Have you ever wondered what it takes to raise tenacious kids? That is, kids who grow up to have a never give up attitude.
Google defines being tenacity as:
As I ponder my responsibility as a parent, the question of how to raise tenacious kids always finds its way to the top of my mind.
And I wonder what it is I can do to help my kids build tenacity mindset.
Why is tenacity critical?
An adult who was raised to be tenacious will out compete another whose parents never made raising tenacious kids a priority.
I know there are people who believe that the world has enough resources for everybody.
That there is no need to compete.
Well, I’ll let these folks raise their kids the way they like.
In the meantime, I’ll train my kids to put their minds, bodies and souls to any task until that task is done to a level where angels nod their heads.
Then when it comes to job interviews, business negotiations and such, we’ll see who’s gonna come out on top.
Besides the dog eat dog world in which all humans live in, nothing of significance is ever achieved without an extra large dose of tenacity.
The Chinese threat
The reason why China is almost at the cusp of overtaking the USA as the single most dominant superpower can be traced to one thing.
One of the most significant findings from
an international study that was conducted by Fisher Price, which asked more than 3,500 moms about their hopes for their kids, is that mothers in China place greater emphasis on instilling tenacity and perseverance in their kids.
So as a parent whose kids will most likely be competing with Chinese kids, it stands to reason that you do what you have to do to instill this critical character trait in your kids.
Watching out for opportunities to build tenacity
My girls and I went school supplies shopping the other day.
Vicky, our 8 year got herself a digital alarm clock from Staples. She proceeded to work at setting the clock to the correct time as soon as we got into car.
As we drove along I could hear mumbled sounds of frustration.
She had her mind set to getting the correct time set on the clock.
After several tries with no success she decided she had had it. She asked if I could help her when we got home.
As a parent, there is a place within me that experiences this emotion of hurt when I see my kids struggle.
Logically I know that struggle is good for kids.
The feeling of hurt when I see my kids struggling always make me want to give them a hand
Against my natural parental inclinations, I told Vicky to figure out setting the clock by herself.
Boy did she go at it.
After several attempts the cry of triumph sounded. Daddy I did it!! She screamed out.
The pride in her voice was unmistakable. The confidence was self evident.
As if I had done anything special to contribute to get success, I felt good. May be I had.
During those brief moments when my daughter was celebrating her success it hit me like a tone of bricks that had I agreed to help her set the new clock I would have robbed her of several important components for her life foundation.
While we mean well by helping our kids through tough tasks our help denies them of the joy that comes from single handedly accomplishing tasks.
Not only does a parent’s help deny the child of the joy of self accomplishment, it takes away the opportunity for growing into a tenacious kid.
Letting kids struggle through tasks as they attempt to figure things out for themselves trains them to persevere in exerting effort towards the accomplishment of goals despite obstacles faced over an extended period.
Developing courage, resolve and strength of character only comes about through the struggle born out trying to figure things out.
By lending a hand when we see a kids struggle through a task, we thus inadvertently deny them the opportunity to build a stone solid life foundation.
The ability to make several attempts at figuring something out is a skill that comes in handy both in business and in any job.
Letting kids figure things out for themselves develops the critical I-will-figure-it-out mindset that will serve them well in the future.
I remember watching Tom Bilyeu interviewing Jesse Itzler on The Impact Theory.
Jesse Itzler is an entrepreneur, author, and former rapper.
He is the co-founder of Marquis Jet, one of the largest private jet card companies in the world, a partner in Zico Coconut Water, the founder of The 100 Mile Group and an owner of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks.
The one thing that really stands out in Jesse’ life is the fact that he gets into a new business with the mindset that he will figure it out.
And he does.
A stand out trait
I picked up the the July/August issues of Inc magazine at the airport the other day.
It was the magazine’s iconic How I Did It issue. Reading al the stories of supper successful entrepreneurs profiled in the issue, one thing stood out above all else.
None of the business luminaries profiled would have had a story to tell had they not been tenacious individuals.
Which gets me back to the billion dollar question: how do we as parents guide our kids in ways that help them become tenacious kids?
One easy way is stop doing things for them that they can for themselves.
We could also let them start to take charge of their lives by having them pack their own lunch.