The Best Parenting Tip I Ever Got
The best parenting tip I ever got changed the way I’m raising my kids–and I realized it’s also how my parents raised me!
Meet Tom and Georgia Barnett.
Not only do they have an incredible family, but they own an impressive 70 Burger Kings all over the nation. In fact, they employ approximately 600 individuals!
In 2014, Tom was honored with an award from Burger King and was given a Corvette and Rolex watch. Many people would have taken these gifts with no questions asked.
Tom knew that the award did not belong to only him.
Tom sold his prizes for $60,000 and he and his business partner decided to match it, giving their employees $120,000 in bonuses. Instead of keeping the large prizes, Tom and Georgia honored the people who helped them earn them.
These are the type of people Tom and Georgia are and the values they embody. This is why I look up to them and, as friends, I value their advice in all areas of life. They are prime examples of leaders who hold a naturally wise bird’s eye view of life.
So when they gave me this simple but powerful parenting tip, I wasn’t surprised to find that implementing it into my own family positively changed the way we operate forever.
Treat your children 2 years older than they actually are.
Tom and Georgia’s tip to me was simple but incredibly effective.
They believe in the strategy of treating your kids as if they are 2 years older than they really are. For example, if they are 5 years old, give them the opportunities and chances of a 7-year-old.
Many people drastically underestimate their own children. By not encouraging our children to stretch beyond what they believe is possible for themselves, we are sending a message loud and clear that we don’t believe in their capabilities.
If we don’t believe in our own children, how will they ever believe in themselves?
Kids who aren’t challenged stop feeling motivated to learn and, as a result, grow up to have low self-esteem and self-sabotaging behaviors.
A recent Washington Post article stressed the link between challenging children and self-esteem. The writer explains that self-esteem doesn’t come through praise, but by giving kids the chance to do things on their own.
If you aren’t challenging your child, they might grow up to wonder if they are good enough.
The article goes on to say that true competence comes from giving kids a chance to handle situations and problems on their own. By treating your child as if they are two years older than they really are, you’re giving them real-world experience that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Yes, your child will make mistakes.
When I tell people about this parenting tip, they often protest because they are afraid their child will make a mistake or do something wrong.
I’m here to say that preventing a child from making mistakes is one of the most common parenting mistakes.
If you rush in every time your child is struggling and stop them from making mistakes, you take away the opportunity for real-world experience and lessons.
So have your 3-year-old build something in the yard. Encourage your 8-year-old to plan your next family vacation. Push your 10-year-old to fly by themselves to visit relatives. Take your 13-year-old to an empty parking lot so they can drive.
Sure, they might make mistakes, but the lessons they learn and the self-esteem they gain will be the foundation on which they build their entire realities. Looking at it in this way, giving your child the space to make mistakes is a gift in the long run.
The space my parents gave me created the man I am today.
I come from 4 generations of mega-wealth, and I’m proud to say that not one generation passed on any money to the next. Rather than passing on monetary wealth, they gave me the real-world training to create it on my own.
In other words, my family didn’t give me any fish; they taught me how to fish myself.
You might be surprised to learn that a whopping 87% of present millionaires are either self-made or first-generation. The reality is that money runs out, so the only long-term way to pass on wealth is to teach each generation how to generate it themselves.
My relatives might have been wealthy, but I was not fed anything on a silver platter. When it came to college, I worked 4 jobs each summer to come out on the other side debt-free.
Looking back, I realize my parents always treated me as if I was years older than I was.
I was encouraged to do difficult tasks that most kids my age rarely did. As a result, I was always leaps and bounds ahead of my peers in all areas of life. By giving me the space to do things on my own and learn my own lessons, my parents were indirectly telling me that I am capable.
In the end, I grew up to create huge companies and become a self-made millionaire. However, this is only because I have self-confidence and believe in my own capabilities. It would have never been possible without my parents giving me independence and treating me as if I was older.
GravyStack gives children real-life challenges.
As parents, my wife and I have a list of the most important skills, values, and abilities that we want our kids to learn by each age. (This list is over 100 skills long!)
Some of these skills are simple, like learning how to tie their shoes or go grocery shopping. However, many are based around eventual financial independence, such as knowing how to open a bank account and manage money.
Many of these skills are incorporated into the company I founded, GravyStack. GravyStack is an upcoming family finance app that helps kids learn about money and build a financially independent future.
We're creating a future where every child and teen has the tools, resources, and knowledge to make informed money decisions.
Using GravyStack, kids have their own bank accounts and debit cards, while learning how to make and manage their own money. They are given the space to do these important things on their own, with a safe and monitored space to make mistakes.
Children are often taught not to worry about money, so by the time they grow up, they are unprepared. GravyStack is here so that parents can give their children the tools to become experienced with money early on.
GravyStack is an extraordinary chance to treat your child two years older than they actually are. By creating an income and managing their finances, kids will walk away with high self-esteem and strong financial capabilities. By the time they grow up, they are much more likely to be financially stable and independent.
Want to take your first step in creating a child who can stand on their own two feet?