What exactly do we want for our children? I’ve found out that parents, at least most want their children to be healthy, happy, and successful in life. If there is any way a parent can ensure a brighter and better future for their children, they will surely follow the path. One of the core tenets of American society is the belief and drive for the current generation to ensure that they hand over a better country to the future generation. That is why America is great as a country, it is about continuous improvement.
So how can we ensure a better future for our children? Do parents have any contribution to how successful their children will be? I’ve had these thoughts on my mind ever since we had our first child some years back. I became a father, and the joy and happiness of having the little one suddenly change to the sense of responsibility and concern with lots of different questions racing through my mind. How do I protect her, guide her, mentor her, and really ensure that she lives her best life? I later realized that as parents, although hard to admit it, we do not have control over everything.
Rather than placing the entire responsibility of ensuring that my child lives a healthy, happy, and successful life on my shoulder, what if I can equip her and let her choose her own path? It is true that there is no manual for parenting, but what if we can find a guide for raising successful people? What if there are actually principles for raising successful people?
In my quest to find answers to these essential questions, I came across someone that has confidently and successfully raised successful people. She has been called “The Godmother of Silicon Valley,” she is a teacher, grandmother, and she came up with a simple principle that can help anyone empower and raise successful people. Esther Wojcicki is the mother of Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of YouTube, Janet Wojcicki, a University professor, and Anne Wojcicki, the CEO of 23andMe. She recently wrote a book, rightfully titled “How to raise successful people.” In the book, she shared five core values that are essential for raising successful people.
How exactly did she do it? Are there any lessons that we can learn from her principles? I read her new book, and I had the opportunity of interviewing Esther. The following are the five core values that you need to raise successful people
1. TRUST: There is a vacuum of trust all around the world. Employees no longer trust their employers, students don’t trust their teachers, politicians have betrayed the trusts of their constituents. We need to rebuild our society by becoming trusting again, and the foundation starts at home. Parents must empower their children by trusting them to take the necessary steps toward empowerment and independence. Managers must learn to trust their employees and get them to honor their commitments.
2. RESPECT: Parent must respect the autonomy and individuality of their children and guide them as they choose the path they want to lead. It is not productive to dictate to your child all the choices that they need to make, like the kind of career they should pursue or how they should use their talents. The responsibility of the parent is to support children as they identify and pursue their goals, and encourage them to live to their fullest potential.
3. INDEPENDENCE: Parents need to teach their children to be responsible and independent very early in life. This will help them to develop the necessary skills to innovate and think creatively and also help to face challenges of adulthood. By teaching your child self-control and responsibility early in life, you will be equipping him or her to better able to face any challenges that she may confront as an adult. Independence is not about knowing everything or not needing people in your life, but it is more about having the confidence and the right sense of judgment to feel in control when the situation around them is in chaos.
4. COLLABORATION: This is about working together with other people. Collaboration is a skill that is essential in everyday life as the child continues to grow. Collaboration is needed in the classroom, in sports, and in the workplace. As a parent, you should encourage your child to participate and contribute to discussions at home and motivate them to share ideas and perspectives that can help solve problems.
5. KINDNESS: We all need kindness. Kindness involves being compassionate, showing gratitude, and being forgiving, it is about service to others and watching out for the comfort and happiness of others. It involves doing something just for the sake of another person, and not just for what we will get in return. A parent should model kindness at home so that their children can learn and know how to show kindness to others. The more act of kindness that can be shared, the better you are making someone else’s life, and the better the world will become.