We continue our look into raising "successful kids"
In Part I I stated that I talk with a lot of parents and often I ask what they want most for their children. The most common answer I here is Success. I then ask the parents to define success and what I normally here is a good education, a good job and some financial abundance leading to less struggle then the parents had to deal with.
In Part II we looked at Honesty and Discipline as the top factors that lead to "successful" people and family's according to Dr. Thomas Stanley's research on affluent households.
Today we are going to look at Social Skills and Courage. I forgot to mention in the first two posts that I have had the opportunity to work and be mentored by many affluent people: CEO's, Self-Made Multi Millionaires, etc. Again, financial abundance certainly does not mean a person is of good character or merit but you also have to give credit to those who have built financial abundance. I have also found that most wealthy people I have met are of good character and are very good, godly, giving people.
One trait that every successful person I have ever met has is great social skills. Almost all wealthy people will tell you that they have attained the wealth by the help of others and by having great mentors.
"You have to be good with people, listen to their needs and solve their problems. Then you can worry about yourself." One affluent man told me. Teaching our children how to talk to people, how to help others, how to solve the problems of others and how to give credit to others is a surefire way to start building a foundation of successful social skills.
One of the best times we have with our kids is around Christmas. Each year we get the name of a needy family and buy presents, clothes or whatever they need and then go deliver the presents to the family near Christmas.
Two years ago we got a single Mom with a 3 year old daughter, our kids helped pick out presents for the little girl and my wife got the daughter a winter coat, hat, gloves and some outfits. The kids delivered the presents and watched as the Mom cried with joy and thanked God and us so much, the kids truly learned a lesson in giving to others that day.
The fourth trait is Courage. Courage and Tenacity can get you far in the world if it is used properly and you don't get a big head. Almost all successful people listed taking calculated risks, choosing significance over safety and learning to face their fears. For more on why we have to learn to face our fears and why it can be detrimental to success see On Waterwalking: Part II.
Also listed by almost every affluent person in the research was the phrase "Confidence in myself and my abilities." This cannot be attained without courage.
For a further account of Courage and why it is necessary more than ever in today's productive citizens see In Search Of Courage: Fast Company Article.