Do your children attend the right schools? Are they taking the right classes at the right schools? Are they getting the right grades in the right classes at the right schools? Well maybe they don’t have to be.
Julie Lythcott-Haims, former dean of freshman at Stanford and author of “How To Raise An Adult,” recently did a TED Talk called “How To Raise Successful Kids—Without Overparenting.” In it she details a parenting strategy she calls the “checklisted childhood,” which has our children “withering under high rates of anxiety and depression and some of them are wondering will this life ever turn out to have been worth it?”
Lythcott-Haims then goes on to share the results of the longest Harvard grant study ever done, which measured professional success in life. From the study two significant conclusions were drawn:
1. Doing chores at a young age increases professional success
It seems simple enough, but the reality is doing chores helps children to see the work that needs to be done around them. In the professional world, this translates to having a vision for what needs to be done and taking the initiative to do it.
2. Happiness in life comes from love
Children need to know that they are loved unconditionally. That means reassuring them that no matter what boxes they may not be able to check, your love for them does not waver. We exemplify love to them so that they can go on to show love for others.
Children aren’t “bonsai trees, they’re wildflowers,” says Lythcott-Haims. We should not be forming them and shaping them into what we want them to be. Instead we must love who they were created to be and encourage their growth. To hear more words of wisdom from Haims, watch her full TED Talk: