Ensuring Your Children’s Future Success: A Special Report for Parents
August 1, 2018
Naturally, you as parents want nothing but the best for your children. You hate seeing them struggle in any area of their lives, and it’s tempting to want to “help” them by simply doing the difficult task for them, but deep down, we know by doing this, they won’t don’t learn to handle adversity, change or challenge. All of the things that lets them grow.
Let’s take a closer look at what’s going on in our children’s lives. They spend a tremendous amount of time on the internet, playing video games, and watching TV. They usually eat whatever tastes good, often food that is low in nutrients, and lack sufficient exercise. Doesn’t sound very good, does it?
In his book The Man’s Search for Himself, the distinguished psychologist Rollo May says the opposite of courage is not cowardice; it’s conformity. That’s exactly what’s going on in our society. Children are influenced and gather ideas about life from those outside sources – the internet, games, and TV, which take away parent-child interaction. If they spend a good amount of time with other adults outside yourself, such as baby-sitters, they also pick up a lot of information and influence from them.
When children get together with their friends, they discuss the different things they’ve learned from all these sources, and conform and agree with one another. Why? They want to belong to a group, whatever group that may be. Whatever topic they discuss, they take cues from their friends and tend to change their minds to follow the group, or the one person who stand out in the group.
Nobel peace prize recipient Dr. Albert Schwartzer, when interviewed several years ago in London, was asked what was wrong with a man in today’s society. The doctor paused a moment then replied, “They simply don’t think.”
Combining Dr. May’s and Dr. Schwarter’s statements, the solution of raising children into confident, assertive young-adults is to lead and guide them to be less conforming to outside influences and more independent thinkers.
This solution is a three-prong approach. The first is recognizing the three different types of people. People in the US can be categorized into three groups. Since children cannot make this distinction, you as parents must choose which of the three you want your children to belong to:
The top 10% - people who make things happen
The middle 80% - people who watch things happening
The lower 10% - people who wonder what’s happening
Let’s say that you decided that you want them to be in the first group, the 10% that makes things happen. Once you make that decision, the second part of that solution is to develop a new approach to your parenting style. This means you must learn to promote excellence in at least one area of their lives. Rather than stressing being good at a number of things, teach them to become excellent in an area in which they excel.
In order to reach that sense of excellence, your children must learn how to choose their goals, break them down into doable parts, and create “daily action plans”. The solution, while simple in theory, can be overwhelming for your children to follow through by themselves. It’s much more effective if they find a coach or role model to learn how to tackle the project and build teamwork. As parents, you are the most influential figures in your children’s lives and can have a big impact on your child’s results.
Developing excellence in your children’s life is extremely important. Whether in sports, school, or any other activity, excellence in one area allows them to see the possibility of living and performing closer to their highest potential. Once they experience this excellence, a natural high, they want to experience it again, only better than the last time. Because of this positive stimulus, they will learn to work smarter at what they want, and achieve their goals quicker and better. That’s when discipline, along with a greater sense of confidence begins to develop.
The third part of the solution is taking action. By taking at least 10 minutes a day, you can nurture and condition those successful habits into your children, and have them become powerful resources; something they are proud of, and when doing, absolutely shine with pride and confidence. The catch phrase is “We become what we repeatedly do.”
In any sport, you can make a huge difference in your results by making a small adjustment; to your stance, grip, shifting your weight, etc. Although it’s a not much of a change, it takes an expert to recognize it and put it into effect, which again, is imperative of reaching the next level of excellence.
With your children doing 10 minute daily conditioning sessions, it’s the key that can help can create a much brighter future. You may be asking if 10 minutes is enough. The answer is yes. Let me put it this way – while you may not be able to change their destiny instantly, you can change their direction instantly. A small change in stance and grip makes a huge difference. Even though it’s a slight change, it will make a profound impact.
When you decide to lead your children to the top 10% group, you as parents are encouraged to examine your own thinking. The first step is that both parents need to decide what kind of clear life direction you can instill in your children’s thinking. The best way to do that is adjusting yourselves as well. Quite often parents consider change necessary only on the child’s part; that’s only half of the equation.
For all you fathers reading, you remember growing up in a different home environment, the role your father played as the dominant male figure, and how much has changed in the household since you were a boy. For the mothers, the female role has also changed a great deal. Both parents have had different experiences due to their roles, as well as different values in most cases.
So this dichotomy of being brought up by two different methods comes across to the children and will consequently reflect in their behavior. This leads to a state of confusion because they are receiving two different messages from two parenting styles on almost everything, everyday. Imagine if you had two different bosses or coaches, both of them telling you different things to work on, giving different instructions on how to accomplish it, and have different expectations of what kind of performance you should have.
And in this day and age where everything moves at lightning-fast speeds, it seems as if we are too busy to take a few minutes to sit down and communicate with each other. Without a solid, unified message from parents, children look elsewhere for guidance. This is where outside factors come into play, which they will rely upon to help them make important life decisions.
To unify the household, you will must make a Family Mission Statement. Once you have that, every member of the family feels like they’re contributing to the family. With you helping your children articulate and plan their goals, along with the Family Mission Statement, you’re ready to lead them to achieve excellence. The NY Times Bestseller Secrets of the Millionaire Mind revealed that there are 16 common factors that attract excellence, and as a result, great wealth.
Among these attributes, a key one is competence, in at least one area of life. Sound familiar? Although a third of the millionaires interviewed for this book didn’t have good enough SAT scores to make it into a reputable four-year college, they developed such tremendous competence in one area of their life that they were able to achieve incredible success. This competence can come from any area; sports, music, anything.
