Family, Self

Parents, Let Your Children Conquer Their Own Situations


As parents, we all want to do the best thing for our children. We will go to any lengths to do that. Yet if we don’t know what the best thing for our children is, maybe we are not able to serve them to the best of our ability. So what is the greatest gift we should give our children? Is it love? Is it communication? Is it confidence? Is it education?

In my opinion, through many years of coaching, I’ve come to the conclusion that the greatest gift you can give your children is this:

Give them the ability to handle any situation that is thrust upon them.

If your children can handle any scenario, then you never need to worry about them because you know that they’ll always get it handled. This gift to them will enable them to be more loving, confident, secure, centered, peaceful, joyful, successful, happier, and fulfilled.

How do you give them this ability?

You have to throw adversity at them.

I remember reading a biography of Richard Branson when I was in my early 20’s whereby Richard was thrust into a field five miles from home and told to make his way home by himself — which he did successfully. That adversity made him into a stronger person.

I wanted to do a similar act when my children were seven and five, but was shot down by my wife who said I was crazy! So we compromised. I would take my son, Ajay (7), and my daughter, Anu (5), into the central London Underground system and ask them to make their way home. They had already been instructed on who to ask directions from (policemen, Underground uniformed staff members), where to stand safely (near a help station or an Underground staff member), what to look out for (keep away from young youths or rowdy behavior), not to talk to strangers, to hold each other’s hands, to keep alert, and appear confident.

As a loving father, I did not just dump them in the system, but was ten feet behind them just to make sure that all was well. Ajay and Anu had to assume I was not there and were instructed to get home without my assistance in any way. They completed this task successfully, which instilled in them the ability to get home from anywhere if anything were to ever happen.

At the ages of eighteen, both Anu and Ajay traveled around the world alone for one year, taking responsibility for all travel arrangements, lodging, and their itinerary. This is one example of throwing adversity at your children, which, in my opinion, had a profound effect on their lives.

Other examples of adversity would be:

1. Asking your children to give you directions home in the car. If they make a wrong turn, ask them how that they would get out of that situation.

2. Give them some scenarios of how they would respond, for example: if mum had an accident, what would they do? If dad had an accident, what would they do? If their car broke down, what would they do? If a stranger knocked on the door, what would they do? If they hurt themselves, what would they do? If someone was following them, what would they do? If someone grabbed them, what would they do? If someone was mean to them, what would they do? If they failed at something, what would they do?

This is just like a muscle, the stronger it gets, the easier it gets.

Anil works with successful individuals and companies to create rapid and lasting change through methodologies he has developed in his seminars. He has been featured on Sky TV, Fox TV, Harvard as well as being author of best seller, Immediate Happiness. He travels all over the world and has many well known clients. He gets to the heart of the matter and leaves people living a richer, fuller, happier and abundant life whereby they get to live their lives at a much higher level. To discover how happy you really are please collect your happiness score here. 

Anil Gupta

YourTango may earn an affiliate commission if you buy something through links featured in this article.