Important – What do we tell the children?

Or more importantly what should we be teaching our young people?

You may have seen the comments on Gary Simpson’s blog about both the educational system and also whether we are teaching our young people the things that they need to know to survive and flourish as they grow.

This was partly prompted by a comment that my daughter Lizzie left on Gazz-Man’s blog about the motivational moments video he had produced (go and take a look if you haven’t seen it yet!).

Lizzie has been following my journey with Alex Jeffreys with interest and has started her own blog. Initially it was a free one where she had to have adverts, but now I have bought her own domain name and sorted out hosting for her. Do have a look at (there is also a link to her blog under ‘Blog Links’ on the sidebar) and leave her a message.

The upshot of this comment and Gazz-Man’s replies including:

  • Now Hils I know you are an educator so don’t take this the wrong way…

    I was NEVER taught how to read a Balance Sheet, how to read a Profit and Loss Statement, share trading, how to balance a cheque book, how to write a report or an Executive Summary. No. I was taught junk. My best education comes from self study.

  • and:

  • So, Hilary, I am all for teaching our children what the stupid bloody education system will NOT.
  • is that I have been thinking about this issue of helping our young people.

    Both Garry Parkes and Denis Caron have children in the same age bracket who want to follow their parents and have their own blogs.

  • One of my sons, Aaron, (aged 11, well 12 in April) say he’d like to get a blog running but I’m not so sure about letting him do it at such a young age. Have to have a think about it.
  • I have a son who is going to be 14, and now he is getting interested in a blog to make money as well. He’s watching and learning from me now. We’ll have a new community of our children who will be the next generation of internet marketers.
  • In general the responses have been to encourage them to do so, but with the proviso of some overseeing by us as responsible adults. In this way we can teach them the things they really need to learn.

  • I really like the idea of the kids getting started but… they need a LOT of guidance. If it were my child at that age I would watch them like a hawk and I’d limit the time they spent here
  • So what I would like to ask you all is:

    Do you think it is a good idea to allow our children to follow us in what we are doing and to have their own blog?

    What do you think we should be teaching them, both on and off line that is not taught at school?

    Do you think it would be a good idea to have a junior community supported or encouraged by the adults in initally the F500, but could be further extended? Are there enough young people interested?

    I had been thinking about a niche of my own and am still definitely thinking down another line. I had started drafting another post about that, but I felt that this was even more important at the moment.

    As many of you know I teach at a Further Education College with students of 16+. Many of them come in with poor literacy and numeracy skills as well as often non existent study skills. It is my job to help these young people to learn these skills which will help them in their daily life as adults.

    The more I have thought about this over the weekend, the more I have been wondering if this is the route I should take at the moment, to be someone who could oversee the development of our young people whilst they learn alongside us.

    Perhaps they could have their own version of Garry Parkes’ excellent Profit Pulling Newsletter with articles written both by them and by adults to help them on this road including information on how to balance a cheque book etc.

    What do you think? I would really love to have your opinions about whether you think this is something we should be doing and if it is possible to do.

    I haven’t really thought it through fully yet, so your ideas would be really useful to me.

    I felt the need to post this whilst the issue was still fairly recent. However I do apologise that I will not be able to answer you for a couple of days as I shall be going to the Midlands early tomorrow and will be without internet access (unless I can sneak off somewhere!).

    We moved my elderly aunt into a sheltered flat near to us last August and I shall be spending the next couple of days with my sisters sorting out the house ready for sale. It has been a big job already and we are hoping to complete it soon.

    However I really hope that when I return there will be lots of comments and my email box will be overflowing with your replies and thoughts.

    Our children are our future. Many of us, including me, have taken this course so that we can be at home more with our children, whilst earning enough to allow us to live more easily. We really cannot afford to ignore them and their whole education as they grow.

    Thank you for your help.

    24 thoughts on “Important – What do we tell the children?

    • February 15, 2009 at 12:55 am

      Hi Hils,

      I think you could be on a very good CRUSADE here…

      I want our kids to be intelligent, not constricted to a life of SERFDOM because our various governments want the bulk of society pumping tax dollars at them while working lowly paid jobs.

