We have our own excuses for our faults and limitations but do we really want to pass those on to our kids? How can we raise the next generation of successful leaders? I have been focused on this a lot lately. I definitely want to groom my child for success now and as she grows up to adulthood. What have I learned? A ton! Here are 5 ways to groom your child for success plus some resources to get for further details…
5 Ways to Groom Your Child for Success
1. Teach them how to honor you and your spouse.
This is the 5th commandment and honoring one’s parents is likened to honoring G-d.
“When a person honors the parents, God says, ‘I consider it as though I lived with them and they honored me.’”(Talmud, Kiddushin, 30b)
It is easiest to ask yourself these questions to determine if you are teaching honor to your children from Wendy Mogul’s book, The Blessing of a Skinned Knee:
- Do you allow your children to interrupt you when you are on the phone?
- Do you have a designated place at the dinner table? Do the children sit in your place?
- Do your children consistently contradict you?
- Do they talk back to you in public?
- Do you give your children enough opportunities to help out? To demonstrate thoughtfulness? To take care of you?
- Do they respect your privacy? Do they enter your room or take your things without asking?
- Do your older children commandeer the remote? Tie up the phone line? Forget to give you phone messages they have taken?
- What are your family’s rules of hospitality to guests and playdates? How do you have them greet others? Compare your ideal to your real situation.
- Do you set an example in the way you treat your own parents?
If your children dishonor you, have them apologize for dishonoring you out loud to you and to G-d. You will be very pleasantly surprised with how transformational this is for you and for your family. Teach them the path to success by ensuring they know you are their parent and are only here to ensure that success. Our purpose here in this world is not to always make our children feel good but to ensure we raise good people. Both can be achieved but only if the rest of the points below are followed.
2. Teach them how to focus on the little things so they can be promoted to more.
Whining and complaining is not to be tolerated but how do you avoid it? First off, look again at point number one. But to be more detailed on this…How do you get your children to actually want to help you unload the dishwasher, set the table and do other chores with JOY and the first time you ask them? You teach them to choose JOY in the mundane. To elevate the ordinary and treat your home like a temple.
We are blessed with what we have and need to relish in it. Life is truly a joyful experience. It isn’t the circumstances we have, it is how we deal with the circumstances. If we can’t relish the small things with JOY, gratitude, and excellence, how can we ever be happy with anything or be a successful leader? I experience this with adults I mentor in business on a daily basis…from adults! This stems from being allowed to do so as a child and this kind of behavior needs to be corrected early.
I simply say when my daughter complains: “Do you want to try that again choosing JOY? Remember we are here to ensure your success later in life and to be promoted to doing more (i.e. piano lessons, soccer lessons, etc.) you need to be joyful in the small things.” Gets her every time!
3. Teach them to be teachable.
Failure is a part of life and a huge part of success. In fact, no success is ever achieved without failure. When we are learning we always will feel a humiliated. That’s because we are being humbled in our learning curve.
Our children need to know this. They need to feel comfortable failing and learning and getting right back up on that horse of life! But what else does this life skill exhibit? Humility. It shows an eagerness to learn and an ability to see the teacher in everyone. It shows tremendous respect for our teachers. Do you want your children to be a know-it-all or humble? Being humble is much more respected in the marketplace than cockiness.
4. Nurture their natural talents.
“If your child has a talent to be a baker, do not ask him to be a doctor.” (Hasidic)
“When I reach the world to come, God will not ask me why I wasn’t more like Moses. He will ask me why I wasn’t more like Zusya.” (Early Hasidic leader, Rabbi Zusya)
Are you honoring your child’s spirit and natural energy type? Likely the thing that most annoys you about your child is their natural gifting. Shocking I know, but true. Are you living vicariously through them? Think about your child’s natural talents, inclinations, passions. How would you describe their nature? Is he/she like you or different in their speed and tempo, in their interests or how they handle things? What opportunities do you give your child to express their natural inclinations?
Set your children up for success in their own strengths. It is worth understanding their natural energy type. I personally love the book, The Child Whisperer by Carol Tuttle. The energy profiling is so helpful in understanding how to interact with your child to nurture their natural gifting.
5. Teach them how to SAVE and GIVE.
We often say to our children: ‘we can’t afford it.’ What message does this truly send to them? This is sending a message that we must rest on our laurels and accept a poverty mindset. Rather teach them how to make choices about what they do with their money. Rather say: ‘we can afford it but we choose to do xyz with our money instead.’ We must teach our children that we do not lack, we are blessed to be alive, and that we can always save and give to others.
Children naturally want more and compare themselves to others. Unfortunately in our society things are more valued than people and kids are inundated with messages to buy this thing or that. Does this mean that we give in and spoil them? No. We should rather make them think about what others need and how we can help.
We use a 3 jar system that looks like this:
Jar #1 is the SAVE jar.
We pay for chores. Pick an amount and pay your child for their chores. This will ensure they do them diligently and with excellence and teaches them that when they grow up and enter the marketplace, they will get paid! So everyday, my daughter has a few chores and every day we pay her and put the money into the jar.
Jar #2 is the tzedakah (or charity) jar.
At the end of the week we count all the money in the SAVE jar. If it is $10 for example, we take 10% off the top of that and put it into the charity jar. So $1 goes to charity. She takes this money to Sunday School and puts it in the tzedakah box or we save it and decide where it goes at the end of the month.
Jar #3 is the REWARD jar.
After we take the charity tithe off the top we count the money again. In this example, $9 is left. We then take 10% of that which is .90 and put that in the REWARD jar. This money can be used for a ‘reward’ or entertainment of some kind. She saves this money up. If she wants to do something big like have a Halloween party, then she quickly realizes that her chore money isn’t enough to pay for something like that and that she needs to come up with a business enterprise of some kind to earn more money. This year, she made a bunch of art pieces and went door to door selling them to people to earn money to pay for her Halloween party. My daughter is 6 and very easily understood this principle because of the jar system!
Recommended Resources for Grooming your Children for Success
- Grooming the Next Generation for Success, Dani Johnson. This resource comes in two ways: as a book and as a home study guide that includes a set of DVDs, audio CDs and a workbook. You can run classes with these materials in your community. This is a very real and honest class on how to raise your kids up right rooted in the Bible. It does have New Testament scriptural quotes but all are rooted in the Old Testament so if you are Jewish this is still very helpful. Take what you want from it and then look up the rest right in your own bible!
- The Blessing of a Skinned Knee, Wendy Mogul. This is not your typical how-to parenting book! It is written by a clinical psychologist drawing wisdom from Old Testament and other Jewish teachings. A great read!
- The Child Whisperer, by Carol Tuttle. Do you love Dressing Your Truth and do you know your energy profile type? This book explains how you can understand what your child’s type is and also how you can best nurture their natural energy and gifting! Who wouldn’t want that?
- If you don’t know your own energy profile, I highly recommend Carol Tuttle’s other book, It’s Just My Nature. It really helps to know this and to understand how you were bought up and how that might have impacted your own ability to achieve success in life and to get on the path to do so! You can also find out your type using this FREE online course.
Is this useful to you? What did you like best about what you read? What are you going to implement in your home?