Author Topic: What's the one thing you most attribute to you or your child's success?  (Read 3154 times)

WGH

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So here's where I am attempting to go with this:

Looking back at your own childhood or at your kids what one thing did you or your parents do that you feel most led to success by teaching responsibility, patience, empathy, frugality, etc.?

Something like we always were required to save half of our allowance, or we couldn't play with our presents until we had written the thank you notes, or at Christmas Mom used to make us volunteer at a soup kitchen and I learned...., etc. etc.

For example mine: My mom would take me to the library every week and sign me up for the reading contest. I feel like this greatly impacted my love for reading which in turn helped me immensely in school. She also took me to numerous garage sales and thrift shops and taught me to look for deals and how to make money off of buying cheap and selling it for more at our own garage sales.

Generally I am looking for good parenting ideas and the anecdotal stories from this board are gold.

Sailor Sam

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Re: What's the one thing you most attribute to you or your child's success?
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2015, 10:58:40 PM »
Well, this might not go in the direction you want, but! As a kid I liked kindergarten well enough, but in starting in 1st grade I got bored and impatient. Especially with homework. I saw no constructive reason to even attempt completing it.

Of course my slacker ways got back to my parents. After that there was strict oversight, but I hated it and everyone resented the process. Sometime in the 2nd grade my mom sat me down, and told me a basic truth about the society. She explained that I had to play along just enough to get along. Once the minimum obligation was observed, I could do my own thing.

She told me it was her job to make sure I actually went to school, but learning was my responsibility. I could choose to do homework, or not. So I didn't. Through 8th grade I did very little homework, and my parents accepted my C grades. Once I hit highschool I had to start doing about half the assigned homework in order to keep up. By Junior year I did all my homework. I graduated high school with an IB diploma and a high score on the SAT's. Got a large scholarship to attend an old name college. Got my commission. Am successful. Still find situations where the basic effort is all that's required. Thanks mom.

TL;DR: Homework really isn't worth fighting about, assuming your kid isn't struggling to learn.

gooki

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Re: What's the one thing you most attribute to you or your child's success?
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2015, 01:20:11 AM »
I learned how to be awesome from my father. He showed me some blueprint drawings he had done as a draughtsman, and then showed me the artistic sketch of the building frontage. His boss had told him not to waste his time as they'll never win the contract. That sketch sold the whole project, it assured the clients the construction firm had vision, and cared about the job.

My takeaway, being awesome is simple, do what people expect and then a little bit more. It's easy to stand out when everyone expects the minimum.

This is all on top of the hundreds, possibly thousands of other equality important pieces of knowledge they passed on/allowed me to discover.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2015, 01:21:52 AM by gooki »

MissStache

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Re: What's the one thing you most attribute to you or your child's success?
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2015, 09:11:01 AM »
The thing that I am MOST thankful for is that my parents taught me to be independent and make my own decisions.  Even from a young age my parents let me make small choices (like what to wear to school.  I totally picked out my own outfits and I looked GREAT in sweatpants and tutus!) and I had small chores.  She taught me to do laundry when I was 7 or 8 and I always washed my own clothes.  I learned how to cook simple things at a young age and they always encouraged me to help them in the kitchen.  They gave me a lot of freedom (which was assisted by the fact that I grew up in the literal woods of Alabama, so I couldn't get into TOO much trouble).

If I was having some kind of problem with a friend or at school, their first response was to encourage me to deal with it on my own and decide how I wanted to handle the problem.  I'm trying to think of a time when they had to step in and mediate for me, but honestly I'm coming up blank.   

I remember feeling like I could handle things on my own and make good decisions from a very early age and it has turned me into an incredibly independent adult.  Part of that is my personality, I'm sure, but a big portion of it was from my parents empowering me to feel that way as a child.


Gone Fishing

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Re: What's the one thing you most attribute to you or your child's success?
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2015, 09:27:31 AM »
Discipline

I was a good natured and smart kid, but I could have fallen in with the wrong crowd (basically good people who ended up making their lives very difficult by making poor choices) if mom and dad had ever been lazy with the discipline. But, they never were.

Mom, especially, was pretty frugal, too:) 

Work ethic/drive has been important, but seemed to come on it's own.  I certainly spent plenty of time in front of the TV as a child.   

Dee18

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Re: What's the one thing you most attribute to you or your child's success?
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2015, 12:08:57 PM »
My daughter just started college a few weeks ago.   She is at a small liberal arts college that prides itself on rigorous academics.  She has thanked me several times in the past month for sending her to the private high school that prepared her so well for college.  She especially mentioned that she learned how to study and how to interact with teachers.   (Our public high school was very highly rated, but my quiet, well behaved, bright daughter was just coasting along getting A's, not being challenged.)  It was my largest expense for the last 5 years, but then she received a full tuition scholarship to college worth about twice what I paid for private grades 8-12. I post this because I so often see people focused on spending as little as possible, including on their kids' education, in order to reach FIRE.  I'm not suggesting every kid needs to go to private school, but mine did.

She also admitted she was really glad I made her get a job (she scooped ice cream part time for 14 months), because she learned a lot about getting along with people.  She texted me today that she has applied for a part time job at the college, as she wants to continue working.



