I don’t MAKE my kids do anything.
I don’t make them eat breakfast, I don’t make them practice basketball, I don’t make them go to bed, and I don’t make them do their homework.
Nor do I bribe them, guilt them, or give them an ultimatum.
I leave all of that up to them.
Instead, I simply model the behavior I hope they choose to emulate.
I model the mindset and habits I believe would be most beneficial for them. I explain to them the choices I make on a daily basis (and am open and honest about the poor decisions I’ve made in my life).
I offer them opportunities, encourage them, support them, and love them unconditionally.
But I do make sure they take ownership of the decisions they make… make sure they hold themselves fully accountable to the decisions they make… and most importantly… understand the consequences of the decisions they make.
Similarly, I do not tell my children WHAT to think… but rather I teach them HOW to think.
I teach them to be open-minded and non-judgmental, to know the difference between facts and opinions, and how to effectively process information.
I teach them to be aware of – and embrace – ALL emotions… but not to let their emotions dictate their behavior, how they treat others, or how they ‘show up’ in the world.
I do all of this because I want my children to learn to make good decisions… consistently (and as mentioned previously, I want them to learn to hold themselves fully responsible for their bad decisions).
I’ve long believed that…
- Success comes from from good decisions.
- Good decisions come from experience.
- Experience comes from bad decisions.
I want my children to know that every decision they make (small or large) will yield a result. And if you want better results in life… then you better start make better decisions!
The only things I require of my kids (absolutely non-negotiable) is for them to be respectful, kind, honest, and inclusive.
If they do those things, I’m confident everything else will fall into place.