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Six Things to Teach Your Kids Now

Six Things to Teach Your Kids Now

Help your children grow into confident adults

By Steve Robertson

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All parents want their children to be well-rounded, hardworking adults who find careers that make them happy. But few parents realize they can help set the groundwork to make that happen.

As children grow, they discover their own interests and areas in which they excel. They develop skills that allow them to thrive in whatever careers they choose.

This sounds good, but where do parents come in?

They can teach their children skills that will allow them to thrive in company and institutional cultures — skills that will come in handy for the entirety of the careers they choose.

By honing these skills throughout childhood, parents can help their kids grow into well-rounded, versatile adults who are equipped to succeed in any business culture or professional field.

Childhood Lessons That Generate Successful Adults

While no company or professional culture is exactly like the next, the same core personal skills apply, regardless of career, to help a person thrive — no matter if your child wants to be a lawyer or work in a tech startup. Bolster his or her success by encouraging the following six points:

Go the extra mile: Parents should always urge children to take initiative, think outside the box, and do more than the bare minimum. This sets any employee apart in most companies. Parents can encourage this kind of thinking by suggesting ways kids can defy expectations. For example, when children have homework, encourage them to always do the extra credit. It won’t take long for this mindset to become natural.

Make their case: Being able to present ideas and arguments to a group is crucial for nearly any job.To help kids develop these public speaking and negotiating skills, parents can make it a policy that all requests for things like new cell phones or summer camp be presented as well researched “pitches” to the family. If presentations go well, terms and conditions can be negotiated. While this seems formal, the skills learned are invaluable.

Speak up: Even as an adult, having the confidence to speak up for (or against) someone or something isn’t always easy. Still, speaking up when it matters catches peoples’ attention. It can even fast-track employees to leadership positions. To spark the flame of confidence in kids, parents should always encourage them to be assertive when they want or need things — like letting kids order for themselves at a restaurant.

Hold real phone conversations: Texting and social media have significantly reduced how much children and teens talk on the phone. But in business, having real conversations clarifies messages and builds trust between parties — not to mention the fact that these conversations happen every day. Parents can teach their kids proper phone etiquette simply by encouraging phone conversations. Older kids should be given more opportunities to talk on the phone, so assign them the tasks of calling in family pizza orders or calling (not texting) family members on their birthdays.

Adapt to life’s curveballs: The business world is overflowing with unpredictability. How workers react to unforeseen pressures can make or break their careers. To help children adapt to life’s curveballs, parents should always model and encourage positive attitudes when things don’t go as planned. Parents can also teach kids to see adversity as an opportunity to learn to solve problems, rather than crumbling under pressure. For example, when rain puts the kibosh on a trip to the park, brainstorm as a family to come up with fun indoor activities to do instead.

Respect time: From effectively maintaining a personal schedule to meeting project deadlines, time management is a pivotal part of success as a working adult. Help kids hone their time management skills by setting deadlines for chores, as well as consequences when those chores aren’t completed on time (e.g., no video games until chores are completed). Also, teach kids to respect others’ time by encouraging them to honor commitments they make and by stressing the importance of punctuality.

Every parent wants to set his or her children on a path to a happy and successful future. By having these skills, young professionals won’t need to adapt to company cultures — they’ll seamlessly fit in right away.

Steve Robertson is the CEO of Julian Krinsky Camps & Programs (JKCP) , an organization specializing in youth-to-adult programming that turns curiosity into passion and skill. Steve has been with the company for 18 years. In this role, his primary responsibility is to cultivate a culture that results in memories lasting a lifetime

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