Here are some of the Parenting mistakes that keep children from becoming leaders – of their own lives and of the world’s enterprises.
We don’t let our children experience risk
We live in a world that warns us of danger at every turn so we do everything we can to protect them. It’s our job after all, but we have insulated them from healthy risk-taking behavior and it has an adverse effect. If a child does not play outside and is never allowed to experience a skinned knee, they may frequently have phobias as adults. Kids need to fall a few times to learn it’s normal. If parents remove risk from children’s lives, we will likely experience high arrogance and low self-esteem in our growing leaders.
We rescue too quickly
When we over-indulge our children with assistance, we remove the need for them to navigate hardships and solve problems on their own. Sooner or later, kids get used to someone rescuing them. They know if they fail or fall short, an adult will smooth things over and remove any consequences for their misconduct. When in reality, this isn’t even close to how the world works, and therefore it disables our kids from becoming competent adults.
We let guilt get in the way of leading well
Your child does not have to love you every minute. They will get over the disappointment, but they won’t get over the effects of being spoiled. So tell them “no” or “not now,” and let them fight for what they really value and need. As parents, we tend to give them what they want when rewarding our children. Be careful not to teach them a good grade is always rewarded by a trip to the mall. If your relationship is based on material rewards, kids will experience neither intrinsic motivation nor unconditional love.
We don’t share our past mistakes
Grown up kids are going to want to spread their wings and they’ll need to try things on their own. We as adults must let them, but that doesn’t mean we can’t help them navigate these waters. Share with them the relevant mistakes you made when you were their age in a way that helps them learn to make good choices. Also, kids must prepare to encounter slip-ups and face the consequences of their decisions. Share how you felt when you faced a similar experience, what drove your actions, and the resulting lessons learned. Because we’re not the only influence on our kids, we must be the best influence.
We mistake intelligence, giftedness and influence for maturity
Intelligence is often used as a measurement of a child’s maturity, and as a result parents assume an intelligent child is ready for the world. That’s not the case. Some professional athletes and Hollywood stars, for example, possess unimaginable talent, but still get caught in a public scandal. Just because giftedness is present in one aspect of a child’s life, don’t assume it pervades all areas. Guide you kids well to have a balance in all areas of their life.
We don’t practice what we preach
As parents, it is our responsibility to model the life we want our children to live. To help them lead a life of character and become dependable and accountable for their words and actions. As the leaders of our homes, we can start by only speaking honest words – white lies will surface and slowly erode character. Watch yourself in the little ethical choices that others might notice, because your kids will notice too. If you don’t cut corners, overlap in traffic, use inappropriate language for example, they will know it’s not acceptable for them to either. Show your kids what it means to give selflessly and joyfully by volunteering for a service project or with a community group. Leave people and places better than you found them, and your kids will take note and do the same.