Parents want the best for their children. But do you know how to properly train your children to achieve their goals?
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You look across the dinner table and see your child looking back at you. No doubt, he or she has expressed an interest in a certain job or career. Usually, such ideas are fanciful, and are either related to something seen on television or the same job held by you or your spouse.
Your son may want to grow up to be a firefighter, lawyer or doctor. Your daughter may hope to be a teacher, veterinarian or a ballerina. Such youthful dreams will likely change over time, but whatever their aspirations, you naturally want success—and happiness—for your children. You want them to experience a fulfilling life and a rewarding career.
But have you ever realized that you actually hold the key to their success? You can offer them knowledge that, unlike the suggestions of pop psychology, will lead them to true and lasting success.
If you instill this knowledge deep within them, creating the basis for their thinking, you will have happy and well-developed children!
People often link success to wealth, power or fame. But is this success? Famous people, who often have both power and wealth, are usually the same ones who are miserable. Their problems, addictions and struggles are covered by television and entertainment magazines. A once popular song said, “Money can’t buy me love.” And judging by the lives of the rich and famous, neither can it buy happiness.
Such people are not a reflection of true success. One who is truly successful will be fulfilled and happy. So, if the world’s concept of success is wrong, then what is success?
The main reason most do not understand success is that they assume it is a quality or trait that one already has—is born with. But success is not a “talent” that one is born with. Rather, it is directly related to a desire to produce, grow, learn and achieve.
If success is not an innate ability, then how does one “get” it? Is there a formula?
Amazingly, there is! There are definite laws to achieving—and instilling—success! If you instill a desire—and the laws to success—in your children, they will succeed!
Applying these laws, as found in our booklet The Laws to Success, and teaching them to your children will ensure that they will become happy, fulfilled and successful adults.
The first great law to success is setting the right goal.
Thousands of self-help books exist describing how to set and reach one’s goals. Many times, they discuss different levels of goals—short, medium and long-term—yet often miss the all-important step of setting the correct goal. Even the few books that attempt this never mention the role of morality or the God of the Bible in goal-setting.
You must teach your children about different kinds of goals. Some are harmful to them; others are greatly beneficial. For instance, they would naturally want to “get” things in life. This is human nature, and you must help your children to overcome this attitude.
The goals of human nature must be replaced with right and proper—and godly—goals. Teach your children to set attainable goals. They should want to help those around them. Teach them that God will bless them if their goal is to give! Children do not naturally know this—it must be taught to them! It has been said that the four most important lessons in childrearing are: (1) Teach, (2) teach, (3) teach and (4) teach.
It is important that you do not give your children everything on a “silver platter.” This will make them believe that they do not need goals or need to actually work. By having to set goals—and working to achieve them—children will develop a proper work ethic and confidence.
Having first set the right goal, one is then able to focus on how to achieve that goal. And one of the main keys to doing so is embodied in the second law of success: education.
Like any muscle in the body, the human mind needs to be exercised. In fact, research shows that those who continue to exercise their mind when they are older are far less likely to develop diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
God’s Word states, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6). If you teach your children when they are young, they will exercise their minds throughout life.
Teaching them to think can be done in a variety of ways. Teach them to reflect on what they say and do. Teach them to analyze questions and thoughtfully respond.
Encourage your children to enjoy learning. Make it fun! If, at a very young age, you seed their minds with a craving for understanding and knowledge, your children will look at any problem and learn how to solve it.
It has been said that knowledge is power. By encouraging a desire to learn, you are giving your children the ability to harness that power.
But it is important to realize that knowledge is power only if it is used. And this requires taking care of the body as well as the mind. This introduces the third law of success: good health.
The role of parents in their children’s health is often overlooked. Like instilling a desire to learn, you must also instill the knowledge of how—and what—to eat. No matter what excuses may be put forth, your children’s health is YOUR responsibility. You control what they eat and, in turn, their health!
If one has set the correct goal, and even becomes educated about that goal, he is still stopped in his tracks if he becomes sick. If a person is tired, weak or always sick, he cannot accomplish anything. With children, health also directly affects the second law. If they are not healthy, they will not be able to attend school, and will miss out on receiving a full education.
