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Whose Goals Will Your Child Attain?

July 24, 2014
AUTHOR: COLIN TAUFER

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There is no question your child will attain goals. The question is, whose goals will he or she attain? 

Part of the process of growing up is finding one’s way in the world and choosing paths that lead to goals. For better or worse, the most easily found and readily available paths are those presented by popular culture.  

Not only does pop culture show a tween or teen how to dress, what music to listen to, and what slang to use, it helps shape their worldview. In very slick and enticing ways, pop culture glamorizes paths and goals in the best interest of the purveyors, not the child.  

But the trends of popular culture don’t arrive into your living room by accident or luck. They are carefully crafted and marketed to appeal to the youth demographic to find their way into your life. Pop culture is very much youth-focused; what was cool yesterday with America’s youth is today’s pop culture.

Working out what wisdom is gives us a path for getting there. Children are naturally curious. They want to learn. They want more knowledge. The question is not how to motivate them to learn but to figure out how to not de-motivate them. A child can figure out your smartphone intuitively faster than you can with the owner’s manual in hand. Put another way, make your child study the owner’s manual first before they get their hands on your smartphone, and I guarantee they will no longer be motivated to activate your phone.

Similarly, children are naturally compassionate. They want to help. In this regard, it is important to remember the importance of the example being shown to the child. When the very young child drags a broom across the kitchen floor in an effort to help but knocks a glass of water onto the floor in doing so, are you happy for the effort to help or annoyed by the spilled water? Your reaction to this will color the child’s opinion of help, for better or worse.

Keep your child’s love of knowledge and learning alive by not demotivating them. Allow them the chance to help without blunting their willingness to help, and you will have sown the seeds of wisdom in your child.

Author: Colin Taufer

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