      To quote myself (which I seem to have a habit of doing – LOL!) from my “TEMPLE”…

      “Children today are being DUMBED DOWN and DE-MOTIVATED by PATHETIC “education” systems that politicians have adopted after seeing their complete FAILURE in other countries.

      I dislike anything that restricts people from becoming all that they have the capacity to be. Hence, my own CRUSADE and the release of my first Motivational Moment video – with MANY more to come.

      Gary Simpson

      Gary SIMPSON’s last blog post..Motivational Moment Video #1 – Internet Marketing

    • February 15, 2009 at 7:51 am

      Hi Hils,

      I am in agreement with the Gazz-Man.

      Children are not being taught important and necessary skills to function well in society today.

      Reading and writing skills are VERY important, but so is an understanding of how to control money and what %APR, how to avoid debt, etc.

      How to improve yourself through visualisation and positive thinking,improving memory skills and basics of selling and marketing. Also how to have a goal to do something, plan out what you are going to do and then the necessary actions to complete it.

      All of these skills should be taught in schools, either as part of the lessons or offered as after-school activities.

      That’s my opinion anyway.

      Great post Hils.



      Dave Pumfrey’s last blog post..New Issue Of Profit Pulling Project Newsletter Out Now!

    • February 15, 2009 at 9:41 am


      I think you are right kids these days are taught how to use computers in schools but not how to control finances.

      Over here in N Ireland our education minister is determined to destroy our excellent education system by insisting that our grammar schools take in pupils from areas where they have not got the necessary ability to cope with the syllabus.

      She has arbitarily decided to scrap the 11 plus but has not put anything in its place as she doesn’t want any selection test for grammar schools. Some of the children she wants to be able to go to grammar schools will never be able to pass GCSEs or A Levels so thus she is degrading the system.

      Children need to be taught how to survive in the current economic system and how to use the internet safely.

      Richard Moloney’s last blog post..Update 11th February

    • February 15, 2009 at 11:37 am

      Hi Hilary,

      To some extent I share Gary Simpson’s opinion that education is awry and frequently teaches boring repetitive stuff that no-one wants to learn for its own merit.

      Naturally many will learn because they have good teachers who have personality and would succeed in any endeavour.

      There is apparently a dark side to the entrepreneurial dream, however ~ according to a report commissioned by UK’s The Children’s Society:

      Family discord, excessive competition and “unacceptable” inequality are among the challenges facing children today, according to the findings of the three-year Good Childhood inquiry.

      The inquiry, commissioned by the Children’s Society, has found the greatest threat to children is the aggressive pursuit of personal success, which has led to problems including a high rate of family break-up, unprincipled advertising and acceptance of inequality.

      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.

      Now I’m not sure that visualization and mind-mapping should be taught in schools. I mean it depends who’s teaching it, right?

      Imagine Fred Nerk the eccentric music teacher teaching goal-achievement when he can’t even get the orchestra to hit the right notes!

      Has not our respective societies done rather too much in expecting schools, social service agencies, the medical services, rather than families to be the source of children’s succour?

      Probably not ~ but we’re on a fine line, and culturally we are at risk outsourcing childrearing to a dangerous degree.

      If lizzie dickenson wants her own blog, I think that’s great, indeed I’m going there now to read what she has to say.

      Stephen 🙂

    • February 15, 2009 at 4:00 pm

      Hi Hilary

      Some excellent thought-provoking comments here. A resounding yes for encouraging youngsters to have their own blogs which should be closely monitored. My 7 year old daughter wants one but I think she is definitely too young! However she has no fear of technology or the internet as she is growing up with it and naturally wants to be a part of it all.

      Youngsters also need to learn self-reliance, self-motivation and self-discipline which is not taught in schools.

      I’m sure this whole issue is close to your heart. Good luck with your family issues.


      Wendy Wood’s last blog post..Video Upload

    • February 15, 2009 at 4:43 pm

      Hi Hils

      You bring up certainly something very important that we all need to consider.

      I also was an educator for 30 years with 25 of those teaching 2nd grade..I then went on to train teachers in a standards based curriculum for the last 5 years…

      I agree that education is leaving our children behind in this day and is moving at a rapid pace and as it moves on the further our children are left behind leaving them to muddle through and try to keep up..

