Parenting Children to be Leaders Instead of Followers







Do you feel pressured to sign your children up for lots of sports and activities so that they keep pace with the other kids, even though your gut tells you it’s too much? Do you fear they won’t measure up and succeed in this competitive world? Do you allow your children to spend too much time on smartphones and video game devices because that is how kids  communicate these days, and that depriving them of this will lead to social isolation? The reality is that all of these activities and devices that we provide our children have little to do with them and everything to do with us.  Here’s why.

We want our children tofit inbecause we fear that they won’t be happy and successful. Take a deep breath for moment and really think about this. Do you really want your children to “FIT IN”, to follow the crowd? Or, do you want them to be leaders? As parents we get sucked into the fitting-in trap and we may be setting-up our children to be future followers instead of future leaders.

Here are a few tips to help you raise children that are future leaders instead of followers.

Unplug the phone: Getting smart-phones for your children is the furthest thing from “smart.” You know how addictive these things are and how dangerous that world-wide-web is. So does it make sense to place these dangerous devices in your children’s hands? I understand that all of the other parents in the community are ok with it, but does that really make it ok? Wouldn’t you rather your child do things the safe way instead of societies way? If your children are among the few that don’t have smart phones then you’re already teaching them how to march to the beat of their own drum; to lead rather than follow. Their time to have a smart phone will come, there’s no need to rush it. And remember, this fear you have of your children being left behind is your fear, not theirs.

Limit the sports: Are your kid’s schedules jam-packed? Again, do you fear that they will fall behind and not be any good, and not have a social life? Again, these are fears, not facts. Here are the facts: If your child is on the football field practicing every night until 8:00, what he’s really missing out on is what he needs the most—time with you. You are your children’s teacher and mentor, and the only way you can teach them and guide them is if you are with them.

Rated M video games/Rated R Movies: Leaders play by the rules. Why? Because the rules are the rules. If you allow your children to play games and watch movies that aren’t age appropriate, what do you think that teaches them? It teaches them that it’s ok to break the rules, which is something leaders just don’t do. If you start playing by the rules your children will too.

In a nutshell, human beings tend do move with the crowd, to go with the flow. This is similar to the flock of birds in the sky or the school of fish in the sea. We unconsciously conform to the things that others around us are doing and we don’t even realize it. This is known as the collective consciousness or social conformity. Unless you start becoming more aware of this fact and pass it on to your children, your children will start to, well, follow the crowd. Here is a great clip from an old candid camera episode that will help you understand this more.





Is technology leading to animal attacks

I know this sounds crazy but it sounds like things have gotten so out of whack with technology and social networking that we’re putting ourselves at risk for animal attacks.   That’s what I said; technology is actually causing more animal attacks?  Let me explain.

I started reading this article (Alaska bear victim pleads for help in 911 call) because I’ve been to Alaska and I love it, and I happen to like bears.  The article is about a guy who climbed 30 feet up a tree after being mauled by a grizzly (good thing it wasn’t a black bear; they can climb trees).  As I was reading the article it hit me; it was another story of technology-gone-bad.  And you know how I feel about technology and how I believe it’s hurting us more than helping us.   Here’s a quote from the article:

“People are getting too close to the animals with their cell-phone cameras without the zoom power of regular cameras, said Dave Battle, a biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.”

Battle believes the rationale behind this behavior goes like this: “I want to get a picture, a close-up picture, so I can post it on Facebook and all my friends from all around the country can see what a neat place I live in.”

This supports what I’ve been saying all along.  Many of us have become so desperate for attention, so needy, that we actually risk our lives to get a close-up picture of a wild animal (a large and dangerous one at that) just to get a few “wow’s” from our facebook friends.  Unbelievable!!

Do yourself a favor and leave the camera/video phone behind when you go for a walk in nature.  The “oneness” with nature that you’ll discover just might help you turn inward a little bit more where you’ll find your real self-esteem.  This way you won’t need to post pictures on facebook to feel good about yourself.