Gina, “Honesty, even if it’s harsh. If my kids get a bad mark on a test and they say they feel bad about it, I always agree. I say, “Yes, you should feel bad. You did not do your best. You are much more capable than this.” I don’t think sugar coating things for your kids will make them push themselves. They have to be prepared for the real world. People aren’t always going to tell them what they want to hear all the time.” Tip #7
As Gina mentioned with tip #7, I too believe honesty is a big deal. Not always easy, rarely easy, but so important. I am also a big fan of preparing kids for the real world, and didn’t believe in sugar coating things.
On occasion a test score might come in low. Michael would exclaim, “Well 70 was the average grade!” My response would be, “If you want to be average, you should know what that looks like. Many average people don’t own homes, they don’t vacation, and don’t own cars. Average people do not have much extra. I was hoping you’d want better than average for yourself!”
“If you are happy with an average life style, you need to know it will be difficult. Above average standards will lead to more rewards, improved quality, and your overall life will be a little sweeter.”
I promoted above average standards in school, at home, and in overall conduct. I wanted Michael to enjoy an above average life, high above average if possible.
It may sound pretentious to some; however, it was a key parenting principle of mine. I wanted him to be above average, not living pay to pay, just getting by. I wanted Michael to have the finer things, to shoot for higher than what he had, than we had. I wanted him to work to elevate his standards. I wanted only plush, large plush towels for him!
This practice and principle was extremely effective. Today Michael does uphold above average standards, high above average! Those standards do require more work and diligence, and are worth the effort.
If Michael goes no further, he has far surpassed my experiences, development, and what we had. He has appreciated rich opportunities, deep self-satisfaction, and an abundance of self-mastery. Michael has enjoyed great success, because of high standards.
In his short life, Michael has already achieved and enjoyed an above average life-style. He has met many above average people, has above average friendships, and has obtained an above average education.
Kids will do what is expected, I expected above average and he measured up and surpassed those expectations every time.
Thanks Gina, my above average friend!