Do you believe that there are children who are born for success? There are children who are overachievers, everything they touch turns to gold. They are stars in everything they undertake. To say that they are highly self-motivated would be an understatement. These are the children who NEVER lose.
Then there are children who will never succeed because they simply do not have it within them to succeed. They are not self-motivated. They have to be constantly prodded by parents to do the simplest task. They do not seem to want, do, nor achieve anything. They are simply content ......AS IS. Why are some children highly self-motivated while others simply aren't. We are discussing solidly middle, upper middle, & upper class children here with every socioeconomic, educational, & cultural opportunities and with highly ambitious, educated, and successful parents. What GIVES here?
I know, gm. I think it has to do with the environment. The environment must be rich in stimulating activities and people, (parents, aunts, uncles, teachers, coaches etc.)
If you give a child a certain amount of freedom in his environment within certain boundaries he will flourish.
It is a matter of knowing how and WHY to the set the boundaries. Setting them strongly for the right reasons makes all the difference in the world.
Here is the basis for WHY:
The setting of boundaries is for the sake of freedom for the child.
Without freedom, neither child nor nation FLOURISHES!
" (of a person, animal, or other living organism) grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, esp. as the result of a particularly favorable environment."
" thrive, prosper, bloom, be in good health, be vigorous, be in its heyday; progress, make progress, advance, make headway, develop, improve; evolve, make strides, move forward (in leaps and bounds), expand; be in the pink, go places, go great guns, get somewhere.
ANTONYMS decline." Online sources
Children do need freedom to explore their environment. They also need parents who are encouraging and nurturing towards their goals. They furthermore need parents who are accepting of their mistakes and see mistakes as paths to growth. Parents must also realize that children are individuals in their own right and not replicas of them.
So many parents prescribe their children's lives and activities. They also want to live through their children. Parents must not do that at all. Making your children do things because you did not have the opportunity to do them as a child is wrong. Let children accomplish and find their own likes and goals.
Perhaps the child simply doesn't have the drive to "succeed" in a manner that the parents recognize as success. No greed for more money or things. No drive for power over others. Not interested in climbing a social ladder.
Perhaps their idea of success lies in the spiritual realm - becoming a monk, maybe. Or in the field of charity - helping others, maybe through such things as the red cross worker or the peace corp. Maybe in being an artist of one kind or another, where merely being "good" isn't recognized as "success" in an over-motivated parent.
Or maybe they're just lazy and don't find their calling in hard, narrowly based, work. "Success" could be a happy family with a dozen kids and very few motivated parents would ever accept that as being successful - certainly those primarily interested in gaining ever more wealth or being a socialite never would.
There are children who simply have no initiative nor desire to achieve anything of worth educationally, intellectually, nor socioeconomically. They just meander through life, never utilizing their utmost human potential. Such children lead wasted lives. Unfortunately, there are unmotivated children out there despite the efforts of parents who encourage them to do things that are constructive for them educationally, intellectually, and socioeconomically. There are children who are highly motivated to succeed while there are those who aren't motivated to succeed.
But laziness is not natural. (Its usually the result of being forced on some level.)
Maybe you meant more easy going.
Some kids don't have the nervous system for hard driving competition and success, but they accomplish things according to their own individual level of energy, concentration and interest.
This is true in a way. There are children who are wired to achieve. There are instances of children who are overachievers. They are the straight A students who are very gung-ho regarding pursuing activities which elevate them academically, culturally, and intellectually. Their parents may motivate them to achieve but these children are highly self-motivated. I have been around such children. They are always curious and refuse to settle for less that what they could be.
Such children can be raised in a very rigorous style. For example, author Amy Chua indicated that her parents relentlessly pushed her to achieve, explaining that she is highly, even intensely self-motivated as a result of her parents. Actress Vanessa Williams admitted that her mother, whom she indicated was a strict disciplinarian, pushed to not only to achieve, but to do twice as good as others just to break even. Ms. Williams asserted that she and her brother had to play musical instruments until they were 18. Children who are geared for success and who become successful adults for the most part, are pushed by their parents to achieve. Parents who do not motivate their children oftentimes do not have successful children. Parents have to exert an amount of motivational influence in order to succeed.
I agree with parental pushing when it is done according to a keen awareness of their child's intrinsic motivations/inclinations. These are revealed as natural talents. (In my case, I would set up still-lifes to draw. I thought it was great fun drawing vases and apples with my school friends when they came to visit. Needless to say, my friends lost interest in playing at MY house.)
I also believe children pick their parents based on similar interests/goals/motivations. But sometimes it skips a generation and the child has more in common with the grandparents! (Yes, this gets into metaphysics.)
