8 Vital Skills To Teach Your Children That Will Trump an Ivy League
The Survival Mom
by Lisa Bedford: Camping
Is More Than Just Equipment – Here Is a List of Skills You Need
A few weeks
ago I was in a particularly depressed mood. That's not the norm
for me, but this time it was completely justified. I was pondering
my children's futures.
have sky-rocketed, far surpassing wage increases. My daughter will
be ready for college in five years. Will we be able to afford a
college education for her or even pay a percentage of it? And, if
she does go to college, what will she major in that will provide
a reliable career in a world whose future is increasingly unreliable?
kids should learn a trade that would provide a rock-solid income,
but what would that be? As a mom, I want their futures to be as
secure as possible, giving them a chance of achieving their dreams
and a comfortable lifestyle.
As you might
imagine, it was right around this point that my thinking got pretty
muddled. Is there a career that's EMP-proof? A job that will provide
their families with an income even if the dollar goes belly up and
America, as we know it, declines forever?
I'm still not
sure what path they should take, and of course they have a say in
their future plans! However, my brain lit upon something that gave
me hope as I contemplated a dismal future.
more important than a college degree?
job market may be bleak for professions from A to Z, but people
will always, always,
look for and need leaders. People who have the skills, confidence,
and personality to stand up and lead.
Isn't that what our world is crying out for right now? Leadership?
My son could
easily become an electrician, capable of wiring a building, knowing
electrical code, and also able to give direction, focus, and encouragement
to his peers and family.
Perhaps my daughter will become a florist, but why can't she also
live her life with goals and a vision and inspire others to do the
same? It's those leadership qualities and skills that may very well
trump another person's Ivy League education.
I believe the
future belongs to those who possess leadership skills and are willing
to step out and lead. Leadership, though, is mostly
taught and nurtured. Skills such as decisiveness, ambition,
the ability to motivate and inspire are not taught in the public
school. I spent 9 years in the classroom as a public school teacher
and another 4 as a school district trainer. Trust me. There is nothing
in the public school curriculum that teaches leadership skills.
If your child is to become a leader in a tumultuous and unpredictable
future, you will have to teach him or her yourself.
and qualities should you begin focusing on? Here are a few:
an early age, give your children practice speaking to and with adults.
At restaurants, insist that they place their own orders with the
waitress. Stand back and let them approach the librarian or store
clerk with their questions. Be willing to sit and just listen to
your child as they put their thoughts and emotions into words. Enroll
them in activities that will require them to make speeches or presentations
or communicate with the general public. Many adults shrink away
from this themselves, but it's impossible to be a leader without
effective communication skills.
if there is no need for your child to earn money, getting a job
is an excellent way to learn how to communicate with all sorts of
people. My first job was at J.C. Penney and I had to work in the
children's clothing department. I learned how to strike up conversations
with customers, ask my boss for help when I needed it, and not crawl
into a hole when the store manager showed up! All lifelong skills!
children have fantasies and dreams for their futures. Encourage
them to talk about what they want to be when they grow up, what
they want to do, to build, to create. Nothing meaningful on this
earth has ever been accomplished without, first, a vision. Our world
has been greatly enhanced by people like Steve Jobs and Thomas Edison.
They let their imaginations run wild, and apparently, so did their
your child has a vision for something, help him or her break it
down into smaller parts. Setting and achieving goals is an enormous
confidence builder but too many people, including most adults, have
no idea of the power of goal-setting. Start with a small goal, perhaps
earning a certain amount of money or achieving some specific goal
in a school subject. Write out the goal and what has to be done
in order to complete it. This teaches kids to know what they want
and what has to be done to get it.
the face of opposition
live in a world where too few people have courage. They are too
willing to behave like sheep and kowtow to the latest version of
political correctness. A real leader stands up for what he or she
believes in the face of ridicule, prejudice, and rejection. As well,
it takes courage to finish a difficult task and overcome obstacles
of every kind. Facing peer pressure is another chance to be courageous
and do the right thing.
the rest of the article
© 2012 The
Best of Lisa Bedford