      We must guide the future generation and I think we can be mentors to lead them in the right direction..this definitely should be done at a certain age as I also agree that 7 year olds are too young to have a blog…

      I will be interested in reading others thoughts on this

      Please add me to your list of Alex’s students as I am also on the journey with him..I also keep up in the Fortunate group as well

      Talk soon

      Lea Burke’s last blog post..Alex Jeffreys Coaching Class 2008

    • February 15, 2009 at 4:59 pm

      Hi Hilary –

      I agree with what you say. There is a role for parents to educate children in the areas outside the eduction system.

      However, it is ESSENTIAL that you educate them to be safe – I’m amazed at how much detailed stuff people put out their (I’m paranoid of identity fraud). Don’t let them sign in with full and complete name, and dob details, and be vague about location (UK will do or London rather than small-village-where-it-would-be-easy-to find-me). Hide age, dob, last name, exact lovation for general view wherever possible.

      And advise them not to use a moniker that gives their age away (twelveyearoldhippychick or the like). I’m sure you are ahead of me on this point!

      There is a lot of good to be found online – but I personally would get my kids (years to come!) focused on a business line – a guy in the Warrior forum got his sons setting up people’s websites with affiliate stuff.. for a flat fee that his sons got – so they get experience of being in business online without giving too much of their personal experiences away (as people do in blogs). Kids need to be protected so I personally would check the blog posts and decide if the blog should be private or public to searchengines.

      However, there is a LOT to be said for being online early. Check out – he’s a teenager worth following – and he’s really approachable too.

      Good luck


      Susan Owen-Thursfield’s last blog post..Video Marketing – How to Make Your First Video

    • February 16, 2009 at 3:05 am

      Hi Hilary:

      This is a tough question-and one that will take more time to dig deeper and flesh out. MY initial reaction is a resounding yes! But the problem is that it’s my initial reaction and not my son’s.

      So I asked him-His initial reaction is, come on Dad, isn’t one school enough? He likes the idea of having a blog and of course, perhaps making money as well, but the thought of having to learn more at this point, isn’t sitting too well. He doesn’t realize how hard it is.

      One cannot teach the entrepreneur spirit or drive. If you’ve got it, you’ve got it. I was the kind of kid that was selling anything that I could get my hands on and turn over to make a profit. It seems to me that every generation is actually working less and less. Our children are very fortunate for they have many things, and there are opportunities all around them. Opportunities that I certainly did not have as a child. Only recently in some major colleges in the US can a student now major in Entrepreneurship. It’s about time-but it will take a decade before this filters down to the high school level, where it really should be being taught right now. Where we live, we’re only starting to learn a second language in eighth grade in our school system. Why not in kindergarten?

      But I’m afraid most children really don’t know the value of money. How can they, when the cost to get my son outfitted in his lacrosse gear is close to $500.00? Our children aren’t spoiled by any means, but there are many things that they do take for granted.

      So he said, yea, it would be cool, but…he’s on My Space, and a couple of other social sites, texts his friends, and is a normal 14 year old boy.

      I think a newsletter, a private social site, mentoring, along with a lot of supervision are all great ideas. But I’m barely keeping up (or not) just for myself. I would need to let some of the idea dust settle and see where it lands…This is only the beginning of quite a massive endeavor. A lot more input needed from everyone. Thanks for packing the snowball to get it rolling…


      Denis Caron’s last blog post..New Internet Marketing Portal Coming Soon

    • February 16, 2009 at 5:32 pm

      Hi Hils,

      I’m coming in on a HUGE rant here. Something has sparked this off, and as I’m sure most of you reading this are aware, I do enjoy being on my soapbox on a regular basis.

      So may I please suggest you go and get a drink, some food, and sit comfortably. This is going to take a while.

      I may well offend a few of you with this as well, it’s ok, I’m used to being somewhat inflammatory. All that I can say is that I am talking from my own personal experience.

      Right. Here goes.

      Yes, the education system is absolutely shocking. I can only talk about the UK as that’s where I live and went to school and then university. It seems to be getting worse with every Government initiative as well. Soon people will be leaving school unable to put one foot in front of the other.

