Every parent wants the best for their children—the best education, the best opportunities—but what about the best inner foundation?
Jariek was lucky enough to grow up with the #1 performance coach in the world as a father—Tony Robbins.
Not all of us are lucky enough to have that much wisdom and clarity in our households, so instead we’ve gathered together some of Tony’s thoughts on preparing your children for success—and it all starts at home.
“When you constantly tell your child that they are perfect, they are beautiful, they are smart, you put an internal pressure [on them],” Tony says.
“We gotta teach children to be focused on growing, which means persistence, determination, constantly flexing your approach.” (source: inc.com)
Encouraging these values will help your kids to prioritise effort over outcome, the journey over the destination—and, since happiness is not an emotion but rather a state of being, you will be setting them for a deeper sense of fulfillment in their life.
The term ‘growth mindset’ was coined by Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck. It refers to an inner mindset that believes in the human to improve over time. In other words, to grow through our experiences.
“Everyone has in them the desire to make a difference and not everybody realises they can,” Tony said in an interview with Marianne Schnall.
“If you can get someone in an environment where they do something, even just the simplest thing, if you get a child to come with you and feed the homeless, it will affect that child forever because they get this tremendous love and gratitude they see in the eyes of these human beings and no one cannot be moved by that.”
Tony goes on to relay a story of an experience he had with his son, Jariek, when he was five years old and Tony took him to feed the homeless:
“He had an experience where this man grabbed his hand, he was lying on the floor of this toilet, a public restroom, and he was sleeping and woke up and grabbed my son’s hand. When he did, my son let out a scream and I jumped ten feet, but he pulled my son’s hand to his face and kissed his hand.”
“My son now is 30 years old and his entire life is focused on contribution because he has been shaped by that experience.”
This is vital to raising responsible and socially-conscious children.
“Few things could be more dangerous than letting your children fall into the trap of thinking what they do doesn’t matter,” says Tony. “Teach them the consequences of their actions.”
“Show them that even small decisions and actions, consistently made, have far-reaching effects.”
Tony often says that in order to grow, we need to be as inquisitive as children.
“Curious people are never bored, and for them life becomes an unending study of joy,” he says.
And what better way to develop a close connection with your child than to share in a joyful experience with them?
Some parents fall into the trap of prioritising their children above all else. It’s easy to do—family is the most important thing for most people. But it’s important to remember that family isn’t just your children, it’s your partner, too. That relationship needs to be nurtured in order to maintain a safe and secure family environment for your kids.
“You have to put your intimate relationship first,” says Tony. “If you can keep your woman first and still love your children, you are going to create the healthiest environment.”
A 2018 study by Pediatrics found that children with parents who spoke to them a lot when they were young were more likely to have better language skills and overall intelligence a decade later.
That’s pretty compelling evidence that talking with your children, including reading to them and then with them, is an important factor in setting them up for future success.
“I always believe leaders are readers,” Tony says, “so you’ve got to read 30 minutes a day of something that’s going to inspire you.”
How many of these points do you follow in your life? How many are areas where you think you could improve?
There is no more important job than raising children—they are our future. Invest in them, and you will be investing in all of us.