Kids are hardwired to succeed. Quitting is a behavior kids learn from adults. Teach them better.
This should be true for everyone. But most of the time it’s not. Today, kids are often taught that failure is OK. They get A’s for effort and a trophy for participating. In the real world, failure is not OK and successful achievement is rewarded.
By nature, kids are hardwired to succeed. Perseverance is an instinctive trait. For example, how many times does the average child try to walk before he or she gives up? They don’t give up. They never give up. They do whatever it takes to get from here to there. They keep trying and trying and trying. They find a way to move themselves from one place to another. Because their legs aren’t strong enough to support them they start with crawling, rolling, scooting, bouncing. Eventually, they build the strength and they are off and running. A true success story if ever there was one. And that is inside every child on the planet.
And as parents we keep prodding them along. We keep encouraging them. It’s an extremely natural thing, as human beings, for us to do. We want the best for them.
So, what changes? It’s simple. They learn to quit. Quitting is a learned behavior that they get from adults. In fact, many adults have become so adept at quitting that they have streamlined the process into not even beginning. It’s so much less work and bother that way. What lessons does that teach the children around them?
A perfect example of how we innately think for ourselves happened with my daughter. When she was about 2 years old we were at a restaurant. There was something on the table she wanted. She’d reach for it; I’d say “no” and move it and she’d reach for it again. Finally she dropped her spoon on the floor. That happens with toddlers – they drop stuff. So, I moved over to pick it up. When I came back up, she had reached over and grabbed what she’d wanted. She tricked me. I was so proud!
I know what you saying. What? Proud? You just got outsmarted by a two year old. Exactly. It was a classic misdirection move like a magician would use and I am not ashamed to say I fell for it. At only 2 years of age, she was thinking for herself and devised a way to get what she wanted. Failing, quitting simply wasn’t even a known option to her. A trait that I am pleased to say has lasted into her teens.
That strength and will is born with every child on the planet. In certain areas of the globe, just the fact that they survive from day to day is a testament to the determination within them. What do you think the world would be like in ten years, twenty years, or a generation from now if we encouraged and enhanced those powers within each of them? What about within you? How would things change for you and your family if you awakened the child in you?
Mark Papadas is a nationally recognized children’s empowerment expert and author of the highly acclaimed book “10 Secrets to Empower Kids and Awaken the Child in You” as well as President of The I AM 4 Kids Foundation – a recognized 501c3 charity committed to providing its personal empowering programs to public schools across the U.S. at NO COST to the SCHOOLS.
This article was originally published at Mark Papadas. Reprinted with permission from the author.