      However – a HUGE part of this comes back to the parents and the value system that you choose to instill in your children. We can see this in every area in life. If something (e.g. education) is not considered to be important by the parents, then the children grow up with the same values and will not apply themselves at school. I know that there are some where the children fight against their upbringing, and get out of the norms and values shared by the family. However, the overwhelming majority of children, especially young ones, will follow the values of the parents as that is how they are brought up. Children don’t know any different! Just look at the obesity epidemic for another example of this.

      If you happen to watch soaps or any other programmes in a similar vein, they are all about people treating each other badly, and not about the benefits of being educated and trying to make something of yourself. Instead they just promote promiscuity, and going onto benefits while whinging about how hard their life is.

      The Government really doesn’t help this either. Why concentrate and work hard at school when, in this country, you can just go and get pregnant instead, and be GIVEN a house to live in, and then get paid for the privilege?! Too many people are brought up to stay quiet in class, not pay attention, and not contribute. Girls especially are too busy trying to impress the boys, and so will just giggle childishly rather than doing any work (not wanting to seem *gasp* intelligent) hoping to get the attention of the boys (and then, you’ve guessed it, end up pregnant underage and then get given all these benefits for it). I realise not every country is as backwards as this one in overly rewarding the wrong kind of behaviour (assuming the ‘right’ kind of behaviour is to create an educated, working [as in goes to work and contributes to the economy] popluation).

      I do have a couple of examples of this that are pretty close to home. I had it highlighted to me in various very obvious ways that my upbringing has been different to other people’s, particularly as I have step-siblings. Their values and mine are polar-opposites. Now, I don’t necessarily wish to say that I’m ‘right’ and they’re ‘wrong’, but as I don’t get on with them, I feel I can say exactly as I damn well please! After all, they aren’t likely to read this as I don’t think they can read, and certainly wouldn’t see the value in doing so. Harsh, maybe, but they’ve caused a lot of trouble for me over the years so I feel a little cutting comment can be justified.

      Their values are, and were, all about ‘get a man (any man), get out of school, get any job (or get pregnant)’ – er, and that’s about it. They couldn’t understand that I wanted an education so that I could escape from the town that I grew up in. I couldn’t understand why they’d want to stay there! I also couldn’t understand how they would be happy to rely on other people to do things for them and provide for them (this is where the ‘any man’ thing comes into it). My mum likes to recall a story where the 3 of us were walking to school (me & 2 step sisters) and some random boy shouted some abuse across the road. They both giggled and did coy girly things as that’s what they’d been brought up to do (always flirt, never be confrontational etc), whereas I just yelled back across the road to this boy. He then found me at school at break time and apologised for what he’d said. Point being? I got respect for standing up for myself.

      One of them is now in a council house, with 2 children with different fathers (one being the local drug dealer), and a third on the way. Because of this third one on the way, she got upgraded to a bigger house, with more benefits. I however went to university on the promise that it would open many doors for me, got into a shedload of debt (it’s about £12k at the moment – not pretty), and I now live by myself and fully support myself. So financially, my stepsister is a lot better off than I am.

      Ok, so I went off track slightly there. Ah yes, parents and values. We all went to the same school, so we would all have received the same education. Their values however meant that they didn’t use their education in the same way that I did. That’s why, with the crappy education system that is currently in place, it is even more imperative that children are brought up with decent and productive values. If you don’t teach these lessons to your children, no-one will.

      Incidentally, I did learn how to do a cash flow forecast / profit & loss / balance sheet etc, but that is ONLY because I did a GCSE in Business Studies (and then an A Level and a degree). But the basics of accounting are such fundamental principles in life that they should be taught from an earlier age (I was 15 when I started doing Business Studies GCSE), and should be taught to everyone. It still amazes me when people don’t understand that money coming in has to equal more than money going out or you’ll end up in a state. Likewise, all the easy finance that’s been available for the past few years has also screwed a lot of people up – BECAUSE people don’t know how to manage their money! There’s no concept of ‘I’ll have to pay this back at some point so I’d better make sure that I can manage the repayments’. No. Everyone (ok, now I’m generalising) wants to have the latest and best and flashiest of everything with no thought of working to be able to afford it – it’s buy now, put on finance, ignore all thoughts of consequences.

