Life is not fair and other messages parents and private tutors need to start telling their kids
As parents we love our kids and we want to protect them from some of the harsh realities of this life and the disappointment that goes along with it. But, an overprotective parenting style can have some negative effects in the long run and may leave our children unprepared for the real world.
According to Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success, parents have the very best of intentions, but when they over help, they deprive their children of the chance to learn the important things in life. Here are a few basic fundamental principles to teach our children that life is not always all that fair.
Hard work pays off: Teaching children the importance of determination and hard work is essential. Especially in this era where we are continually exposed to convenient and easy ways of doing things, such as information that is easily accessible on the internet or microwave-ready meals. Parents must make more of an effort to ensure that they can still raise independent beings who are able to go out in the world and fend for themselves. You can do this by praising their effort more than their achievement or put them in difficult but achievable situations. Children need to understand that when an effort is being made to achieve a goal, great benefits can be reaped. Furthermore, teaching children self-perseverance is extremely important for their social and emotional development.
Teach them to take responsibility for their own actions: As a parent, you often have to administer penalties to your child even though they may feel equally daunting to you. Through this they will learn an important life lesson – there are consequences to every action. You can demonstrate this by connecting the action and consequence using real-life examples. For example, because you did not go to bed early last night you am tired today and can’t focus, or because you spent your money carelessly you can no longer afford the new laptop you had your eye on. Forcing responsibility onto children has never been proven to be effective, so children need to be taught life skills and responsibility will naturally follow. If children do not have responsibilities they might feel entitled and start adopting the-world-owes-me-something mindset.
Learn the importance of education: Children need to know the importance of obtaining education and how a good education can be their ticket to their desired life aspirations. They need to grasp that good grades are necessary for college acceptance and that their grades are a reflection of who they are to the admissions board. They need to understand that not working hard in school will result in poor grades which will then, in turn, result in only being qualified for low paying jobs.
Failure is part of life: Teach children that life is full of challenges, and that some of these challenges often result in failure. It is important that your child learns how to deal with failure and process the emotions that come with it. Failure can also be a part of learning as it teaches perseverance and appreciation for achievements. Remember parents set the example so be careful how you act in front of your child when you deal with failure, whether you scream at the sky or laugh, this will be the example your child sees.
Independence is invaluable: It is always a great idea to encourage independence. An easy way to do this is by giving children guided choices and respecting their choices, such as letting them decide on a family activity on a Sunday. You can also involve your children in making plans or coming up with solutions, such as working out a quicker route to school or setting up a chore roster. Learning simple life skills, for example, doing the laundry, working with money, or planning grocery shopping will be a great skill to have in the long run. Children must be able to look after themselves mentally and physically.
The list above is not all of the tips that you as the parent may consider to prepare your child for the realities of life out there, but they most definitely will be helpful in the initial steps of preparation.
Get started by looking into GT Scholars programmes that support your child in reaching their full potential. The GT Scholars programme helps young people aged 11-16 to achieve excellent grades and reach their future goals. Contact us to find out more.