 

GorgeousSteak

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Re: What's the one thing you most attribute to you or your child's success?
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2015, 05:23:14 PM »
Interesting question!  These things stand out:

1)  Both parents didn't outsource anything, I remember my dad building a massive fence, doing all the yardwork, closing and opening the pool every summer.  And my mom, made all the meals, did all the cleaning, etc.  I think I learned a really solid work ethic from watching this.

2)  Seems others have mentioned something similar to this, but my parents allowed me significant freedom in what I did with my time.  I played way more video games than most people here would think is healthy and later in my childhood spent a ton of time on the computer as well, doing all manner of nefarious and productive things.  I could easily see many parents trying to curtail this.  But in the end I was significantly ahead of others in college and it led to my current actual job of programming video games.  So, to sum up, they embraced and supported my passions.

justplucky

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Re: What's the one thing you most attribute to you or your child's success?
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2015, 07:03:03 PM »
She explained that I had to play along just enough to get along. Once the minimum obligation was observed, I could do my own thing.

It took me 31 years to learn this. Your mom is awesome.

jengod

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Re: What's the one thing you most attribute to you or your child's success?
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2015, 11:09:47 PM »
The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease

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Re: What's the one thing you most attribute to you or your child's success?
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2015, 11:44:29 PM »
Reading a lot as children. We pretty much read non-stop. I don't remember when it started - we were going to the library weekly for about as long as I can remember.

Academics are simplified immensely when children have good language skills. Reading led to excellent spelling and comprehension. Reading also taught me how to write well. Even complicated tests, like the CPA exam, were much easier for me than for many of my peers, due to my ability to read and quickly absorb written information.

I will also say this - No one ever told me that a book was too hard for me. And nothing was off limits. No one ever took a book out my hand and said, "Not that one. That's not for you. Maybe when you're older." No one ever conveyed the message that a book was too long, the language too difficult, the subject matter too mature/boring/complex.

Just about everything in my life has been easier due to my written and oral communication skills. I've gotten jobs, promotions, opportunities, clients, and even my husband because I'm a good communicator. I feel strongly that it all started with reading.

artistache

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Re: What's the one thing you most attribute to you or your child's success?
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2015, 07:04:48 AM »
Summer camp--not fancy summer camp, but a week of sleepaway camp with a friend's church group about an hour outside of town. Probably cost my parents $125 back in the nineties. Having that level of independence and agency, and developing an alternate set of friends who didn't attend my middle school, changed me completely. And lead to me getting a job at a camp for foster kids when I was older, which further taught me leadership, empathy, hundreds of practical life skills like repairing 90 year old plumbing, how to deal with difficult people, and generally that I could figure out how to handle almost anything that came my way.

elaine amj

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Re: What's the one thing you most attribute to you or your child's success?
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2015, 11:23:54 AM »
Reading a lot as children. We pretty much read non-stop. I don't remember when it started - we were going to the library weekly for about as long as I can remember.

Academics are simplified immensely when children have good language skills. Reading led to excellent spelling and comprehension. Reading also taught me how to write well. Even complicated tests, like the CPA exam, were much easier for me than for many of my peers, due to my ability to read and quickly absorb written information.

I will also say this - No one ever told me that a book was too hard for me. And nothing was off limits. No one ever took a book out my hand and said, "Not that one. That's not for you. Maybe when you're older." No one ever conveyed the message that a book was too long, the language too difficult, the subject matter too mature/boring/complex.

Just about everything in my life has been easier due to my written and oral communication skills. I've gotten jobs, promotions, opportunities, clients, and even my husband because I'm a good communicator. I feel strongly that it all started with reading.

Yes, it helps a lot. But I don't know that it is the only thing or even the major thing. If I only looked at myself, I would agree with you. My language skills have carried me very very far in my life. On the flip side, we have my brother - who was just as passionate about reading. He read medical encyclopedias for fun when we were in grade school! He made it through grade school and high school with Cs and Ds and flunked his pre-university A-levels before finally doing better in university with a B average. I pride myself on my language skills, but he has an even better command of the English language than I do. Right now, he is scraping by in middle management.

Neither of my own kids are as crazy about reading...and I haven't pushed it other than to teach both to read at a young age. My daughter enjoys reading somewhat and reads a book about once every 1-2 weeks. My son...we force him to read several pages a day (mainly because husband feels it is important). I don't think being a bookworm was healthy for me. I did (and still do) devour 1-2 books a day and get completely absorbed in it. Thankfully, in my teens I decided my social life was more important and I would put my books down to hang out with friends. I could have just as happily not have had a social life and spent my teen years reading instead.

I know most people say being a bookworm is sooo much better than spending hours on video games. It is a little bit true in that you gain a lot of language skills (my husband's spelling, grammar,and vocabulary is pretty bad as he spent his childhood playing video games). And now he is a professor while I muddle on in middle management. Which was a better hobby in the long run?
« Last Edit: September 19, 2015, 11:26:12 AM by elaine amj »

FLBiker

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Re: What's the one thing you most attribute to you or your child's success?
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2015, 02:30:05 PM »
She explained that I had to play along just enough to get along. Once the minimum obligation was observed, I could do my own thing.

It took me 31 years to learn this. Your mom is awesome.

I don't think I was taught this, but I remember having a bit of a breakthrough (or breakdown) in 7th grade.  Up until then, I'd been a wicked perfectionist when it came to school work.  Then I realized that I could expend 10% of the effort and still get A-'s, instead of always going for 100%.  This absolutely transformed my experience of school and my orientation to work.