      No, I haven’t finished. You’re allowed a toilet break though, I’ll still be here when you return.

      Schools nowadays don’t have winners and losers. Everyone has to have a prize, no matter how spurious. In my day (oh god, I’m only 27, how can I be sounding old?!) when we had Sports Days, you would have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in the events. Now, you have schools taking away anything that might be competitive (egg and spoon race anyone?), and only doing events where everyone can ‘feel’ that they have won something. Real life is NOT like this! Real life is full of winners and losers, and you need to learn how to deal with losing as well as deal with winning. Children are brought up to stay in line, follow the crowd, and not to follow their dreams. How many children want to be pilots or astronauts etc, but then their parents tell them not to be so silly? Don’t get me started on discipline in schools either, that’d be a whole new post. Anyway, back to where I was. Children need to be taught that life can be hard. There are too many children that spend their childhood wrapped in the proverbial cotton wool, so they have no idea that life can be cruel, and then they aren’t prepared for it and then can’t cope with it. Life isn’t a computer game; you can’t turn it off when you’ve had enough and then start again at the beginning of the level.

      Basically, my point is that children need to be aware of all of the above – but then so do the adults. In my humble opinion (is it a humble opinion when I’m this high on my soapbox?!) children need to be taught the basic values of honesty and integrity, and that hard work pays off. As far as I am aware, we are only here for the one life, and we should all be able to make it into whatever we choose it to be. Too many people have restrictive ideas forced upon them by their parents or other people around them.

      In regards to children having an online presence – it depends on what they would be doing and where they would be going. The internet can be a dangerous world if people’s actions aren’t monitored. There are unscrupulous people out there who would look to take advantage of their youth and innocence. But then I wish I’d learned the practical lessons from this course a good few years ago, as then I could already be living my life among the palm trees on a hot sunny beach somewhere. So the lessons themselves would be very useful to teach your children, but I agree that they would need to be monitored due to other people and their vulgar ideas (you all know what I mean by that). I get enough trash sent to my blog, and the more innocent person might decide to click on it to see what it’s all about (no, not my blog, the trash that I get sent!). So vigilance would be needed.

      Hmm. I think that will do for now, my fingers have burned due to this flurry of typing! I’m sure you’d all like a rest now as well.

      Does any of this make any sense? I know I have a tendency to go on somewhat when I’m on a roll!


      Nikki’s last blog post..I Love This Record Baby But I Can’t See Straight Any More…

    • February 16, 2009 at 5:36 pm


      Your idea is something that will inspire many people with less then perfect educations. I can’t think of a better way than to PROVE right here that young people can and should have opportunities that incorporate old and new ideaology.

      We all know our children can not escape technology. To be more specific, let’s focus on just the internet. The internet brings the same opportunities to our young as we [adults]enjoy, as well as additional threats that we must also avoid.

      Since we can not avoid the internet, we must teach our young how to use the internet. Your major task will be to keep yourself focused. Your topics are endless. What fun you will have with this.

      I do hope you somehow work the detriments of technology into your program. For example, I really think kids have terrible social skills because they don’t interact one on one enough.

      Wendy, if my 8 and 10 year old wanted a blog, I would jump for joy. Can you inmagine all the REAL lessons lurking in such a fun program. As we know, blogging is different from texting. When we blog, we try to spell correctly. We try to write as grammatically correct as we know how. And we try to proof read our work before it gets published. I say bring on the blogs!

      Hilary, your idea is very good. I think you will need to research the idea of making money on the internet for people under the age of 18. What a great part-time job this could be, if it could be set up properly.


      Mrs Renee Olson’s last blog is pretty cool to use

    • February 17, 2009 at 2:46 pm


      Jeez, look what I stared over at my blog…

      So many excellent comments here but my prize goes to Nix. Christ! I thought I could rant (and I damn-well can too!) but that was a BEAUTY – you even had intermission:

      “No, I haven’t finished. You’re allowed a toilet break though, I’ll still be here when you return.”

      That was seriously funny. But the serious bits – well, I agreed with the whole bang lot.

      Well RANTED Nix!


