It is a common desire for a parent to want to give their children the foundation for a better life than their own. The desire to want good for our children is the easy part. Figuring out what to do to get what we want for our children is the hard part. In our mission to equip people with tools and resources to achieve self-defined success, we put together a list of 3 important opportunities children need to achieve greatness as an adult. Children are so amazing. They are capable of so much more than most people realize. Because we know that children are capable, children need only an opportunity to learn, not a natural ability, because many abilities can be learned.
Children need opportunities to aspire to become more.
Children learn what is available to them. One cannot truly learn something s/he has not encountered in the form of a lesson or problem to solve. Think of all of the random abilities you've gained due to exposure at a young age. This can be displayed simply by the games you played as a child. If your grandparents had a pool table, the chances are higher that you might be good at billiards. Whether you enjoyed shooting pool or not, if it was the only game you, your siblings, and cousins were allowed to play when visiting your grandparents, you probably put in many hours of practice in the game. You might even be the best at billiards out of your circle of friends.
Without the opportunity to learn a given skill, it is reasonable for someone to not know that certain skill. If your child is a natural dancer and finds joy in dancing, exposure to high performing dancers might provide him a strong foundation for success in dancing. By providing our children exposure to high performers in industries that might bring them future fulfillment, we are also providing them the ability to aspire greatness in any department of life.
Children need opportunities to learn to appreciate being prepared.
One can only prepare for success if one has been exposed to the benefit of being prepared for success. Without having been exposed to an experience of appreciation for being prepared to succeed, one might not have a motivation strong enough to create a lifestyle of preparation. Most of the time we blame discipline for why we don't succeed when the real culprit is unawareness. We are unaware of how good or bad options are for the outcome we desire. You wouldn't pay your utility bill with a credit card if the utility company charged $10 to do it, yet we've all done something like this due to unawareness of its effect on our lives. Now imagine that this actually happened to you and after a closer look at the utility company's terms you find that setting up automatic payment using your account and routing number qualifies you for a 10 percent discount. In this case, the price was the time and effort to set up automatic payment and the outcome was a discount. By actually knowing the options available to you in any given situation and the price to choose each option, we equip ourselves with future motivation to live the life of a top performer. The path is challenging, which is why half the battle is fought with a perspective for success. We need to know why we are pursuing success in the manner that we are in order to persevere when opportunities to quit arise. In a child's life this this might be be responsible for his or her own laundry. Let's put it all on the table for the hard working parents reading this. Some clothes may get ruined. That is the point. If the experience is controlled by your child learning with play clothes, losses can be kept to a minimum. If your child benefits from having clean clothes on her/his terms, s/he is motivated to use the newly attained skill again. If your child pays a consequence to not using her/his newly attained skill, s/he will be motivated to use her/his skill to solve the problem. The way to gift our children with the advantage of preparation is by accepting that sometimes failure is the answer and stepping aside to allow them to experience it. With a growth mindset, failure can teach us a multitude of skill to succeed. Every time we fail we learn another way that it doesn't work and if we apply that information to our next attempt, we increase our likelihood of achieving success.
Children need opportunities to practice and learn techniques for remembering important matters.
If you’ve followed the first two things a child needs to achieve greatness, you might create a foundation for a dreamer. The outcome for that might be a young adult that aspires for great things. To aspire great things is not enough. To close the gap in the three most essential tools a child needs to achieve greatness, we must expose our children to opportunities to practice skills to juggle their own greatness. A gifted athlete cannot even play a sport at high school level without maintaining a certain grade point average. It is rare that a person would have the opportunity to pursue a dream without having to juggle a full personal life filled with its own set of responsibilities and expectations. Without the ability to juggle a dream and everyday responsibilities, our children might go into the real world performing below their potential because they are simultaneously learning the art of calendaring. Most adults calendar deadlines but do not calendar the time to work on meeting those deadlines. By teaching our children basic calendaring skills we close the gap in some of this most crucial skills children need to become adults that achieve greatness.
With today's resources, our access to top performers in any given industry is almost limitless. If we cannot connect with a specific person we can at least find footage on their performances. Now that you know exposure is the key to greatness, What will you expose your child to today?
Trish Perez is the senior editor, content curator, intern, web designer, chef, custodian, and proof reader at Storm Praise Publishing. She also serves as lead in the creation of the children's series, The Adventures of Josie and Bud, which makes its debut in December 2017.