BismilLah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim
While watching an interview of a businessman who is successfully expanding his gym business in Ireland, Germany and UK during a recession, I was struck by something he mentioned.
He said if a person came to him with a 5-year business plan where in the 1st year it would lose money, 2nd year would break even and the 3rd year and so forth would start showing profit, then he would tell that person to go away. The fundamental basis of being in business is to make money and if a person starts a business with the expectation of losing money then he was in the wrong line of work.
The attitude of ‘in it to win it‘ is being lost by our children. Our kids are growing up in a society where mediocrity is the norm and every effort and achievement is rewarded, regardless of how unnecessary it is.
When I asked a group of students to help me with a task, one girl, who is from a privileged background, asked, “What will you give us as a reward?” My immediate reply was, “Well, since you asked that question, ‘Nothing.’ “
It came as a surprise to me that this girl expected to be rewarded for something which she should have been happy to do because it would be helping someone out. When did being kind and helpful to others come with a price tag..?
It now is necessary to prepare an environment of challenge and competition for our children if we want them to grow up well-balanced and successful. We, as parents and educators, should begin to view the children as potential aspirants to win the regional track and field event or take 1st place in the chess match or have a short story published in the local newspaper.
As for the children’s academic development, we need to look at the child and see his/her potential to achieve A’s. Why not?
Why do we continue labeling our child or a student as stupid or being an underachiever? Ask yourself, ” Have I really given this child the opportunity to explore and examine his potential to be a successful student or have I actually contributed additional barriers to this child’s self-belief in himself..? “
Let me share an example of challenging the child to explore his potential. Yesterday, my son, Daniel showed me a box on wheels which he had made from Lego and asked me, “How do you like my car?” The normal parental response might have sounded like this, “Oh, wow! That’s great, Daniel! Good job!”