    • February 17, 2009 at 9:48 pm

      Hi Everyone

      Thanks to everyone for these comments – I really appreaciate them all.

      I’ve just got back from 3 days trying to sort out my aunt’s house and have plenty to catch up with, so will answer you all in more detail once I have caught breath and got some jobs done.


    • February 18, 2009 at 3:26 am


      I stopped over at Garry Parkes place and read your post over there and had to come over and read the entire post. Great Post once again. I would like to comment a little on it as well as hopefully give you some feedback on how I feel about both the education system and allowing our children online.

      I agree with GazzMan when it comes to what we learned in school and want we had to learn on our own. My problem stems from the fact we can not expect our schools to teach us everything. What we can expect from our school is to teach us how to be students and how to learn. If our school systems do not teach us how to be critical thinkers then how can we ever hope to learn what all that is necessary throughout our lives?

      The problem I see with our schools today (I can only talk about the schools here in America) is we spend all of our time teaching to a test instead of teaching children how to be students. If all we do is make sure they can pass some test put forth as a mandate of the government then that is all our children will know. To make the problem even worse the test is not even standardized throughout the country. How do we teach children to love learning if all we do is drill numbers, figures and boring dates into them. We must help our children find a love for learning. If we can do that, they will do the rest, they will learn how to balance a checkbook, read a P/L statement, or to keep a journal on their successes and failures in everyday life. They will find look to learning to be a lifelong pursuit. I can still remember how I hated to read back in school, I could not stand it. Then as an adult I found a love of reading that I have had ever since. I read for both pleasure and for learning. I usually have at least two books going at a time, one for pleasure and one to learn.

      To go one step further to answer Gary’s question, I teach a class for our Younger Martial Arts students, it is call the Accelerated Leadership Academy. This is a day long class where we bring students together and teach them
      1. How to build rapport with other people – Leadership Skills
      2. We teach them Money Matters – How to manage money, balance a checkbook, what is credit, etc.
      3. There Dreambook – They can be, do, or have anything they want.

      This is really just the beginning.

      Hilary what you do with young people is incredible and should be commended to the nth degree. Our children are our future, We are leaving this world to them and we need to make sure they are ready to take the reigns of power. People like you doing what you do is what we need to accomplish this task.

      Now onto the Internet and children.

      I commend you and your daughter for wanting to get involved in blogging and all types of social networking.

      I have reservations when it comes to children and the Internet. Before I took the job I have now as a corporate trainer I was what was known as a Protective Behaviors Educator. I worked for a company called “Reach Counseling Services” this is a full service mental health clinic that deals with both children and adults that have been sexually abused. The Job I had consisted of going to all the school in the county I live in and talk to kids. I taught kids from pre-kindergarten through college. For the little one I taught what we called “good touch, bad touch, and confusing touch”. In second grade we talked about good secrets and bad secrets and about how you should never keep a bad secret. At third grade we actually used the words sexual abuse. When it came to fifth graders we talked about sexual harassment.

      When it came to Middle and High School students we talked about Internet safety, Healthy dating relationships, as well as Statutory rape. I use to do an Internet safety presentation that took the kids through just how dangerous the internet can be. It is figured that at any one time there are over 600,000 sexual predators online trying to groom our children. In our presentation Amy tells a story about how she ran away with a 50 year old man and how she was sexually molested (although at the time she thought she was in love and it was okay). We also talk about cyber bullying and how that has really changed the face of how kids are bullied today. The internet can be a great place or a scary place depending one who is on the other end of the chat line. 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.

      If you want more information on what I use to do check out or these are great sites to get more information on what can go on over the Internet.

      I have rambled on more than I should have. Hope this helps. If you want more information or if I can help in any way please let me know.

      Thanks again


      Thom Swartwood’s last blog post..Gary Simpson made me do it…

    • February 18, 2009 at 10:27 am


      I too think you have a great idea here. Helping kids learn the more practical things they are not getting in school, and with utilizing the blog format they learn far more about technology and the internet than IMing.

      There is a kid running a highlty successful blog in the IM niche who started when he was 13 – He was able to rank #1 on Google for “make money online” when he was 14.


      John Halderman’s last blog post..Are You Loosing People Through Your Offsite Links?

