Celtic Choice (by Fays) Irish ghillies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I grew up the adopted child of alcoholics… now some would say they were drunks, not alcoholics, but only because they didn’t go to meetings. Either way my grandmother could put it down. At one time so could I, but thankfully as I’ve gotten older I’ve just found to many other productive ways to fill my time, regardless of my plans or the amount of refreshing beverages in the house, i find myself spending money on booze that ends up living in the cupboard long enough to be an investment instead of enjoyment.
Oh, i grew up in a trailer too…on the wrong end of town…and was in trouble a lot…but somewhere, a switch flipped, which gave me drive. Drive enough to move out of my parents home and in with my aunt and uncle to finish high school. I did, on the honor roll and with a full scholarship to a four-year church school. (http://www.sckans.edu/connecting-to-sc/history/), the school thing lasted a semester before i enlisted but I earned the scholarship and went.
I have a had a very successful career in the Navy for 22 years, not without its ups and downs, deployments and debilitating PTSD, not to mention the 65 lbs it gave me as I sat crying in the corner, and a thrashed knee.
To the point of my story: my boss recently told me that there was no reason I have been as successful as I Have, and the successes should never have happened. When I asked him why, he told me about success opportunities due to upbringing, family, education etc. and the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.
If you’ve ever felt too hard on your children, don’t. Read the book, see what the answer to lack of opportunity truly is. My oldest unfortunately didn’t have the benefit of having parents that understood what education and the rewards from carting your kids to and from their activities, plus making them practice and do extra homework, but my youngest does. No longer will i feel guilty for:
Not letting her watch TV during the school week.
Making my youngest practice her piano 1.5 hours a week.
Making her practice dance, both Irish dance and Jazz dancing for 30 minutes a day.
Spanish club 45 minutes before school once a week.
Doing her homework everyday as soon as she gets home.
Doing math work books when she doesn’t have homework.
Reading no less than 45 minutes every night before bed.
So basically in my simple way of thinking; you want to be good you have to show up, if you want to be great you have to work and if you want to be a success, you have to work hard and long.
Home is the place to start, school is the place to manage and gain new skills; hard work is something that can be passed on, and the only way for us as parents to ensure the success of our children is to make them work harder than we did as children, on a schedule, and not let them accept a
Cover of Outliers: The Story of Success
second-hand effort as a valid attempt.
I’m not trying for 10,000 hours through my children but they will get pretty close before they go forth on their own into the world.