Did your child come with an Owner’s Manual? If parenting was as easy as changing the oil and rotating the tires at the right time it would be simple to raise awesome kids! Besides, even if you are all thumbs you could always bring your car into a good mechanic.
But how did you learn to be a parents? And, who do you go to when you need help with your child? Well if you are like most new parents you learn to be parents one of three ways:
1.) You copied what your parents did (intentionally or unintentionally),
2.) You read books, asked other parents and searched the internet, and/or
3.) you learned by trial and error (“on the job training”)
I don’t know about you but I don’t want to take a chance on any of the three when my child is on the line. The margin of error is slim. As a matter of fact it is zero. Like most parents, you want to get them right (actually perfect) the first time.
Here is the good and bad news – the feedback is pretty immediate and strong. It is the amazing power of “compounding”. The small mistakes your make early in their lives exponentially grow. For instance, when a 3 or 4 year old has an attitude of saying “no” to you and disobeys, resists, or fights you on everything it may be a little cute when they are young (I often get the “Oh, they will grow out of it!” parent answer) but watch what happens with that same attitude when they are 15!
But here is the flip side. The small “good” things you do early compound to be huge later. A good example is the love of reading. If, from the day they are born, you read to them every day. They see you with a book and reading all the time. You make daily trips to the library or bookstore. You have a book with you everywhere you go. You have tons of books at home. You make a big deal about reading at school. Your child’s love of reading will not only make them excel at school but they will become life-long learner and read the rest of their life. That just snowballs into everything else!
So the joke (and some parents do not laugh) that I use often is this: “If we do a good job your child will be sending you on vacations when you are older……..if we don’t they will be moving into your basement when they are 30!”
Well back to the question on how to become an exceptional parent the first time. Unfortunately there are many “experts” out there but history has proved many of them wrong (your parents probably remember Dr. Benjamin Spock from the 50’s and 60’s).
I would suggestion this option that I have found works well in the business (but more importantly, the practical) world – “Find other people that are extremely successful then just copy them!” Just go find other parents that are developing kids like you want then COPY and learn from them!
We are very luck here. We are not experts but we probably have one of the best “child and personal development laboratories” in the world. We simple learn to develop exceptional kids here by learning from our hundreds of parents. We also learn pretty quickly what “not” to do.
We know that the easiest way to develop awesome kids is first to develop awesome parents! So here is our formula for you and your child’s success:
- First help parents learn the techniques and tools to become really good parents.
- Then, surround your family with not only great teachers, mentor, peers and role models but also other wonderful families.
- Next, we establish another set of expectations that is outside but parallel to your family’s expectations (that cross between Santa Claus and a Police Officer……….We’ll be the bad guy!)
- Create the “life experiences” they need to accelerate their lives (for example having to perform under pressure or experience true hardship/failure at an early age)
If we turn you into a great parent, surround your child with success people, raise their expectation level……..then instead of “working” on your child, the will work on themselves!
So that is it. That is all we have to do!
I am running out of room but I will tease you by telling you that next week I will write about the only two skills you need to concentrate on in developing your child, everything else will fall in line. I also want to tell you about the new “Parenting Academy” we are developing for the fall.
Till next week…….good parenting,
Ohana Karate – “Actually we do make Ninjas and Superheroes here………………we turn kids into Ninjas and we turn their parents into their superheroes!”