    • February 18, 2009 at 12:48 pm

      Another general response as I am busy trying to get things done at home, but I have read all of these comments and there is some really, really helpful information here.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to post such informative, useful and thought-provoking comments.

      I have spent some time this morning discussing thngs with my daughter (aka The Lizzard- courtesy of the Gazz-Man 🙂 ). We have come up with some ideas which we will be writing down and getting more into groupings to develop further.

      I shall be writing a new post to explain some of this as soon as I can and I shall be emailing some of you directly about various comments you have made.

      I spoke to Alex Jeffreys last night during the interactive session after the last module and he was very supportive of this idea of helping our young people.

      So please continue to send me ideas, thoughts, pros and cons and any links to useful sites will be much appreciated.



    • February 19, 2009 at 4:01 pm

      Hi Hilary,

      Firstly, apologies for not posting sooner. When you said you were going away for a few days I stupidly thought that, hey I can just put it on my to-do list and then reply later. Big mistake!! My to-do list gets bigger the more I do and since the Alex Jeffreys course has ended rather than slow down I’ve got busier!! So much to do, not enough time, LOL ! I think someone in the Education system needs to study more and design a product that can clone me. I’ll buy two of them 🙂

      Anyway, I’ll get to the main point of my views on “what we should be teaching our children”.

      Firstly, I’d like to say I virtually agree with everything in Nikki’s very lengthy and detailed response. We are living in a world, where certainly most western cultures, appear to be dumb-ing everything down for its citizens plus putting in place a benefits system where those that work are actually worse off (or marginally better off) then those who take handouts. Is in any wonder then that children growing up see this and many take the attitude why should I bother? For no effort I will be looked after anyway. So in the end, unless you have that the inner passion our desire to rise above the ‘norm’ then we will just churn out young adults that don’t think for themselves and don’t see any great need to improve their circumstances. It is very hard to break out of a cycle that is so prevalent around you.

      But having said all that we need to encourage our youngsters to take education seriously and learn as much as they can. In can be an up hill battle with the prevailing circumstances that we find ourselves in, in many cultures but it is something we should not give up on. I think encouraging them to diversify and try and learn new things until they find a passion is a crucial part to how we as parents can help. I agree with Denis’s statement

      “One cannot teach the entrepreneur spirit or drive”

      But what one can do is try to nurture youngsters to try and indentify something that they are passionate about and who knows where that can led. With the correct guidance and support that may develop into a life long pursuit and even a career for many.

      So in conclusion, I am all for your suggestion Hilary of letting our children follow us and create their own Blogs. It is another avenue for them to try and see if they have the desire to take it further. My son Aaron who is nearly 12 has continually pestered me about having blog. I believe he already is showing signs of an entrepreneurial flare but that initially is not what it’s about. I would just guide him along with his blog and let’s see where it goes. I have reserved his domain name so it will be up in the next few days. Incidentally he has a twin sister Emily who at the moment has shown no inclination to have a blog so we will have to see how that one develops 🙂 Plus my youngest son Ryan (coming up to 10) is quite happy playing on the playstation and Wii for now!!.

      When it is set up Hilary I will point him in the direction of Lizzie, as I have already mentioned your daughter to him.

      Let’s see where it all leads? With the proper guidance it can do no harm and who knows they may go on to be real powerhouses of the future in whatever niche they choose to go in.


    • February 19, 2009 at 6:18 pm

      Hi Hilary

      Good to hear you on the seminar.
      Your post seems to have prompted a huge response of very high quality.

      Anyway, hopefully without spoiling that, IMHO:

      School education will always be incomplete and imperfect: parents must always try to make up for its shortcomings, wherever they perceive them to be.

      School education is important.
      We don’t want our kids to feel that that building their own business empire is beyond them. But, at the same time, we shouldn’t allow them to develop the idea that they can make their way in the world without it these days, just because they can make a blog, or whatever. (I know this doesn’t apply to you & Lizzie, BTW!)

      One of the most important things we can do for our children’s education is to nurture the right attitude towards it.

      I like Floyd, but I don’t think “The Wall” helped (although, hopefully, it embarrassed a few bad teachers and education policy-makers).

