how would you raise your child to be successful?

how would you raise your child to be successful?

I personally think that puritanical parenting that promotes humbleness and discourages bringing attention to oneself can be counterproductive.

For example:

  • Some parents might refuse to let their child host a party at their house. Hosting can raise a child’s status at school. At a young age, this could potentially result in developing charisma, and set a baseline expectation for future social standing.

  • Many parents are adverse to giving their child a high allowance, or buying them what might be perceived as unnecessary material goods, like trendy clothes. I think that the mental and social benefits of fitting in are well worth the expense.

  • Another example of this is the question of what car to have your teenager drive. Do you make them drive a laughable beater, in an attempt to humble them, or do you give them the opportunity to drive a relatively nice car in order to gain social standing and confidence?

  • On that note, I wouldn’t advocate spoiling a child by lavishing them with unearned gifts. I do think that giving them tasks with sufficiently high rewards would do enough to instill a work ethic. For example, tying a generous allowance directly to the completion of chores, or the traditional promise of a nice car for outstanding grades.

The big question I’d be interested in hearing your opinion on, is whether you would be explicit in teaching your child about the realities and advantages of social engineering, or if you would take a strictly passive route in directing their development.

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Comments: 4
  1. DonUboaty

    Firstly in an age where computers and information is so freely available a lot of lazy parents I still see are shutting children’s inquisitive nature down, real intelligence isn’t knowing the answer but being able to ask the question. When I was doing my highschool finals, it was the first year calculators were allowed, it was reasoned that in any environment people would have easy access to them. It seen as a skill to use them as much as knowing the maths itself. Now days smart phones and computers are as readily available if not more so than calculators were then.

    Secondly smartphones and kids, I hear and see a lot of adults or maybe kids on reddit complaining about giving smartphones to kids. They aren’t thinking logically, Firstly you can add tracking software for if your phone gets stolen, which will act as a secondary defence if your kid gets kidnapped which I think is a good enough reason on its own, but we all have second hand and old generation smart phones laying around so there is no reason a kid of any age can’t have some old hand -me-down. Also it teaches the kid useful skills that they will need for a modern age.

    Be pragmatic and honest, Don’t plaster your child with Platitudes and false compliments. don’t be stingy with compliments either if they are earned, but telling kids they are great at everything can have the wrong undesired effects.

    I reason everything with my daughter, you pose a lot of good questions and I explain my reasoning of them to her, if she can with logic and reason change my mind, I feel she has earned what ever it is she wants. She is young now, but Usually when in a supermarket I’ll give her a budget and she can get what she wants, she might negotiate with me by saying she will share something with me which I think is encouraging both budgeting and financial skills and social and negotiation skills. we usually walk back from the supermarket, as eating bad foods should be supplemented with exercise. Also the act of getting and enjoying a treat while exercising creates a pavlovian response and positive mental association.

    Children are more accepting of the actuality of life then adults think, we shield them because we ourselves are bias to things we don’t want to accept. Life, death, right and wrong and so on. Teaching a kid about how we want the world to be rather than how it is just means they will have to unlearn what you tell them and re-learn the world. It also undermines the words you have to teach them, if later they find some of it is bullshit they might question other parts of it.

    As for social engineering, I do and have always believed social engineering and the knowledge of it is neutral information, neither good nor bad and it holds no bias. Also knowledge of it is needed to best defend against it. With that being said I am a male and my daughter is well not male. I spent a lot of my youth using social engineering on women to get things I want, doing things I now regret. also recent events has caused me to reconsider teaching people who are under 18 because a to a developing mind it can create huge Ego issues that people may never recover from. That being said I do want her to have the best advantages and of all the things I have to teach her this is up there, I honestly think its a play by play situation. My rule with her is if she is old enough to ask the question she is old enough to get an answer.

    Other than that, nepotism, I hate it and thats why I exploit it, clubs, learn languages, join teams, new hobbies and learn skills. I’d rather not get her a car and have to socialise and get lift’s and walk for exercise and spend the money sending her to japan for the summer to learn Japanese and get helicopter lessons during spring break instead, Invest in who she is not just objects around her. but thats easy to say as public transport here is pretty good.

  2. jagdmackay

    On Training for Success

    Becoming “successful” at an activity basically involves three parts. Discovery of the path, or at least the start of the path. The process of actually walking the path. And reacting to the results of the process as you walk the path.

    Trouble is most parents that try to influence their children in this have an unbalanced approach and they fuck up their kids by overemphasizing one facet.

    Workaholic parents will reward the process to the exclusion of the results and the discovery. The desire to work and enjoying the process is very valuable when there is a clear, correct task that needs to be worked through… and incredibly detrimental when the work that needs to be done is ill-defined or the work has little value or negative value and the worker’s ability to determine the value of work is stunted. Overtraining this behavior to the point that you are only comfortable when working is what leads people to mid-life crises and neurotic breakdowns. A life absorbed in work only to realize years later that the work was less valuable and had hidden costs you failed to predict (as is always the case). It is very easy for these people to get lost if they ever are forced from the path (losing a job and injury that prevents using a specific skill are common causes). They can become desperate for a source of direction in their life because they are underequipped when it comes to exploring and generating their own direction.

