As I stated in my earlier 4-Part Post The Success Illusion, many parents today are knowingly and unknowingly parenting and raising their children to attain success. While these parents' intentions are good their means and research on the topics are lacking.
This month at Legacy Dad, I want to help you see the flaws in many modern parenting styles and also show you the research and reason why alternate parenting styles will not only raise better children but also assist in raising children who will not only be successful but live a life of significance and meaning.
A large number of parents focus a majority of their parenting efforts on grades, sports and achievement. While this approach is noble and the norm, it is having a profound affect on the next generations of children.
In Dr. Thomas Stanley's book "The Millionaire Mind", Stanley surveys the households of America's wealthiest families to determine the traits and habits of financially successful people (Millionaires).
According to Stanley's research the traits and reasons most mentioned by millionaires that lead them to success were:
1. Honesty - Integrity - Character
2. Discipline - Persistence - Long Term Thinking
3. Social Skills - Relationships - Focusing on the needs of others
4. Courage - Tenacity
5. A Healthy Marriage and Supportive Spouse
Also mentioned was their strong religious faith.
Note that grades, type of school attended, age they begin reading, or sports played was not mentioned. They all involve character development and social skills. All these skills are primarily learned in the home from parents not in school or church.
Moving on, Malcolm Gladwell explains in Outliers how success in the 21st century is less about sheer intelligence and more about collaboration (working well with others) and hard work to get to the level of mastery in a topic (which he says typically takes 10,000 hours).
Annette Lareau's study of Concetrated Cultivation indicates that parents who encourage problem solving, sibling rivalry, reasoning and critical thinking, organization skills and social communications to include interacting with adults and those in authority positions (challenging norms/guided autonomy) actually better equips their children for the real world.
Finally, Robert Shaw clearly evidences in Epidemic how many modern and popular parenting styles are leaving us with not only narcissistic children but a narcissistic generation as evidenced by Twenge.
So what is the point of all this?
The main areas that focus and hinge on all of these aforementioned elements is character development, social skills and how we as parents model, interact and impart these skills onto our children. Not only what but how we focus our parenting has the biggest effect on our children.
Many times as parents we focus a majority of our attention on school, sports and achievement while this has no guarantee of future success or our desired outcome fro our children. Does this mean we don't pay attention to grades or sports? No, it means that simply grades and sports are not our primary area of focus when parenting. School and sports are important, what is even more important though is the focus and molding of Character Traits, Social Skills and Faith.
Honesty, Social Skills, Courage, Creativity, Marriage, Faith, Patience, Unselfishness and Servanthood is learned in the home and caught not taught.
This needs to be our primary areas of focus in order to raise spiritual champions for the future.
While this post has been dry and full of studies and statistics, the future posts in this area will give us areas and ways to correct the current mistakes in modern parenting and ultimately to re-chart a course for True Significance over success in our children.