There’s No Outsourcing Kids’ Development
Outsourcing has been on the rise in recent years, but there’s one place where it should never be done: parenting.
Yet many parents outsource their child’s development without even realizing it.
School is important to a child’s development, but the responsibility ultimately lies on the parent to know the lessons their kids are learning and how their minds are growing.
Outside of school, parents outsource their child’s development to sports, churches, camps, and even other parents.
Social media also conditions a child’s development, telling them what is acceptable and the kind of habits they should engage in.
Here’s your wake-up call: if you’re not molding the mind of your child, someone else will. And there’s no guarantee that person will have good values or be a quality role model.
Everything Starts at Home
How your kids see you live every day is eventually how they will end up living. As parents, we must model the behavior we want from our kids. In other words, if you’re going to talk the talk, you’ve also got to walk the walk!
I once heard a story of a man who raised his children the “normal” way—church every Sunday, Christian camps, and the best of schools. Despite this, as adults his children rejected God in their lives.
When asked if his kids ever saw him crack open a Bible himself, inevitably the answer was no.
The point? If you want your kids to do something, you’ve got to do it, too!
Kids learn by example, and your energy inspires them. When you work hard, they see that. If you want them to work hard, bring them to meetings and conferences. If you want them to be problem solvers, resolve issues together—explain the family finances to teach them finances, work out together to instill exercise habits, and show affection in front of them to breed affection.
5 More Tips to Take Control of Your Child’s Development
1. Limit the technology at home.
In our home, we don’t do any kind of tech. My kids won’t have phones until high school, and even then they will be collected in a basket each day at 5pm. iPads are only allowed on flights.
This way, we can control what our children see online and the information they receive so we are free to teach our children about everything at the right time. They also won’t have to worry about comparing themselves to friends on the internet, or any kind of drama over the phone. Plus, it gives them time to do more productive tasks.
2. Don’t do an allowance.
Recent research from JumpStart shows that an allowance is connected with lower levels of motivation and aversion to work. Instead, you should allow your children to earn their money so they can find a sense of pride in what they do.
We use the Penny Method with our younger kids, where at the age of 3 they began earning pennies by doing chores around the house. Every 10 pennies, they earn a small treat, book, or toy (1 penny=1 dollar). Our 3-year-old earned 32 pennies to get his first nerf gun, and even had 4 pennies leftover, so he gave them to his older sister to buy a craft at the store!
3. Help your child to start their own business.
Encouraging your child to start their own small business will show them the value of hard work and earning money, while teaching them money management skills. Plus, it’s a whole lot of fun!
I started Children’s Business Fairs in my community 10 years ago, where the kids show up on a Saturday with products they created, and they get a booth to decorate. Then, we bring in hundreds of community members to support the kids’ businesses. The children sell anything from flowers to bookmarks, and each one ends up making about $250 by the end of the day!
Whether you have a Children’s Business Fair in your area or not, you can help your child start a business and give them some real life skills training.
4. Encourage gap years.
College can be a great way to make friends and learn how to complete projects on time, but it comes with a hefty price tag. Your child doesn’t need it to figure out how to create value in the world or to find ways to serve.
Whether your child chooses to attend college or not, taking a gap year can be an incredibly valuable life experience. It’s all about learning hard work, taking service trips, and creating a clear plan of action. It doesn’t mean taking a year off to play video games in the basement.
Sure, college is great if you want to become a doctor or lawyer. But I believe that the future belongs to those who learn valuable skills and make it their goal to help others. A gap year can be extremely beneficial in helping your child figure out all of this, while learning real life skills and wisdom.
5. Treat your kids as if they are 2 years older than they actually are.
I got this tip from two incredibly valuable teachers of mine who own 70 Burger Kings and have a perfectly balanced family life. They taught me to treat my kids as if they are two years older than they actually are. So for example, if your child is 5 years old, treat them like they are 7. Give them the opportunities and challenges that a 7-year-old would get.
Have your 3-year-old build something in the yard. Ask your 8-year-old to plan your family trip. Encourage your 10-year-old to fly by themselves to see relatives. Take your 13-year-old out driving.
When you trust your kids enough to give them a real chance, they gain a new sense of responsibility and self-confidence. This tactic has helped us raise independent and confident kids, who are ahead of their peers by leaps and bounds.
Take Your Child’s Development in Your Own Hands
When you take personal responsibility as a parent for your child’s development instead of outsourcing it to someone else, you tell your child that they matter. They will know that you have their best interests at heart because you are trusting them and giving them the space to learn without judgment.
I created GravyStack so that parents can take their child’s financial development into their own hands and children can learn about money management in a real-life context. It’s the best of both worlds, and gives everyone involved a confidence boost and a new sense of independence!
Take the next step in your child’s development and assure that they grow up to become financially independent adults by signing up for GravyStack today!