    Dreamer parents will encourage exploration and discovery more than results or work/process. This will build curiosity, improvisation, and comfort with the unknown and the new. These are all great things if you want to be happy in life and interact well with others, but they are detrimental when overtrained and lead to an adult who is a perpetual “dabbler” and can’t stick with one thing long enough to actually build a skill or wealth. It results in a person who is used to a very high level of external stimulation, but as new sources of stimulus dry up they are forced to move on to new topics or new locations. They turn into nomads mentally and often physically as well, incapable of spending enough time with the same people to develop influence, or enough time on the same task to develop a skill or wealth.

    “Successful” parents (and those who desperately wish to be successful) will praise the results above all else. This encourages ruthlessness and a cutthroat attitude, anything to achieve the results. These are character aspects that have value in dire situations, when you realize others are cheating, or the system is stacked against you. After all, there are only two ways to combat a cheater or a stacked system. Appeal to an uncorrupted authority (a rare unicorn these days) or circumvent the rules of the system. However, when overtrained, results-oriented behavior leads to a perpetual anti-social attitude, a paranoid personality, and general difficulty enjoying the calmer, lighter times of your life.

    Your goal as a teacher should be to lead the horse to water, not make him drink. You should point out interesting skills and subjects. Take extra care to encourage and reward curiosity, hard work, and impressive results in equal shares. And most importantly you must strive to be a quality example of what you want your child to be while simultaneously recognizing and being open about your flaws.

    On Virtues

    You can’t really teach virtues, you can only demonstrate them.

    A virtue must be taken on voluntarily.

    You can program a child to exhibit some of the results of a virtue through punishment, reward, and repetition. But this is not the same as actually having the virtue. It is a pattern that will be destroyed the instant a more powerful punishment or reward is offered to deviate from the pattern. Common examples of this kind of training are honesty and “manners”. It’s detrimental to program a child like this as they will have to undo the damage you’ve done later in their life in order to actually take on the virtue.

    All real virtues have a material and/or social cost, but are not guaranteed to provide any material or social benefits. The only guarantee is that adhering to a virtue you’ve chosen will strengthen your resolve and internal psychology.

    Let’s take integrity as an example. Developing and adhering to a strong code of ethics in life or in business is typically very difficult. Almost impossible for most people. However, I’ve noticed that the more agency a person has in developing the moral/ethics they value, the more committed they will be to it. Rote memorization of religious, state, or corporate dogma is not a substitute for a real code of ethics. That is programming and it creates blocks that have to be broken before real thought about the subject can occur.

    Encouraging a child to ask moral and ethical questions and enlightening him with not just your own viewpoint, but information on the competing views is creates good topsoil for the development of personal ethics. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t punish your child for theft, undeserved violence, or vandalism. But enforcing laws/rules has nothing to do with morality or ethics.

  3. Goodperson

    In general, I believe that kids should learn both theorically and in practice, the right way of handling things. For example, if you discourage him from being social, he will stop being social. Therefore, you have to teach the kid (often not with words) correct default behavior, and when to change that behavior; for example, being social in general, but lessening that trait in funerals. Don’t leave things to chance, expecting him to learn something but never testing if he actually did, and if you do test, not correcting it.

    The kid should take risks, but you should be looking over the shoulder while they are being taken, though it’s even better if the kid does not know you’re monitoring.

    The problem with praising intelligence is not that per se, it’s the perception that intelligence is the most important thing, when the most important thing is constant effort, hard work. You can cruise through high school on intelligence alone, but that won’t cut it for the university, and by that time habits are already formed. A similar concept is that intelligence cannot be increased, but it can be, at least as meassured by IQ tests.

    Learning is best done by providing a test, and completion, providing the answer. If you’re worried about the moral development of the kid, you can accompany social engineering teaching with moral lessons.

  4. lushlilli

    Always push your child to exceed what they thought they could do.

    As a child who had a natural aptitude at high school level maths and science, I did not have to study very much, while still achieving good results. While my parents made it clear that results were not what they were after, they wanted application, they also understood that I could learn the content quickly and required little outside study, and now that I am at university, I have a hard time applying myself to studying for subjects that I do not understand straight up, as I feel that it will eventually come to me. I have basically had to learn how to study.

    However, when it came to playing sports, my parents, particularly my father pushed me to try things that I didn’t think I could do. He helped me train, cheered me when I did well, and encouraged me when I did poorly. He did not sugarcoat my performance, and told me when I sucked, but also told me how to change it to succeed. I made my first representative team at the age of 9, when the team was an U12 team. I made my first U16 state team at the age of 13, and I have played in 2 U19 junior world championships, at the ages of 17 and 19. All of this is because my parents pushed me, and put me out of my comfort zone. This has given me the confidence to succeed when pushed to the edge of my ability.

    So basically, if your kid is succeeding, but his success is restricted not by his ability, but by the content, push your kid to the next level. i.e. if your kid is getting straight A’s in Math, put him in the next level, and if your kid is playing a sport and is the best in his age group, play him up one (if it is allowed, some sports do not allow this). Not only will it humble him in his ability, it will teach him to be confident when out of his comfort zone

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