Get Out Of The Way Of Your Kids’ Success

bulldozer“Doing it for them” is one of the things parents are doing to get in the way of their children’s success. “Guidance and support” are ways to get out of the way and let them succeed on their own.

Joanie ConnJenningsWire_Banner_LOGO_2015ell gives tips on how parents can get out of the way of their children’s success in this podcast interview on JenningsWire.

Dr. Connell answers the following questions in this 8-minute interview.

  • What is one of the biggest challenges young employees are facing right now?
  • How are you getting in the way of your kids’ success?
  • How can I help my kids be more successful as adults?
  • Why should you stop worrying about which college your kid goes to?
  • How can you turn your kid into someone you’d like to hire?

Are You a Victim of Learned Helplessness?

help wantedHave you noticed that parents are doing more and more for their children these days? For example, a mother of a ten-year-old tells me she still picks out her daughter’s clothes for her every day. She doesn’t have confidence in her daughter to choose her own clothes. A seven-year-old boy tells his daddy to put his socks and shoes on for him—and Daddy does! Daddy doesn’t push back to tell his son that he could do it himself.

Whether it’s the parents or the children who drive the dependence, it creates young adults who don’t know how to take care of themselves or do their work independently. This is what managers are complaining about. Young workers need “hand holding” to get them from one step to the next in task completion.

How do we raise children to learn how to do it on their own? Two things have to happen for children to develop into independent people:

  1. Parents have to let go and
  2. kids have to let go.

It’s that simple.

But it’s not that easy! Parents feel special when they are needed. They also feel special when their “best friends” love them unconditionally. Children feel good when they are taken care of, and it is so much easier if someone else does it for them.

In addition, it is scary to let go. It’s scary for parents to let their kids try things on their own because they might fail or get hurt in the process. It is scary for kids to try things on their own for the same reasons. It’s the discomfort that keeps the codependence in place.

Experiencing the discomfort of letting go andnervous trying things out on your own is not fun. Surely you can think of numerous times you have avoided doing something because you didn’t want to feel the discomfort. For example, it may be awkward for you to tell an employee that they haven’t done a good enough job. It may be heart-wrenching to discipline your child. It may be scary to take the car for a spin on your own for the first time or ask someone out on a date or travel far away to college.

We sometimes find ways around doing what we ought to do to avoid the discomfort. We ignore bad behavior, invite others along to accompany us, or decide we didn’t really want to do it anyway. We conclude the person’s performance wasn’t really that bad or choose to go to college closer to home. By doing this, we limit ourselves (and others) to being dependent and accomplishing less.

It takes courage to break through the discomfort. It may be scary, but we need to be brave to be independent and foster independence in others.