Good news: you cannot predict the future. Parents can try, but parents cannot predict, let alone control it. #parents
Many try to predict how a child will fare in the future. Most often such predictions are false. Proof, think about these big time childhood failures: Albert Einstein, Jim Carrey, Benjamin Franklyn, Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey, Charlize Theron, and Steven Spielberg. Each one was an unlikely candidate for success during their early years. .
Add to that the countless stories you hear about teachers and counselors predicting student failure that proved wrong. Happened to me, happened to my kids.
Finally, think of the young addicts who get clean and sober and lead a good life.
The future cannot be predicted because the future is beyond our ability to control.
Not being able to predict or control the future does not mean giving up on doing the best you can to make sure your children flourish. It helps to understand more fully how complicated who we become is.
Jerome Kagan, Harvard guru of human development, believes hundreds of factors shape who we are and who we become and how we change. He lists these eight as high on his list and in the order each appear in a child’s life:
- temperament and other inborn biological factors – for examples: a learning disability, your size, your brain power.
- Sibling position or lack of siblings.
- Identifications meaning who you think you are like, who you want to be like, as well as your heroes.
- What your parents do. Kagan stresses the importance of making the child feel valued, being consistently permissive or tough, teaching a set of values.
- Social and school successes or failures.
- Community size: Kagan thinks small town life favors a child’s feeling competent in one field or another. Why? Less competition in general so even the less talented players get into the game and are value.
- The historical era you grew up between the ages of twelve and twenty.
- Chance – and chance includes many things. I would have died early in my life, had I been born before the advent of penicillin. ;Oprah would not have achieved her success is born fifty years earlier. Illness and physical traumas change a person’s life course. The social class and families you are born in are matters of chance. I am sure you can list many other chancy things.
The advice? Take positive predictions as hopes, negative ones as unproven. Teach your children to do the same.
Remember your job is to prepare your child for life in the real world not in the land of Happiness Now and Ever After. Encourage dreams, but also recognize the place chance plays in life. Talk a bit about dreams you had to leave behind and how you coped.
Learning the 12 Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises and teaching them to your children buffers the pain of failed dreams. Go here to learn four of those exercises.
Remember sharing is caring and share this post if you found it useful and think another will also.
This post was inspired by this Word Press Daily Post Prompt: There are 344 days remaining in the year. Describe what you’d like to be doing on day 211. (Hint: that’s July 30th.)
Links of interest
- Predicting the Future (en.wikipedia.org)
- 12 Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises (amazon.com)
- Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)