As a Mother I feel that the majority of the time I need to put my children’s needs and wants before mine.
It can vary from taking food off my plate to feed them if they’re still hungry to sacrificing sleep because of nightmares to just being there to soothe them even when I know I have heaps of things piling up on the to-do-list.
But… there are important times when I need to push my agenda first before my kids.
I would like to talk about my goal to raise independent Bulletproof kids.
I read this awesome article from Chris Sacca who grew up in New York and his parents practised ‘Sweet & Sour’ school holidays.
During the “Sweet” part of the school holidays Chris’ parents organised some nice experiences like sitting in a court room, being in an office-type job with an uncle and observing what it was like to work in that environment.
The remaining part of the holidays was known as the “Sour” experience. For example Chris was thrown into some waste management jobs with family friends and his parents advised them to give him the worst of the worst duties to manage.
Chris was probably in early high school at that time so roughly 11-12yo and he reported how that experience shaped his way of thinking and how he looks at people, work and the world at a larger extent.
You see, he valued BOTH the white and blue collar experiences.
The hard work of digging troughs and unplugging smelly pipes but enjoying the benefits of doing manual work and being outdoors. He also felt the benefits of being indoor and in a nice air conditioned facility but saw how stressed his uncle was with dealing with customers.
After reading that piece by Chris Sacca it has shaped my own thoughts and ideas as I’m mostly optimistic about how the future will be for our children.
For example, I see improvements in technology as a positive thing. Yes there are dangers and dodgy things lurky around the web but I still feel there’s so much good that outweighs the bad.
Having information readily on hand by searching Google, or trying to find out more information by watching a Youtube video or reading reviews on a product or service makes things very easy for us.
Most little kids I come across have no problems unlocking a phone, flicking across the homepage and then selecting the right App for them to play on! I’m sure most children are exactly the same 🙂
So if little 2-3yo are already navigating iPhones and iPads imagine what they are watching and learning by the time they’re in middle primary school?
By the time they are 7-8yo these young kids will be well informed or are skilled enough to research things to help themselves!
I feel they will already start forming an idea of their place in the world and how the world really ‘works’. Wow what a world we live in now 😉
So it is with that in mind I would like to plan little ‘Sweet & Sour’ experiments with my own kids as they grow because they are growing so quick already!
I have previously mentioned that we plan to send our own children overseas for part of their education here. That will take some time to plan with the help of family and friends we can action that.
In the mean time I would be looking to chalk up a list of ‘Sweet’ and ‘Sour’ experiences for the kids 😉 I know that sometimes the kids half expect to be entertained when it’s school holidays – definitely want to avoid that as best we can!
One final point I would like to touch on is the future and our children.
The job landscape is changing so much as technology is disrupting some really big players. I mean, Facebook collects and publishes news like a newspaper but it doesn’t own or produce any of the content, Airbnb offers accommodation without owning any property, Uber offers a ride sharing service challenging the business model of taxis – all that without owning any fleet of cars.
At the everyday level there’s companies like Xero that help with simplifying accounting for small businesses, robots improving the manufacturing efficiency and I even saw an article about how newly trained doctors should avoid some fields of practice because computer software is removing the human error element!
Again, I would like to highlight that I’m OPTIMISTIC about the future and that there are so many opportunities for our children.
My thoughts are that if we can offer our children a lot of different experiences when they are at an impressionable age both locally and overseas then they can come up with solutions to improve our future and make it a better place – for everyone!
Here are some examples off the top of my head for my own kids:
- Eme has uncles working on the railways and her experience there may inspire her to create a solution for improved public transport
- Ky has another uncle who is a doctor and he may be inspired to help kids with cancer
- Eme might spend time with her auntie who is a make up artist and photographer and find out how to serve customers really well
- Ky might enjoy listening and playing music and with the help of another uncle he can learn about how to be a musician
- Eme might be affected by volunteering overseas that she wants to help people gain access to clean drinking water
- Ky might figure out that he’ll make a better plumber then an academic scholar and decide to learn a trade rather then pursue University
- Eme might really enjoy another culture and want to learn the language
- Ky might be really good at playing video games and wants to explore software engineering
- Eme might show some interest in operating big machinery and being outdoors
- Ky might enjoy eating food so much that he wants to be a chef
The list goes on!
This post may come across as wishful thinking but I have to be honest it is something both Leki and I think and talk about all the time.
In these uncertain times the best we can do as a parents is raise children who are respectful and resilient – Bulletproof Kids 🙂
Food for thought.