PowerGems For Parents from Masters and Millionaires

Parental PowerGems     compliments of Masters and Millionaires Shortcuts

I saw my nine-year old neighbor this afternoon, walking as if the world's burdens weighed upon his young shoulders. When I asked him why, he repeatedly insisted he was fine, and turned away with a droop to his step. His posture belied his words. It was a powerful reminder of two conclusions that resulted from an experiment involving 140 sets of parents. Maybe it can help you help a child today, provided you understand that there's a catch to reaping the fruits of this life-changing action for your child's future.

It consists of avoiding the most typical trap of all, where most parents will nod their head, agree with what they read in the next dozen paragraphs, and then return to their normal way of doing things. That's insane, medically speaking: doing the same thing the same way, and expecting a different result. The only way to induce your child to be a better child, and therefore a better adult, is for you to demonstrate it, day in and day out. That's the trap to beware of falling into. Talking less, doing more.

Fact: Children rarely grow up to do as they are told.

Fact: Children INVARIABLY grow up to do as they are shown.

My mother would yell, "I'll break all your fingers if I ever catch any of you with a cigarette in your mouth," as she lit yet another one of her twenty daily cigarettes. Do you think it is a coincidence that I entered the U.S. Air Force yelling about minor things and smoking a pack of cigarettes every day? Not likely. Most kids grow up wanting or needing to be like their parents in any number of ways. Remind yourself that whatever it is that you do and say most often each day, you can depend on your child picking up that habit as well, whether it's speaking to strangers in a pleasant voice, or throwing a hissy-fit over minor issues.

You cannot successfully teach children merely by telling them. They're natural mimics, just like all creatures, who follow the majority of the herd. As adults, we might not like this. We'd rather have children simply do as we tell them to, right? However, since you have trusted only those people who do as they say, why should your kids think otherwise? Not a chance. They tend to trust those who walk their talk. You know it, I know it, and still we hope that our kids will approach problems in a calm, intelligent fashion, even when we ourselves are screaming and shouting, which solves nothing. True, or not?

Only one thing determines your child's long-term respect for you. It absolutely depends on how consistently your actions match the way you speak. You want your kids to be good problem-solvers? Don't tell them. Show them. You can best teach them to calmly approach a problem with a problem-solving attitude of your own. Teach them by doing it, not by preaching it and then flying off the handle in twenty minutes because they didn't clean their room.

Before they turn ten, girls are hugged approximately eight times more than boys. Before they turn ten, boys are eight times more likely to be in trouble than girls. There are few coincidences in life. You can be confident this is not one of them. If you know so much, how did you forget the value of hugs?

One hundred and forty sets of parents agreed to hug their child at least once every day when physically possible, and to verbally tell the children that they were loved. How hard can that be? A daily hug, no skipping, no excuses; and an "I love you" or "I'm so happy that you are a part of my life," or "You are an important member of this family."

Eighteen years later a college professor found the original paperwork for the experiment, and decided to find out how those kids turned out. Of two hundred and ten children, 206 were found alive. None had been in any trouble with drugs, or arrested. Only five of them had experienced serious illness, and best of all, 192 of these children grew up into careers related to helping other human beings. Who knows the power of a hug, of being told they are loved? Kids need to hear the words. So do you. None had filed for bankruptcy; not one was on public assistance

They have grown up to be responsible, giving, successful human beings. Do you think it's a coincidence that such an unusually high percentage of success could exist without those hugs and "I love you's?"

What you know means very little… … until you act upon it.   Telling your children, "I'll give you something to be miserable about if you don't stop pouting;" well, it didn't work on you when you were a kid, so why think it might possibly work on your children today? If you knew it better, you'd do it better, wouldn't you? Like all of us, what you do speaks so loudly… we can't hear a word you're saying, unless it's "I love you," or, "I'm so happy you're a part of our family," or "You are one of the greatest blessings in my life, and I want you to know that you are very much loved."

Most of us know the keys to success. We learn them by the age of ten. The largest challenge of my professional life has not been the presentation of new information. Very little in the way of 'new' knowledge is needed; only more action on what we already know. That's why you are urged, even pleaded with, to try seeing it from your kid's point of view, even momentarily. Is a hug so expensive? Every time you give one away, they more than double in value. Not a bad return, hm?

That kid was in a fog of loneliness today… from a parent.   Just in case, can you spare a hug?

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