Every child is genius

Every child is genius

Yesterday was the end of year assembly at my boys’ school. It’s the one where awards are given out and the school captains are chosen. There is excitement and I can imagine for many children, there is disappointment as they watch others receive medals and it’s never them on stage. When I went to school, I was an all round achiever, meaning I was above average at English, Maths, Science etc. but never the best at anything. Never the one that got any awards. It’s 30 years on that I know why as hard as I tried, I could never have been the best…because what I excelled at wasn’t measured by our archaic system. Whilst ‘archaic’ seems a little harsh, let me ask you – how many jobs have you got recently where you have only needed IQ? How many of you were creative and felt out of your depth or bored to death at school? How many of you excelled at human behaviour and emotional intelligence that was never even mentioned at school, let alone measured? How many of you have developed a successful life without any formal qualifications whatsoever? In the past 7 years I have changed careers and I now know what it feels like to be the best. Because when I sit with another human being, be it a parent, a teacher or someone else. I am able to help them be their best and do what they love. Every. single. time. I am able to facilitate transformative results that did not even exist in my realm of possibility for most of my life. Why?...
Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

The myth and legend says that slow and steady wins the race, yet in recent years the world around us has been speeding up. Faster cars, faster trains, faster planes, faster internet, faster food, faster learning and the list goes on. There’s also another area where we have gone faster.. the speed at which children are growing up. They are encouraged to read and write earlier, be engaged in an organised sport, learn an instrument earlier. Whilst all of these are desirable in the long-term, does structured learning too early in an effort to develop a child’s skills, set them up for winning in the long-term game of life? Peter Gray Ph.D advocates early academic training produces long-term harm.  He shares the following research: “In the 1970s, the German government sponsored a large-scale comparison in which the graduates of 50 play-based kindergartens were compared, over time, with the graduates of 50 academic direct-instruction-based kindergartens. Despite the initial academic gains of direct instruction, by grade four the children from the direct-instruction kindergartens performed significantly worse than those from the play-based kindergartens on every measure that was used.” So for us as parents, how much do we need to see external achievements to see if our child is on track? Are we able to trust that a child will learn when left to play and discover at their own pace? “It does not really matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop” -Confucius Yesterday, a young mother and child were climbing up the hill of the street I live on. It’s quite a steep hill and this child around age...
The No.1 Skill to Parent as a Leader

The No.1 Skill to Parent as a Leader

Whilst some see leadership as a role that heads up an organisation or a department, we as parents equally head up a family and a home – the main difference being we don’t get to leave our leadership role at home at the end of each day, like we can if it were our job outside of the home. There are various styles of leadership, each with different outcomes. The 19th century autocratic style of leadership was one of command and control, dominant in the industrial age to encourage employees to conform and mass produce.  The 20th century authoritarian style of leadership was about creating positive relationships whilst enforcing the rules and was the norm in the information age. As society has evolved so too has parenting and we are now at a major tipping point in parenting styles.   Today, in the 21st century, the age of disruption, the new model of parenting is a leadership parenting style and just like great leadership in organisations is about authenticity, it’s true at home, even more so.   So what then is authenticity and why is it so important in leading children? Authenticity is “representing one’s true nature or beliefs; true to oneself or to the person identified.”  It is when we are authentic, we are at our most creative.  In a report by the Foundation for Young Australians, research indicates that between 2012 and 2015 the demand for creativity in job advertisements increased by 65%. The no. 1 skill to develop authenticity is self awareness. If you find yourself at logger heads with your child, chances are there is something you can...
How to encourage your child to make mistakes

How to encourage your child to make mistakes

Do you celebrate mistakes? My son was washing the blender after making a smoothie. It’s an awkward shape and the sink was full of dishes, so as he went to flip it to rinse it he accidentally poured a quarter of a jug of dirty water all over the clean dishes on the rack, trickling down and inside the cupboard and all over the floor. He looked up at me, searching for my reaction. My initial thoughts were, I have not got time to clean this up. I need to respond to client before we leave for an activity. As  I was about to yell something, I took 5 seconds to pause. In those 5 seconds I gave myself the choice in how I wanted to respond. Choosing our response is one of the most important skills we can learn as parents because a child creates meaning based on how we respond. My son replied, “oh snap!” and started cleaning it up and I began to help him by which time I had calmed myself down enough to say, “awesome buddy, what are you realising about rinsing out that big jug if the sink is full?” In the future of work, being able to make mistakes and celebrating them is a critical skill for mental resilience. Why? When we are sharing our creativity and our uniqueness, chances are it’s not going to come out perfectly on first go, probably not even on the 100th go, but each time your experiment fails, you learn something and have that knowledge for next time. Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. He said,...
Do you dress your child to impress?

Do you dress your child to impress?

We want children to walk their own path. We want them to not compare themselves to others. Mostly we want them to be proud of who they are no matter what. But I’m wondering if what we say to them sometimes gives them a different message. My son asked me tonight – why do you always ask me to clean my face? Why does it matter if I have food on my face or if I wear certain clothes? I started to say, well we are judged on our appearance so we need to make sure we look presentable. As I heard myself say these words out loud, my mind went to – what total and utter bullsh*t! Why am I teaching him that’s it’s OK for people to judge him on his appearance and he needs to dress for others? It didn’t sit well with me. Why are we judged on appearance? Do those that wear whatever they like increase their likeability because they wear what they feel best in, no matter what society expects? And how does this impact their ability to get jobs, friendships and even relationships? Do we need to dress to impress?  And what exactly do we want children to understand around this? I’m following Nas at the moment. Some of his videos have had 4.7million views. In one of his latest videos Nas shares he has worn the same t-shirt for 600 days. He has 10 of the same so I’m assuming they are clean each day! His rational for the same t-shirt is that he is rebelling against being judged for his appearance. And it makes...
We use fitness coaches, business coaches and now parenting coaching is on the rise.

We use fitness coaches, business coaches and now parenting coaching is on the rise.

Hoogi Features in Mamma Mia. Written by Shauna Anderson. Click here to view original article   Melina was at her breaking point. With three kids and a full time job she was stretched and struggling. The kids didn’t behave. The house was chaos. She was always running late, she felt, as she puts it, like she was “spiralling out of control.” “I just wanted a day to run smoothly, as planned without everything f**king up.” She says she doesn’t like to ask for help, she has her ways and her beliefs and feels imposed upon when relatives or friends break what she sees as the parenting rules she has put in place. “When my husband looks after the kids he just lets them sit in front of their screens and forgets the structures I have, things just fall apart.”   So just like when she needed help with her diet and exercise Melina sought out the help of a fitness coach this time she is turning to a coach as well – a parenting coach. In this age of modern parenting where we second-guess everything we do the rise of parenting coaches isn’t surprising. “I used a business coach for our business why wouldn’t I use a parent coach?” Experts have noted a fundamental shift in the way parents parent over the last half a century. While we are busier than ever, we are more focused on our children than ever. Researchers say this child-centred parenting, with an overwhelming need to prioritize their children’s health and happiness is leading to a generation of anxious parents unsure of what to do....
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