How can we help launch our kids into successful college and professional careers?
Podcast guest Joanie Connell is the author of, “Flying without a Helicopter.” Joanie is a leadership development coach and organizational consultant. She works with high-level and successful clients.
Her book deals with current trends in parenting, including helicopter parents who create highly structured and protective environments. There are also lawnmower parents who pave the way for their kids.
Joanie’s book addresses the consequences of raising kids in these kinds of environments. The kids are less prepared to be in the workplace. And involving the parents is disempowering the kids.
Advice for parents:
- Let your children develop a sense of indpendence
- Let them make mistakes
Her motivation to write her book was based on several complaints she has heard from managers about younger people coming into the workplace. So she researched how kids are being raised and educated, as well as parenting trends.
Joanie shares examples describing management complaints such as:
- Entitlement factor
- Lack of resilience
As a parent, how do you address such complaints? You have a natural instinct to protect your kids and do as much as you can for them. Sometimes, that’s not necessarily doing your kids a favor in the long run. Eventually, your kids will be on their own and they need to know how to do things.
As a child, how do you address those complaints? How can you build resilience?
- Stay strong and positive
- Get through hard times on your own
- Make mistakes and experience failure
- Deal with challenge
- Handle critical feedback
Besides resilience, colleges and employers want young people to develop independence:
- Make their own decisions
- Form their own opinions
- Detach from their parent’s control
- Take initiative and solve problems
Effective strategies for raising successful and independent children through coaching:
- Help someone to solve a problem on their own; don’t do it for them.
- Ask the right questions.
Who’s to blame for young people not being successful in the workplace?
The parents, the children, the schools? This is a problem we are all facing and we need to work together.
Parents are not the only ones who are to blame about how kids are raised. High schools are also concerned about the safety of children. This has created a generation of kids who feel like they need help with everything they do. But they need to develop the skills needed to take care of themselves.
Burnout comes up in high school, college, and for 20-somethings in the workplace. There’s so much pressure and stress placed on children to succeed and achieve levels of perfection in academics, athletics – all areas of life. They don’t have time to just be kids!
Do kids need to be so competitive in every aspect of their lives? Parents need to consider the following:
- Should you back off?
- Do you push too hard?
- Is it worth it?
These days, we are so tied up with being busy all the time and having hectic schedules. We don’t want children to be bored or waste time doing nothing because that is not an educational opportunity. However, children need to foster creativity, which happens in an unscheduled way.
“Mommy, I’m bored.”
“Well, go find something to do.”
Allow their minds to wander. If they are bored, they come up with something on their own to entertain themselves and be creative.
Make sure to check out Joanie’s book, which is a guide for parents, high school/college students, and young people. It offers information on how to improve in various areas (creativity, resilience, etc.) and exercises for things to think about and how to take action.
Let’s work together to make sure kids have successful college and professional careers!
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Brad is not affiliated with Joanie Connell or Flexible Work Solutions.
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