While I put a lot of stock in overarching parenting philosophies such as positive parenting and emotional coaching, as a busy mom of three young kids, there is nothing I appreciate more than a seriously tangible parenting tip (or hack, if you will) that I can institute immediately upon reading.
Today I’ve got one for you that I think you’ll love.
It’s really easy to implement and will help your child build what, in my humble opinion, is the single most important attribute they can have in life; resilience.
Plus, your kids will think it’s really fun! Here’s our guest contributor, author Susan Ford Collins, with the details…
What’s the single most important thing you can do to help your child succeed?
You can Success File with them!
What’s that? When I shadowed Highly Successful People (HSPs) for two decades, I discovered they were using 10 skills consistently.
Success Filing is Skill One.
HSPs set aside time each day to acknowledge themselves for what they had done that day. They “rewind their memory” to when they first woke up and remember the many things they were able to do and realize… ate a healthy breakfast, went for a run, returned calls and emails, decided to say no to a plan, proposed a new idea at a conference.
They put a “mental yellow highlights” on the myriad tiny daily steps they took in the directions they wanted to pursue. HSPs told me emphatically that these tiny daily successes matter. They accumulate into BIG ONES!
Success Filing gives them the self-confidence they need to keep going when disappointments, setbacks, doubts and even loudly shouted disagreement set in as they frequently do. Instead of depending on “Other-Confidence”, they invest in their Self-Confidence.
You can give “the gift of self-confidence to your kids” too, not for one day but for a lifetime… when you begin Success Filing with them and teaching them how to do it for themselves.
What You Need to Get Started
First you need a file… a colorful manila folder with paper inside where your child can draw successes if she or he can’t write yet. Or a computer file you/they can add to day by day as they grow. That file will become a more and more powerful resource as the years pass.
Second you need to know what success is. So here’s something else I learned from HSPs. For them success is far more than the dictionary says… accomplishment.
Success Has 3 Essential Parts
- Success is Completion… yes, that’s the accomplishment part. Doing homework, making the bed, putting stuff away and all that.
- Success is Deletion… this is vital for their lifelong health and wellbeing! Success is knowing when to stop doing, when to say no to friends, food or drink, when to let go of habits and relationships that don’t work, when to eat and rest.
- Success is Creation… coming up with new ideas and approaches, and ultimately inventing new products and services, new ways of living and being.
Here’s something to keep in mind. Success isn’t the same all the time, at all ages and stages.
Success Has Gears
Yes, three gear-like phases your children need to learn shift up and down in. You’ll need to be able to recognize when they’re in each gear and what they need from you. Each gear is different! And will require you to shift into a different parenting style too.
First Gear is for starting anything new, for learning the basics of new skills and ideas.
Second gear is for doing more-better-faster, for competing and winning, grades, prizes, trophies, college entrances and scholarships. (And helping them deal with times when they don’t come out on top and they need to gear down and start again.)
Third gear is for creating and innovating… the very things our society and world ultimately want from our kids. And they will naturally contribute if we don’t file their Third Gear Successes as failures early on. Failures to follow the rules, to be right and do right (First Gear). In third gear they need your support. They are in charge in this gear.
By Success Filing now, and being sure you file all three parts and gears of success, you will empower them to live their own dreams and make their own contributions. And isn’t that exactly what we hope for our children? And ourselves?
Starting today, set aside a few minutes to Success File with your kids… at dinner time or bedtime or driving in the car.
Time to acknowledge the personal power they are developing, whether today’s successes include learning how to correctly tie a shoe (Completion) or do a new type of math problem. Taking off the training wheels (Deletion) and riding safely without them; or coping with the loss of a friend or family member. And (Creation) celebrating a new sound they learned to make in your kitchen with a spoon and a pan, or a new song they composed on a piano or drum.
And it’s fine to start sharing your successes with your kids too! That will give them added confidence in you too. And make you a more valuable resource.
What do you guys think? Will you try this? Also, are you as interested as I am in simple, actionable things you can do to help your kids grow up to be happy, healthy, good people?
I’m hoping to feature more and more of these this year. Please let me know if you have a good one!
*Post contains affiliate links
Susan Ford Collins is a sought-after speaker, trainer, and the founder of The Technology of Success. She began her career as a young researcher at the National Institutes of Health with a radical idea: to focus her research on healthy, highly successful people (HSPs) rather than dysfunctional ones.
With more than two decades studying HSPs and two additional decades working with them, she now shares what she has learned about leadership and management. Susan and her husband live happily in their tropical Miami home, surrounded by lush gardens, koi ponds and an indoor/outdoor aviary filled with exotic finches.
For more on Susan Ford Collins and her work, check out:
The Technology of Success book series includes:
The Joy of Success: 10 Essential Skills for Getting the Success You Want, [New edition, Greenleaf Book Group Press, October 20, 2015]