Are Your Kids Ready to Succeed in Your World?

A few days ago I spoke with my wife and kids in Lagos, on phone. While speaking with my 10 year old boy, he suddenly exclaimed “Tayo, we’ve started selling the pineapple peels drink in our school”! “Really? How much?” I asked. He replied “N50” (fifty naira).

By the time I hung up, I was on cloud nine: Coaching my kids was yielding more wonderful results!

It was not the money that pleased me. It was the fact that on their own, they developed a plan and acted on it, to do something productive – by themselves. That’s a sign of true empowerment!

Painful post-school experiences convinced me to nurture the creative and entrepreneurial instincts of my kids from a very early age.

If you’ve been reading my parenting articles for a while, you know I’m not a fan of the traditional schooling system. Learners get told things, and are rarely challenged to learn by discovery (i.e. by thinking for themselves).

Many parents passed through that system. That’s why most see nothing wrong with it. Those who do see its severe shortcomings are few, and many lack courage to speak out against it.

I’m an exception. That’s why I write about it.

Not surprisingly, many relatives, friends and associates fail to see it like I do.

I’m focussed on “immunizing” my kids against the damaging impact of the school system.

Tip: Watch this video of a high school student who gives his teacher a lesson on the right way to teach.

To do this, I demonstrate through my achievements, that what I’m saying is right. This is why I have a habit of letting them know about the positive and negative real world experiences I have in running my business. I share the painful stories with them and end with relevant warnings or tips.

That continually alerts them – mentally – to the realities of the outside world, while still in school.

I also involve them in creative pursuits. For instance, my 3 boys have been coached to think up original short stories by themselves.

The purpose is to encourage them to engage in imagination and creative thinking. Rather than simply attend school and read story books written by others, I challenge them to create theirs, and let me see.

So, now and then I come home and get bombarded with sheets scribbled with ramblings of all kinds. Funny enough, two years on, and one of their stories – edited for spelling, grammar and clarity, by me – is now live on this blog!

I’ve also tried to push each child in the direction of his/her natural talent that I identified.

The 10 year old has been especially forthcoming. Some weeks back, I wrote about how he used my dead laptop battery, to devise a home-made rechargeable lamp.

It was in September, that I visited home, and taught them the technique I developed, to make drinks from pineapple peels (obtained free from pineapple vendors).

They took to it instantly.

But when I tried to get them to sell it, they came back discouraged. Some people had apparently laughed at them saying the drink looked like sand mixed with water!

I told them rejection was a necessary ingredient for success. That it did not mean no one would buy. They apparently took what I said to heart, and have now found willing buyers in their school. Wow!

Interestingly, these crafty boys of mine later connived to hide the money they made from their mother!

Imagine that? They got her to buy kerosene to fuel the stove for making their drink, but hid their sales from her!

When I told her that they told me they’d been making sales, she could not believe it. “No they can’t be”! How can I buy fuel and sugar they use, and they then hide away the money made?” she exclaimed.

I promised her I would talk to the boys about it.

Pssst: The boys actually let on that they knew their mom would take the money from them, and insist on saving it for them…which they did not fancy :-))

They meant no harm, and just wanted to enjoy spending what they’d earned.

It goes without saying, of course, that they must now learn how to account for theirs costs, and also how to give back, and save.

It’s a process. They are young. They will learn.

Final Words: Your kids will enter YOUR world when they become adults – Will they be ready?

In summary, our kids need us to provide them real-world relevant guidance to succeed in adulthood.

Let’s avoid making the serious mistake of thinking formal schooling can do that adequately for them.

Another thing…

Your children will need you – more than the money or toys you can give them.

No matter how busy you get, you have a duty to help them develop the competence to function in YOUR world, just as well as you do, if not better!

Otherwise, what would be the point of the many years of experience you already have under your belt?

If you truly love them, you will make yourself available to them, as a real-life success coach!

[IMPORTANT: This blog's contents are being updated following the transfer to www.tayosolagbade.com from my former domain - Spontaneousdevelopment.com. As a result, some parts of it may not work properly for now. Quick Tip: If a link contains "spontaneousdevelopment.com", simply change it to "tayosolagbade.com" - and it should work. This applies to article links as well as image links. Work continues to update the links(in over 500 articles). Tayo K. Solagbade.]

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Tayo K. Solagbade*
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