Wow, what a response!
I went away for three days on family business and when I got back the comments on my last post about what we should be teaching our children massively outweighed my original post.
This is just what I had hoped for!
This sort of response gives me so much to ‘get my teeth into’ and so many things to learn.
I have now come back to writing this post which I started a few days ago. I have so much more information buzzing around in my head that I need to order it all so that it will make sense!
Well my first response HAS to be to Nikki Stephen’s rant. Thank you so much, Nikki, for being honest here about issues that affect you personally. I have to say that I agree with you about so many of the inequalities to be found in our system in the UK and the resulting mindset.
I caught part of a TV trailer last night for a programme set in a school where one of the girls was pregnant and the boyfriend referred to the fact that baby = house and money, kerching! What example is this setting? I admit that I didn’t see the programme so I don’t know how it was played out, but…
Children need to be taught the basic values of honesty and integrity, and that hard work pays off.
I really couldn’t agree more Nikki, and that is really behind what I am looking at here. We as parents should be teaching our children these things, but I know from the experiences I have had working with my students that many of them have not had that parental input, sometimes because the parents do not understand these things themselves.
We can moan about this, or we can get on and do something about it and help those who have not had a chance to learn so far. Surely this will help future generations, even if the current generations do not understand these principles?
I know what it feels like when a student I have been working with tells me that they bunked off school, but now realise that they have to work hard at their literacy / numeracy etc if they want to be able to move forward in their lives.
I know the encouragement that I am able to give them and the sense of achievement when they say to me “I finally understand that now”. I want to be able to help young people like that, who perhaps have not had the best start in some of these matters.
But I also want to be able to provide help and resources for young people like my own children and others who have good, positive parental or other support but would like somewhere to go for resources and other information. I believe that these two areas can cross over, but it is something that needs to be worked on and that has given me a goal to work towards.
Other ideas to come out of the comments on my last post include:
Internet safety – I couldn’t agree more and I know that I have perhaps made the odd comment that should not have been made, so I will need to go back and cover my tracks there.
Thom Swartwood made a great observation:
I think it is great they want to get out there and blog, just remember there is nothing better in this world than a concerned parent, a parent that watches over what their children are doing. Communication is the key.
Other commenters also expressed the same concerns and I agree that we must do our utmost to make sure of the security of our young people on the internet.
I was particularly interested by Stephen Bray’s comments:
In my work as a family therapist, lately consulting almost exclusively to business owning families I found:
Children of successful business owners frequently are cared for by a host of au-pairs or nannys, go on to boarding school, and may well develop a dislike for their entrepreneurial parents and their enterprises.
The parents frequently cannot understand that the time and effort that they put into their businesses is no substitute for regular quality time at home. Indeed they believed that the long hours and work they undertook to build a better future was an act of love.
Obviously this is a situation that we want to avoid wherever possible and must be borne in mind – and I think that this applies not only to entrepreneurs. However if we can teach about the balance between working and living, that is a really important step forward.
I have just read a Quick Reads book (106 pages) by Richard Branson called “Screw It, Let’s Do It – lessons in life” (ISBN 0-7535-1099-5) which has some wonderful short thoughts at the beginning of each chapter as well as the information he gives about his philosophy in life.
In Chapter 7. Value Family and Friends he says:
Whatever you might think of him, Richard Branson has built up and run a very successful empire and his views towards the making of money are refreshing.
So if you want a quick morale boosting read, I really would suggest reading this book – I read it in just over an hour, but will be returning to it regularly.
I have been doing some other researching since I made my last post and I have discovered that there is some excellent information out there already for young people. Some of it has to be paid for, but much of it is free.
As I have gone about this research, I have realised that I do not want to be reinventing what is currently available, especially when some of it is already so well researched and tested.
I have decided at the moment that I am going to follow one of the available programmes with Lizzie and hopefully also my son, so that I can have a better understanding of how this works.
The programme is run by Chris and Jenny Ford whose three girls have all started their own businesses whilst at elementary school.
You may have heard of “That Internet Girl” on YouTube – their 12 year old daughter:
Anyway if you want to check out the free information they have and the programme they offer parents and children do have a look at www.cash-smart-kids.com. I will try to make regular posts about how this programme is going for us so that you can follow us and see if it will work for you too.
I have already found a number of really useful sites, blogs and other information. I have decided to put this together in the form of an ebook, so I shall be working on this in the next couple of weeks.
If you have any other information, websites, blog, links etc that you have not yet sent me please let me know so that I can add it onto the list and I will acknowledge you as the contributer of a link or information. I will also be emailing the commenters on my last post to request permission to use quotations from those comments, where appropriate.
At last I feel like I am getting my teeth into something that I feel passionate about!
There is a long way to go, but learning begins early in life and should continue throughout it.