify. Check it out. Be sure it’s true. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid. Just because everyone else is doing it, that doesn’t mean you have to.’ You want your kid to grow up to be cautious, but not fearful.”
“As a parent, you can see what their strengths are,” she continued. “But you have to let them figure it out. The best way to do that is by asking questions like, ‘What choice do you think would be more helpful to you in the future?'”
The uniqueness of individuals no matter how little is one reason parents should not make all the choices for their children especially career wise.
3. Never prize money or high-paying degree over their happiness
The child psychologist said an academic degree may represent an expensive waste of your child’s time if it has no connection to their interests. And if their only reason for being in school is to get the piece of paper or make the contacts needed to land a high-paying job.
Someone who loves something enough and works hard at it will find a way to turn it into a living, even without a degree in that field. And they won’t be afraid to tackle an opportunity that won’t pay anything for a few years as they might be if they had to pay off high student debt every month.
4. Never treat your kid’s hobby as a waste of time
“Sports, video games, debating, music, birdwatching — every child of the parents I spoke to had a passion outside of the classroom,” said Bisnow. She said she observed that the parents never drove the attention of their kids away from their hobby because they knew it was keeping them mentally active.
The children-focused book writer also revealed the story of Radha Agrawal the founder of Daybreaker, a global morning dance movement with over 500,000 community members in 30 cities around the world. Previously, she was the CEO of Super Sprowtz, a children’s entertainment movement focused on healthy eating.
But growing up, her passion was soccer. With support from her parents, she and her twin sister Miki played three hours a day, starting from when they were five years old. Eventually, they played at Cornell University, where they were known as the “Legendary Soccer Twins.”
“Although her career today has nothing to do with soccer, Radha told me that she developed a lot of grit and resilience from the sport: ‘You have to be disciplined. You learn to be organized and focused. And you learn the politics of teamwork, and what it takes to be the captain.”
On this, many parents hinted on the stress of work as an excuse for not making out time for their children’s hobby. However, kid’s hobbies shouldn’t be neglected or sidelined as they most times serve as their stepping stone towards greater achievements.
Caleb Ifeanyi Onah is a Prime Business Africa Journalism Mentee