Raising Young Adults

FOR PARENTS

How YOU as a PARENT can prepare your children for their future!

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Are you a parent that does not want your child to fail?  Well you are not alone!  Today’s parents, more than ever, want to raise their children to prosper and surpass their own personal achievements.  Many parents stand up for their children (which they should) before understanding all of the aftermath and fallout that can continue to multiply and grow. These parents always have very good intentions. These good intentions can lead to unforeseen obstacles and issues that later can and will arise in life. Parents can make the mistake of blaming almost anything or anybody including teachers, coaches, neighbors, employers and even family relatives to support their children’s viewpoint.  This form of “protection” can hurt and even stunt the growth of their own beloved young ones.  After all, isn’t being a successful parent measured on how we raise our kids to be responsible young adults?  We must teach our kids obedience and respect while showing them how to be resilient with a sense of gratitude at all times. Coaching our children to be hard workers, and allowing them to problem solve independently so that they can grow into tomorrows successful leaders and adults. This is one of the hardest yet most rewarding accomplishments that a parent can achieve.

What would happen if we as parents continue to remove obstacles and barriers and not let our children fail? Is it possible that this could create a generation of helpless, inexperienced, irresponsible, useless and entitled young adults?

An example of this could be when a parents may feel that their kids are too stressed to fulfill their normal daily obligations. The parent may naturally begin to complete their kids stressful workload for them to try to “help out”.  This act has an unintentional result that causes a neural pathway that conditions the child to need others to do or complete tasks for them.  Next, the child can begin to feel entitled to someone doing things for them all the time.  This can continue to grow even at a young adult age. Teaching your children at a young age to cope with obstacles and difficulties will help them grow and flourish later in life. 

There is no substitute for HARD WORK!  There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure. (Colin Powell)  One day, your child will finish school, and you as a parent want them to be ready for the work world when they have that supervisor that is unwilling to help them complete their duties or assignment. So—what can you do as a parent NOW?

Here are some great steps you can take.

1. Begin with belief – Kids may naturally assume they can’t work harder when in reality they have far more potential than they see. Speak words of belief about their capabilities.

2. Help them say “no” – Sometimes, kids become overwhelmed because they’ve said yes to too many options. They’re over-committed. Creating margin offers peace of mind.

3. Give them regular chores –  “If kids aren’t doing the dishes, it means someone else is doing that for them,” Stanford Dean Julie Lythcott-Haims says. Work helps build grit.

4. Maintain high expectations – The best parents don’t reduce expectations, They know that  this relays a message of disbelief to kids. Encourage them and keep high standards.

5. Model social skills –  Parents who do this actually help kids maintain perspective on a busy schedule. Talk over the “to-do list,” and  always maintain level emotions. It will catch on.

6. Value effort over avoiding failure –  It’s huge to affirm effort over grades or scores. Effort is in their control; outcomes often aren’t. Foster a growth mindset vs. fixed mindset.

7. Help them limit their social media use –  Less than two hours on social media means kids are less vulnerable to anxiety each day. Over two hours leads to anxiety.

8. Ask them how you can support them – Find ways to support them without doing work for them. Encouragement, snacks, tutors, etc. can be ways to help in a healthy way.

9. Remind them of the big picture – Kids can get lost and overwhelmed in the here and now. Grit goes up when you remind them of long-term goals and a larger perspective. 

We have to prepare the child for the path, not the path for the child.

Life requires struggle in order for kids to mature. Facing and overcoming adversity conditions us to be strong enough to handle what’s ahead. Opposition and hardship forces us to reach down and pull out the very best that lies within us. As parents, we must pause before we provide direction or assistance for our children. It’s normal to want to remove hardship, but it’s not in their best interests. They need us to be responsive to them and demanding of them at the same time. Encourage them that they have what it takes to overcome adversity. Brainstorm a plan to beat it.

We want to thank Tim Elmore with Growing Leaders (growingleaders.com)  for allowing us to partner and use many of his leadership material to help build and grow today’s young adults. If you are interested in learning more about growing leaders please visit his companies website.

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.