Yes, talents and gifts can skip a generation. Yes, parents should motivate their children that is part of being a good, involved parents. Parents must observe and nurture their children's particular talents. Parenting is not a spectator sport but an active sport. So many parents are merely spectators as far as their children go. The more educated the parents, the more involved they are in their children's lives.
Highly educated parents possess the wherewithal to discover and nurture their children's talents and interests. They are the ones who spend time with their children in academic, cultural, and intellectual activities. They TEACH. They know that parents are their children's first and primary teachers. They refuse to be passive regarding their children.
Yes, those are the good parents and their children will reflect this involvement.
We just really have to be careful not to addict them to OUR PROMPTS. I saw first hand what can happen when a parent is TOO involved (0-6.) (This was me. I learned with child number two to back off and let her be. Child number one was very much lost in listening to me as I talked to him all the time. It became "what do WE do? what should WE play!" for him. I way over did it. He had no sense of Self at four.) The goldilocks principle must be applied. Not to much involvement / attention, not too little - just right.
As I always say, we must know when to step in and most importantly, when to step out.
Note that the faces of the children in the picture are happy. It is obvious they are not being forced to play music. I really think that a child who merely meanders has been shut down by his environment on some level. Joy of life must be intact for a sense of free will to take hold.
This is why school can be detrimental. If one is ordered around, dictated to and forced to learn irrelevant facts for the sake of grades ... not allowed to have a social life, expected to do home work eight hours a day AFTER school ...
meaningless meandering becomes rather vital don't you think?
Kathryn, some children meander because of rebellion of being constantly pushed and organized by their parents. Then, there are children who are simply unmotivated to do anything. They are, in the words of my late father, have no initiative nor get up and go. They always have to be prodded to do. My father took a very dim view on children who are unmotivated or as he would say lazy. He believed as a parent, children must be constantly pushed to achieve. He contended that pushy parents makes for highly successful children. He did not believe in letting children meander. He admired children who were high achievers, but detested children who were not.
I was taught to be highly self-motivated by both parents. I was further taught that one must achieve and be highly successful. I also read books on child and educational psychology. I studied those two subjects in college. I also interacted with children and teens who were highly self-motivated and those who unfortunately were unmotivated.
How many children do you have and how successful are they per your standard?
What do you think my standard is?
What I did is allow both of my children a sense of their true selves. For instance, I never had to tell my daughter to do her homework. She was completely and naturally willing to do it. In fact, she graduated high school a year early.
I allowed my children to tap into their true selves 100%.
Their selves were not shut down.
Both of them have flourished beyond my wildest dreams.
Well done! Sounds like you have a lovely family.
I guess I should have been clearer that I meant to ask GMWilliams how many children she has and if they met her standards of success since she is always brings up the topic of child rearing and her various opinions on it.
Don't forget, its not only about school for your children:
Its not only about their social lives:
their school dances
Its not only about their sports:
their team successes
Don't forget their inner lives:
their innate talents
their intrinsic motivations
As they mature, these become:
their self chosen goals
Dr. Montessori advocated respecting the inner lives of children where joy of life percolates.
I am not against school at all, but a child should never feel forced to learn.
<"Then, there are children who are simply unmotivated to do anything. They are, in the words of my late father, have no initiative nor get up and go. They always have to be prodded to do.">
I actually disagree.
I really do.
How about if we change that to "They always have to be prodded to do [b]what they aren't interested in doing"? Would that not be the norm then? And what children are interested in doing is generally not what is considered to be "successful".
No, there ARE children who have no iota of initiative who MUST be prodded to be productive. They would rather watch television all day than to do anything productive such as study and participate in constructive activities. There are children such as those. It is the responsibility of parents to motivate, even push such children to be productive or they will fall through the cracks. Parents have to be authoritative in that regard.
Children can become addicted to TV. They can also become addicted to computer screens and games. They can become addicted to us, others and screens! It seems to be human nature to get addicted to the outer. This fact is why it is so important to set boundaries. Boundaries are for the purpose of guiding children toward their inner lives / true selves.
It is a worthy challenge for ourselves as well.
I don't necessarily disagree, but...what is "productive"? Learning to earn more money than others? Learning how to climb the social ladder and join the popular club in school? Developing a work ethic leading to 80 hour work weeks and no time for family?
Or learning the love only a family can provide? Learning self sufficiency? Learning to play the piano or create computer games?
What is "productive"? For that is often the question.
I think she went to bed, wilderness,
Here is my answer.
The child should be allowed to tune into his soul (inward) rather than be bombarded with the pressures of society/parents/teachers, (outward.)
Some people resist their bombastic upbringing and eventually follow the beat of their own drums. Others don't. As adults, how they live their lives should be according to be their own choices, but some NEVER tune into their self-guided free will. Their's is a wasted life. And I know people like this.