Think about what you feed your children. Do you follow the principle of staying on the outside of the supermarket—raw fruits, vegetables, meats and grains? Or do you often shop in the aisles—where much of the processed, sugary and unhealthy foods are generally located? Do you reward your children with healthy treats—or with sugar? An entire article could be written showing the myriad of childhood health problems relating to a bad diet. Do you want your children to have attention problems or type-2 diabetes? You can prevent such things by monitoring what your children eat.
Remember this principle: Grains sustain, vegetables build, fruits cleanse and herbs help to heal! If your children’s diet is not full of grains and vegetables, how are they going to grow and develop?
The fourth law springs from the previous one. When your children are healthy, they have more energy. When properly focused, this energy is drive. Drive is the desire to work and achieve.
Are you beginning to see why teaching your children the right goals builds the framework for success? Having a good work ethic—wanting to work for success—is the basis behind drive.
A world-record-breaking swimmer once stated that the reason he succeeded was not because of natural talent, but because he was willing to work harder than his opponents. This is drive! Train your children to start early (not procrastinate) and to work hard. This will enable them to do things that they would have otherwise viewed as impossible—and they will be thrilled by what they accomplish!
Wise King Solomon once said, “The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul” (Prov. 13:19). Teach this to your children. When they accomplish a goal, they will feel a satisfaction that is “sweet to the soul.” Once understood, they will then always be driven to accomplish any task set before them.
In working toward any important goal, your children must understand that obstacles and setbacks may arise. resourcefulness—the fifth important law to success—keeps one from feeling that there is no solution. He will think—investigate—and FIND a solution!
In many situations, one’s ability to find not just a solution—but the best solution—can determine success or failure. Consider one example from nature: A stream of water, when encountering various obstructions, does not simply stop flowing. It will naturally go around, over or through the barrier. Likewise, when your children face obstacles, resourcefulness will lead them to seek a way around, over or through them. The human mind is designed to learn the most when it is struggling. When setbacks occur, the learning mechanism in the mind kicks in. Teaching your children this will prevent them from getting discouraged. They will come to realize that obstacles and problems are not a bad thing, but the best possible chance to learn and grow!
It can be said that the continued application of resourcefulness is applying the critical sixth law of success: perseverance—or stick-to-it-iveness.
Perseverance is working at a problem even when the solution is not evident. Any goal or thing of worth requires hard work—one must pay the price. However, most today are not willing to pay that price and will settle for second best, or worse.
Teaching your children to persevere will give them the inner strength needed to achieve their goals. This will have implications in not just their goals and desires, but in EVERY aspect of their lives! Teach your children to never give up—even in the face of hardship—and you will virtually ensure their success.
Although listed last, the seventh law of success—contact with, and guidance and continous help from, God—over-arches all previous laws. This law is the foundation of success! If you teach your children to respect and obey you, you are teaching them to develop a similar relationship with God. As a parent, you must understand that, to your children, you play this vital role.
When you teach your children—when you correct them—when you encourage them—you are creating a basis by which they will respond to their divine Parent.
This also applies to you! Look at yourself. Do you consider the success of your children success for yourself? Is having happy and successful children your goal? Do you have contact with God and continually seek His guidance and help?
Your children’s success is actually far more important than you may realize. Of course, a good job, happy marriage and successful future are critical for them. But there is a greater purpose being worked out in your children, and a great potential that they may be able to reach—to one day become leaders, kings and priests in the kingdom of God!
God has left mankind to work out his own way. This is the reason there is so little true success in the world. But very soon, Jesus Christ will return to earth to establish the kingdom of God—a government that will rule over all nations.
While we have not yet reached this glorious time, you can claim a promise from God now! The Bible states that your obedience to God will place His protection on your children (I Cor. 7:14). With this protection comes an understanding of the proper—successful—way of life. With God’s protection and involvement in your life, you too can achieve the role of king and priest—and rule in the kingdom of God. (To learn more about the God-ordained purpose for you and your children, read our book The Awesome Potential of Man.)
Simply learning these laws is only the beginning. There is a vitally important aspect to the development of your children that towers above just knowing about the true God and His laws to success:
All small children look up to their parents. You are the center of their growing world, and your example affects them deeper than anything you could teach them. Are YOU applying the laws of success in your life? Are you living the way of “give” and following what you are learning from The Real Truth magazine about the true God of the Bible? The success of your children hinges on your answer!
(To learn more about God’s method of childrearing, please read our book Train Your Children God’s Way.)