As a cranky old lady I worry that we are leading our children astray on what leads to success. Hard work? Yes. Dreams? Yes. “A little bit of luck.” Definitely!
From the goodness of our hearts, we want to believe anyone can do anything if they only dream big and work hard. When it comes to our children we want them to have confidence and a drive to succeed. We think encouraging pursuit of their dreams matters most.
Brute fact: Luck is part of success. Good luck or bad luck, both matter.
Jerome Kagan, Harvard researcher into how people become who they become, believes at least eight factors matter. Those factors: Temperament, sibling order, who you want to be like (identifications), parental behavior, school and social success, community size, historical events of adolescence, and chance.
Think of chance or luck as what we do not control. Then review Kagan’s list and you will realize chance plays a part in each item.
Oprah used to say, “If I can do it anyone can.”
Not true. Luck was on her side in three very important ways. One way was being born with a very good brain which lead to school success and social success. The second way involved the historical era she grew up in; segregation had ended and opportunities for blacks has opened in many fields. Had she been born fifty years early a different world would have held her back. Finally, she started her childhood in a small farming community.
What can a parent do? Here are my tips.
Tip one: The younger your child, the more s/he believes dreams come true. Theorists refer to this as the Age of Magical Thinking. Neither promote nor fight the child’s hopes. Promoting raises expectations too high; fighting doesn’t work and just drives the dreams underground or worse decreases the child’s confidence.
Tip two: Stress trying, working hard, dreaming big, and the need for luck equally.
Tip three: Support talents but also not for winning medals but for the pleasure found in pursuing what you are good at.
Tip four: Social success comes from treating others respectfully and that means having good manners. Social success also comes from self-confidence and that is why I suggest all children take karate training with a Peace Dojo.
Tip five: Help you child see failure as an opportunity to learn how to stay strong when life does not go your way.
Remind yourself and your child that luck cannot be controlled, but comes and goes; good luck is a gift to cherish; bad luck something to wait out. You will be strengthened and your strength will strengthen your child.
If you are new to the idea of emotional fitness exercises visit this blog page: Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises to get started improving your emotional intelligence.
Thank you all for all you do to care and share with others. Doing a little matters a lot.
This post was inspired by this WordPress Daily Prompt: Que Sera Sera Do you believe in fate or do you believe you can control your own destiny? My answer: I believe in both.