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A Solid Work Foundation Begins at Home

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As parents, your goal is for your child to be successful and happy, right? Coddling them throughout life is easy to fall into because as a parent, you’re prone to wanting to save them from the pain of failure. But in reality, although this may sound a little harsh, that mentality isn’t doing your child any favors. Here are some things you can do at home to build the foundation for a successful career:

Inspire a Growth Mindset

Giving your child the answers on how to solve challenging situations or allowing them to quit something they’re not good at simply because they don’t want to work to become better can disempower them in the long run. While you think you’re saving them from failure, you’re actually teaching them to have a fixed mindset. You should be encouraging them to tackle the real-life tough things early on. You want to show them that wrestling a tough task to the ground and working through a problem is okay, that it’s okay to not get something right the first time — that it’s okay to fail. You need to let them struggle through a task in a way that will challenge them — this helps them build a growth mindset. We teach our kids that getting A’s and doing everything perfectly the first time is the best, but that’s not realistic. Real growth comes from experiencing failures and working through difficult problems — whether it’s getting an A in Statistics through hard work and studying, figuring out how to change their own flat tire, or working through the perfect client pitch for the first time. Let them work through it and watch them grow.

Teach Them That Success Lies in Hard Work

In today’s world, schools and families place an immense amount of value on grades during high school and college, but grades can’t predict work success. The question to ask is — did your child get the A because the subject came easy to them or because they worked super hard and studied like crazy because the subject was hard for them? Don’t you think the individual who worked for it will have better long-term results and career success? Isn’t work-life success almost always about being able to work through difficult situations versus simply being the smartest person in the room? Two of the greatest entrepreneurs and businesspeople this world has ever seen didn’t do great in school. Steve Jobs had a 2.65 GPA in school and Bill Gates never graduated from college. But they both worked harder than most humans across the globe. They solved problems and saw obstacles as an inspiration to innovate, not as a roadblock. In fact, NYU did a study of 10,000 grad students that revealed as grades went down, creativity and innovation went up — makes sense after the Gates and Jobs example, right? The study showed that the ones with lower grades were more innovative and used their own tenacity, grit, and interests to drive their problem-solving. If you teach your child that life is more about how hard you work and how much you put into something, rather than praising a letter on a piece of paper, they may go further than you could have ever imagined.

Let Them Make Their Own Decisions

It’s easy to want to help guide your young adult through every step of college and career entry, thinking that it will help them alleviate some of the pressure and stress inevitable in these life transitions. But sometimes the best thing is letting go. It’s easy to think for them, tell them how you think they should handle a specific workplace conflict, or give them a list of what classes you think they need to take to start a successful career. But if you’re thinking for them, if you’re making every decision for them along the way — are they really growing into themselves and pursuing their own passions? Probably not. They’re doing what they “should” do based upon the influences of society and you as their parents. This isn’t going to build them into a successful adult who can lead a team or devise creative solutions for workplace issues, because for so long they’ve had someone else think for them. As author and professional Lythcott-Haims observed during her time teaching college freshmen, “[Young adults were] so intertwined with their parents they didn’t seem to know how to be their own selves.” With over half of today’s young professionals ages 18-29 living at home with their parents, it’s easy to fall into this practice of hand holding rather than guiding them to solve things on their own. So, take a step back. Empower them to make their own decisions, let them make mistakes, and watch them grow. They will thank you. At NimblyWise, we help parents guide their children towards independence and success. Let’s chat about how we can help you and your child thrive.
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