Q. What is productive?
A. What ever one thinks is productive.
It becomes rather a bit difficult to motivate children to do anything productive when their parents themselves are mildly addicted to TV and computer screens!
That was a joke. However, I think it really begins with schools. If anyone can home-school their children more power to them.
Why a joke? Quite true!
Kids need to be with a body of children. A home-school could be conducted for children of all ages in the neighborhood and lead by a teacher who is guided by the parents and by the state mandates.
(Legal affidavits allowing home-schooling must be signed by the parents.)
Others have had great successes teaching their own children, as I have read in biographies. I tried once, very briefly. Home-schooling parents are saints.
Productive is doing what one is passionate about, cultivating and using one's utmost talents. Living a full life educationally, intellectually, and socioeconomically. In general, living a life that one wants to live without regrets. In essence, being productive is owning life instead of being owned.
1. The Element
("Sir Ken Robinson returns to the RSA to share new thinking on 'The Element' - the point at which natural talent meets personal passion.")
2. The World We Explore
("The World We Explore-- Sir Ken Robinson, Educator. Curiosity encourages us to push boundaries into uncharted territories. Where can our hunger for discovery take us - both outside and inside ourselves?")
Children have so much natural enthusiasm and intelligence. They have brains and they have ambitions. All we have to do is help them develop the skills (progressively as they grow) to survive and let them go! They are humans. Humans use their brains to survive. Fish use their fins … we have way more going on for us as humans than fish do!
Of course, if we spoil or children we are giving them a false sense of reality. We have to be realistic and show them reality according to what they can handle at each stage of childhood development.
I always love the exclamation point, gmwilliams! as if all those zeros aren't enough.
Now, if only parents would listen to us.
Truthfully, they would if they could. Here in CA moms MUST work to survive. It has become up to daycare teachers and teachers to pull the weight of training and guiding our youth toward success!
The topic of children interest me. I care about the most vulnerable members of our society. I do not have children myself but I staunchly believe in the utmost welfare of our precious children. I have interfaced with children since my childhood through friends and family members. I have seen the results that good and bad parenting have on children emotionally, mentally, intellectually, psychologically, and even psychically. Positive environments cause children to achieve, succeed, and..........thrive while negative environments can irreparably, even irrevocably damage children. However, there ARE exceptions-there are children who have the best yet they are unmotivated and unsuccessful while there are children who have nothing or next to nothing yet are highly motivated and successful.
I took courses in child and educational psychology in college. I have read and studied on my own books on child psychology, child motivation, family size, birth order, and other books related to children. To reiterate, I have a very large extended family of cousins-first, second, third, and distant in addition to aunts and uncles to observe the results of good and poor parenting practices. I also had friends in that regard.
It would make a very interesting book if you could write it all down while revealing your point of view!!!
Hopefully, I will write some books on various topics and interest before I pass into immortality!
Okay. Now you are asking to be pushed: (through encouragement, not force. )
There is hope, wish and will. I hope to someday write a book … I wish I would someday ... NO! Say, "I WILL write a biography regarding the children in my life and how their lives were influenced by their environments. Who knows, it might even make a great movie!
Well, how about a Hub?
Anyway, I would love to read it.
If you don't have your own children and grand children to raise up and you don't work with other people's children (as a teacher, social worker, or nanny for example) then do you volunteer your time or donate to local programs that help children?
I did when I was younger. Also I have cousins, relatives, and friends who have children and I interact with them. As a child, I had a friend spend time with me. She came from a dysfunctional home where her parents were not involved in her life at all. She generally had to raise herself. I also interfaced with children who were/are very high achievers. To say that they are overachievers is an understatement. The latter are highly self-motivated, they want to do and achieve. Thank you for asking and have a lovely night.
Yes, there is a timing factor. This is why mothers, fathers, teachers and daycare workers need to understand what stage a child is at. For example, a four year old will not be interested in balancing a checkbook, but will be quite interested in dealing with money in the concrete. In Montessori schools there is an activity called the bank game where various amounts of money are experienced, (through a specific process involving sensorial manipulation.)
Geometry, math, reading, writing and art through abstract designing are very interesting to three and four year olds! Montessori discovered children of this age would rather work with the didactic materials she had designed for their intellectual understanding/growth than play with toys.
- when I was in college, I would hear girls say they were Child Development majors. I would pity them so much.
I grew up babysitting, teaching and loving children, but I sure didn't want to make a career of it. Life, however, has led me down this path … (gee, cuz I am a female after all.)
And now I'm planning on going back to school to get a degree (or certificate, its cheaper) in Early Childhood Development.
I think the field should be referred to as Human Development.
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