Other Articles from Christopher Madison
How To Raise Your Kids “to Win”
In the minds of some fathers, there is this secret thought: My children can be exceptionally talented and experience happiness in life if we can unleash their potential.
These fathers believe that their children’s talent, intelligence, or any other ability is not fixed, but evolves as a result of how much effort is put in. Personally, I have always thought that my role as a father is to help my children discover their talent and to provide them with the opportunity/discipline to pursue that talent. My children are windmills. My wife and I are the wind.
Talking about discipline, focus, and commitment to greatness in children puts a wrinkle on many people’s brows. We all know that the greatest athletes, entrepreneurs, and musicians emerge only after spending at least a decade mastering their chosen field.
But, fathers like Joe Jackson, Earl Woods, Matthew Knowles, Richard Williams, and László Polgár have made conversations around children’s potential a social taboo. These extreme cases obscure a beautiful insight: Any healthy child—if taught early and intensively—can be brought up to be exceptionally successful in any field.
Yes, there is a problem with fathers who are ready, willing, and able to push their kids and work the system. There still aren’t enough of them.
Here are 5 tips to unleashing your child’s potential:
1. Anything is possible— Each and every child is different and today, Kenya is more of a meritocracy than ever before. Almost anything is possible if your children want to do it badly enough. Don’t discourage ambition.
2. Maximize their ambition — Optimize time on your kids’ passion (be it music, mathematics, football, whatever). It is crucial that you are tapping into an innate passion.
3. Encourage heroes— There’s nothing wrong with hero worship, in fact, role models are a brilliant way to focus ambition. Encourage kids to find out how their heroes did what they did and how it all started.
4. Challenge them— Wrapping your child in protective blankets will only make the world seem more frightening than it really is. Set them challenges that will stretch them. Celebrate the successes with them.
5. Let them fail — Don’t rescue them, but if they fall or fail, talk it over. Show them it’s not the end of the world and is not a reflection on their identity. It is an opportunity to work harder.
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