• Helen Hattingh

Can you predict how the world will be in 20 years? Well nor can your child!

Updated: May 20

So how do you set your kids up for success?

This reminds me of the rice crispy story. The rice crispy is poured into a box. It lands at the bottom of the pile. It feels claustrophobic and weighed down and tries constantly to get to the top of the pile. Eventually, it reaches the top of the pile only to have the box placed into a container upside down. There it lands again at the bottom of the pile and needs to find its way back to the top of the pile. The box then is placed on a shelf and again its turned upside down, so the rice crispy needs to start its journey to the top of the pile all over again. You can continue this story over and over.

As parents, we want everything of the best for our children. I have a 15-year-old who is constantly expressing that she doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up. We don’t know what the world will be like when our kids turn 40, have 2.5 children of their own and are drowning in debt in a political environment we have not yet met.

We don’t know what the job market will be like and we don’t know what inflation will be like and we don’t know what the earning potential will be either. So how do we ensure that our kids find happiness success and fulfillment?

We want desperately for our kids to be on top of the pile; to be the cream of the crop; to shine brightly and to be happy.

Throughout the time that I raised our 4 children, there is one motto that I carried with me. You can’t live their lives for them and you can't prevent them from following their own path, you can only prepare them to find the inner strength to recognize and seize opportunities when they arise and to be able to distinguish between the choices that life presents to them and accept the consequences of those choices.

The last thing we wanted for our children is for them to settle for mediocrity due to limited choices, rather than building a dream life for themselves.

So, what tools can we give them to ensure they have the best chance to land on top of the pile?

· A deep sense of self-worth

· Resilience

· Determination

· To get up and try again after failure

· A sense of empathy and compassion

· Removing a sense of entitlement

· Owning their actions

· Understanding the impact of schoolwork on their future

Imagine if your children distinguished themselves from the rest of the pack. Imagine if your child had the courage to remove him/herself from peer pressure and define her/himself as a separate and unique identity. Imagine if your child had the resilience to value themselves – not because facebook or Insta says so, but because her/his thoughts and deeds are aligned, and he/she has the conviction to stick to their values.

We keep being told that to compete in this ever-changing, fast-paced life, we need to think out of the box. We need to create something unique, something different and something that will appeal to others. Well actually - the box is sitting right inside you!

When you live authentically and your heart and head are working in unison, integrity is born. From integrity comes compassion and from compassion comes the highest of Maslov’s 6 human needs, growth, and connection. We feel better and experience more joy when we are interconnected and serving others.

Our children need to value themselves. They need to value their success and they need to WANT to work hard to get to realize their dreams. No-one wants a 30-year-old child still staying at home and still unable to fend for themselves. We all want to see our kids as independent self-sufficient individuals with high ethical and moral values. To develop these, they need to look inwards and become comfortable and confident with who they are and proudly own their individuality. They need to identify their values and work through the self-doubt, the ”I’m not good enough” and the constant chasing of “stuff”; prestige, and keeping up with the Jones’s. A child’s value to the world has very little to do with their report card. It has far more to do with who they are inside.

Want to give your son or daughter a head-start to getting to the top of the pile? Let him or her take the time to discover themselves and build their self-worth. It's one giant leap towards getting them on top of the pile.

My 4ME program does just that!

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South Africa