The book also distinguishes the difference between millionaires and the multi-millionaire group. Among the differences, multi-millionaires have a hobby that they’re absolutely crazy about. While having a hobby isn’t that uncommon, the difference is they hire a professional coach because they want to perform at a level that rivals the pros. They have such a high level of success in their careers that they want to have that ability parallel in their game. That kind of excellence is very important.
Excellence is difficult to define, but definitely can be felt. It’s the moment where your body tell you it’s right and your mind recognizes it immediately. This is called the “Ah-HAH! moment”. In golf, for example, the moment you hit a drive, your body has a built-in mechanism that instantaneously tells your body whether its good or bad. When you hit it just right, you can feel it, even before you look up and see the ball soaring in the distance!
The key to excellence lies not in getting that feeling once in a while, but experiencing it repeatedly. When that happens, we begin to trust ourselves. When we’re able to consistently create that excellence, it breaks out of that one area and spills over into other areas of our lives. When your children learn this process, they’ll know exactly how to make things work for them, and will see how different they are from others. Once that realization occurs, conformity stops. The need to go with the flow of the group disappears.
Once your children can focus on themselves, they develop self-discipline, another major component that will lead them to excellence. A prominent example of this phenomenon can be seen in Michael Mischel’s “Marshmallow Study”, which I’m sure you’ve heard of. During his five years of research at Stanford University in the 1960’s, Mischel studied 4-5 year old children in a nursery using a two-way mirror, so he could observe them without them knowing.
The researcher offered all the children one marshmallow that they could eat right away. She then told them that she had to run an errand, and those who could wait until she returned would get two marshmallows instead of one. All the children agreed to wait. Some of them picked it up and ate it right away. The others hid the marshmallow from view or did something to distract them – coloring or playing games. When the researcher returned, the ones who didn’t eat it right away were awarded with multiple treats.
The compelling part of this study is the results of follow-up they conducted ten years later. The study showed that those children who went for instant gratification struggled with school work and were constantly falling behind. They tended to argue more authority figures as well as with their peers. In sharp contrast, those who were able to control themselves had well-balanced lives, most were on the honor roll, team captain in various sports, and involved in extracurricular activities.
Because they were able to sacrifice the immediate reward from an early age, they were able to keep their mind focused on the bigger goal and prize. So as you can see, helping your children develop this kind of emotional control, let’s call it “mental toughness”, is extremely important. Mental toughness is the ability to control your feelings, emotions, and attitude, particularly under pressure.
We cannot develop excellence in an area that we hate. In many cases, parents press, and at times even force their children to do something that they themselves wanted to accomplish, impressing their goals upon their children. Have you ever had your mom or dad want you to pursue a certain career, even though you had no interest in it? Although they may have had good intentions, it just wasn’t for you. You certainly don’t want to perpetuate that pressure.
Instead, find out what your children are already talented at; what they have a natural knack for, and encourage them to develop it! If you happen to have a child who loves science and wants to become a person who saves lives and keep people healthy, that’s great! But if that child is interested in sports or music instead, it just won’t work. You have to be supportive of your child’s interests.
Excellence must be developed in an area that we like. So how can you determine which area your child excels at? Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Method is an excellent resource. There are 10 different areas where you can find out where your children’s talents and interest lies. Once you find it, you can help your child focus on that area.
This is the time for you both to take a step back from your day and meet to go over the day’s goal. Your children will feel the nurture and support coming from you, and will be encouraged. You can use a technique called visualization to help your children see their dream. Tell them to picture what they did well that day, and to come up with one way they could’ve improved. The next day, compliment them on what they did well, and offer suggestions for how they might improve. Above all, let them know that with every small bit of progress, they are turning their dreams from dreams to reality. Also, have them repeat the catch phrase “We become what we repeatedly do.” So it’s instilled in their head.
The final step to empowering your children with a sense of excellence is finding an expert or coach. You as parents certainly have your areas of expertise, and as we discussed, can provide a solid support system for you children. A coach is someone who understands how children minds work, immediately recognize what stage their in, and create powerful breakthroughs quickly. This coach, when combined with all the strategies above, will complete the three-prong approach.
The question is, where are you going to find this great model? It’s easy for you as parents to find someone to mentor you in a desired area. Even if it’s just someone from work who can keep you accountable, and maybe offer a bit of feedback, you will do much better than if you were on your own. Think about how many New Years resolution you’ve set. How many times have you taken the time to set up a goal, only to forget about it a few weeks later? In much the same way, your children need guidance from a professional.
In recent years, Grandmaster Nam K. Hyong, who holds a Ph.D. in Psychology/Hypnotherapy, has received national attention for his program called the Self-Leadership Program. Dr. Hyong, who has worked with over 10,000 clients in his business and research, is credited with bringing together the powerful concepts of Eastern philosophy and concepts with cutting-edge Western mental technology.
A major component of his program deals with finding excellence in children and showing them, along with their parents, how to harness and expand it. He tested his program in conjunction with local School District 203 in Naperville, Illinois. The results were staggering. While average school children had the fun and excitement of participating in the martial arts aspect, Dr. Hyong worked with parents in how to plan, implement and create excellence in their children.
After a nine-week program, parents and teachers alike noticed a difference in their children’s respect level, attentiveness in class, willingness to work with each other and being more responsible. Dr. Hyong received recognition and was commended with a special award by the community for the most outstanding partnership and top program in the entire district. Since then, Dr. Hyong has helped myriads of parents and their children produce the same results all over the US.
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