      Kids should be encouraged see school as a resource on which they can draw, not as an ordeal imposed upon them: they are expanding their potential, not going through the mill.

      They need to approach it analytically and pro-actively; with curiosity and with the knowledge that learning itself can be enjoyable and life-enhancing.

      And they need to develop a sense of true purpose, maintaining it even when the system itself loses its own, through poor design and implementation.

      They can’t do all that without our help.

      As for the web:
      The internet is rivalling, or more accurately, merging with the ‘real world’ as an environment in which we live, work, learn, play and interact.

      Our children are in the forefront of this great change. It’s not new technology to them; and fast change itself isn’t new for them. It’s just the way the world is.

      Given this, we need to educate our kids in this, newest, aspect of human experience just as in every other; both for their safety and for the sake of their personal fulfillment and prosperity.

      Most young people today have an online presence whether we like it or not, thanks to Web 2.0. Rather than make an – ultimately futile – attempt to block it, we should guide them as they establish it.

      We should help them to maximise its potential, and avoid the pitfalls – which are not always obvious, even to adults.

      Take this one, for instance.

      So, that was MHO, for what it’s worth! I wish you and Lizzie all the very best in your endeavours. I’m sure you will both be successful.

      In the meantime, I’m sure we’re all looking forward to hearing how your ideas are developing.

      Best regards,


      James Woodfield’s last blog post..Winning Hearts and Minds

    • February 19, 2009 at 10:00 pm

      I am really amazed by the quality and quantity of the responses to this post.

      A huge thank you to everyone who has contributed. I really appreciate all your time, effort and sharing of knowledge and experience.

      I have decided that as there is so much to respond to here, if I were to do so my comment would be longer than my original post!

      This is a topic which will constantly be moving forward as I learn and research more into this. The best way to respond to all of this is for me to make a new post.

      Please continue to leave comments here and I will write my new post in the next day or so.

      Thank you everyone.


    • February 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm

      Hi Hilary,
      Sorry i have not been over sooner, infact I read this post a couple of days ago then something (can’t remember what but probably a small child!) pulled me away from the computer and that was that.

      I am 100% behind any idea that we should be showing and teaching our children things that in mainstream school they do not get taught. Obviously my children are a few years off blogs etc but I already think of the important things I want them to know and learn from me before they become adults and fly the nest.

      Also I think it is important to teach them the value of money from an early age, if my six yr old asks for a toy in a shop and I tell him I do not have the money for it at that time I never have a tantrum, he just excepts it. He also likes the idea of having money and that he could help us and others if he saves it up! That actually made me a bit sad when he said that to me because I would love to have the money so he didn’t have to think like that, but the sentement is lovely from a six yr old!

      I want them to be able to cook, clean and look after themselves and obviously that means financially as well.

      I think that this would be a brilliant sub niche (is that the right word?) as it calls on your experience as a teacher and also what he have learnt so far with Alex.

      I will be really interested in seeing where this goes as this could be a very worthwhile and rewarding project for you.

      Good luck

      Becky Carter’s last blog post..15 Facts About Me

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    • March 4, 2009 at 9:42 pm

      Hi Hilary,

      Sorry i haven’t stopped by your blog in a while, there’s just soooo much to do!

      My comment will be short (I’m moving Saturday morning and I’m nowhere near done packing!).

      I agree with Nikki, Gary, etc… I think it’s great that you want to help children understand about finances, responsibility, etc..

      I’ll definitely send you anything I find that could help.

      Again, sorry this is so short, I’d better get back to packing!


      Lori James’s last blog post..Hurry, Ends Soon! Get Your Gifts From Daddy’s Birthday Giveaway

    • March 21, 2009 at 9:48 pm

      Hey Hilary

      I came across your blog and wanted to say hi. How is your business going? I’m hitting walls left and right but still trying to move forward the best I can. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you!

      And stay in touch!

      Matt Cross’s last blog post..What happened to that spark?

    • March 22, 2009 at 10:37 pm

      Hi Matt

      Good to see you here (and thanks for visiting Lizzie too!)

      I know the feeling of hitting the walls – so many things to do and so little time!

      I’ll pop over to see you at your blog too.



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