Do you ever wonder if Steve Jobs’ mom let him watch TV before he did his homework? Or did Mark Zuckerberg’s dad ever let him eat popsicles for dinner? When you become a parent you don’t necessarily have a parenting strategy as you typically would with your business, and if you do it gets thrown out after 20 minutes.
When I leave the nine10 office I go home to a bright and comical little two year old named Cashlin, and going beyond ABC’s and 123’s I aim to help my child become an astute and innovative individual.
While parenting advice is about as rampant as business opinions here are some “suggestions” on how to raise the next business leader.
We all are aware of the importance of owning and accepting failure in business; this can relate directly to parenting. When little Bobby comes in last at the track meet, this situation can be approached with “well you should have trained harder”, or conversely, “don’t worry about it, it doesn’t matter.”
Both responses allow your child to question their capabilities and discourage them from participating in similar situations or trying other things.
Better reaction for your future CEO – “I am proud of you for entering the race.” If this is met with disappointment you may want to ask, “Why do you think you came in last?” This gives the child and you a chance to analyze the problem so they can do better.
Currently Cashlin is in the pronouncement stage where he simply tells me the grass is grass, however I am being proactive in my solution for the many questions that are about to pour in. When your child starts asking those impossible questions, to which some you have no answers for look the answers up together. Of course this can go further than Google, an entire days worth of entertainment can be fueled by one simple question.
Visit the library, seek an expert, or do a home experiment; either way your child will learn that not having the answers is okay and have the tools and methods to find the solutions to all of life’s queries.
Kick it Up a Notch
Cooking and baking are creative processes. You take completely raw materials and are able to create something delicious, aka usable.
The best part of cooking and baking is the experiment. If your child wants to put twice as many chocolate chips in the cookies, let them. If they want to see what happens when they use a brown sugar instead of white sugar, let them – chances are they will not ruin the cookies. This experimenting lends itself to a valuable creative process. Moreover, when things go wrong, they can often be fixed.
Some of the greatest products in life were created by sheer mistake. Coca-Cola, Post-it-Notes, Play-Doh, Jamaican Mistake even chocolate chip cookies. Who knows, you may create a secret family recipe!
At the end of the day the most valuable thing you can give your child is your time and attention, and you may be helping them end up on the Forbes List one day.