What is Leading Your Child to Success All About?
Since the beginning of time, all parents have wanted the best for their family and children. The resources they have available to fulfill that aspiration and the environment in which families live may be very different, but the desire remains the same … to raise successful children.
Over the past several years, the challenge in ensuring success has increased significantly—not for lack of desire but because of the ever-changing environment. At Birth2Work we provide parents, grandparents, and caregivers a portfolio of concepts, tools, and measures that help them guide the path of their family and their children forward.
When parents have a portfolio of options, and when they take on the role of leaders for their family, their family succeeds and their children succeed. Our objective is to help parents lead their family to success.
Birth2Work was created as an organization focused on aligning stakeholder leaders of individual communities to understand the challenges of preparing children for the workforce of the future. For nearly a decade, Birth2Work focused on that objective by conducting seminars and workshops around the country. Interactive and engaging, these workshops provided insight, information, and knowledge gathered and integrated from over 40 years of research, working with industry associations, national not-for-profit organizations, colleges and universities, school districts, medical experts, media, and government agencies.
Like most activities and actions, there are desired outcomes and opportunities for improvement. The desired outcomes included alignment and agreement about the key issues and opportunities for creating the workforce of the future. What we concluded, however, was that when parents provide leadership within their family—understanding how children develop, setting expectations, modeling the behavior that they want their children to have, and most importantly, engaging and interacting with their children on a regular and ongoing basis—their children will be successful no matter what goes on around them.
We concluded that when parents lead, children succeed.
Foundational Concepts and Principles
In addition to believing that “When Parents Lead, Children Succeed,” we believe that the foundation for success starts from the day that child is born, not when they enter school. Pretend you have a new square of clay put in front of you. It’s right out of the box. This clay will probably last about 85 years, in which time it will constantly be pushed, redefined, and changed. But who in those 85 years will have the most impact upon it? The very first person who spends time shaping it. Likewise, the greatest influence on a child is the person who spends the most time interacting and engaging with them from the day they are born.
Further, while digital devices are clearly pervasive in society and schools are using them as learning tools starting from an early age, the research data is showing more and more that it has a negative impact on developing capable and creative minds, while rendering adolescents fearful and depressed emotionally. Early engagement with digital devices is not the way to success, but rather a limiter in developing capable and caring children. What is far better to learn are the capabilities our children learn from us when we engage with them so that they can understand body language and intent behind human interaction.
Emotional capability is one of the most important skills that employers want when hiring new employees into the workforce. Those who have competencies and the ability to interact with others, work in teams, and the ability to ask questions and learn from experience are far more likely to succeed in life than those who immerse themselves in the digital world.
To support that engagement, in the Leading Your Child to Success course, Birth2Work instructors Elane V. Scott and Rick Stephens walk parents through a portfolio of tools. Much like a portfolio used in establishing a financial portfolio to diversify investments so that you have the best financial outcomes, Leading Your Child to Success has four key elements in its portfolio that include:
We want children to become caring and engaged adults with appropriate expectations and capabilities when they leave home.
The success of our children requires that parents make decisions about the environment in which children learn and grow and the experiences they have. Further, the interaction and engagement parents have with their children needs to be direct. Human interaction is far more important than engagement with a computer.
Strategies and approaches for how best to invest time and resources in ensuring your children have the values, beliefs, and perspectives that are important for you and your family. There are seven strategies that group into three key areas:
- Parent and Family Alignment
- Building and Engaging the Right Support Team
- Interacting and Exchanging with the Community
The Readiness Profile
The Readiness Profile provides a set of measures from the time a child is born to when they are ready to venture out on their own. Having a way to gain a sense of how children are doing is an important tool for parents so that they can better see how they can help their children succeed as they grow. Children develop in five key ways:
Birth2Work’s course, Leading Your Child to Success, is about providing hands-on, common sense approaches to help parents ensure they know their role as leaders and provide them with the concepts and tools necessary to effectively provide that leadership.
When we’re young we invest countless hours strategizing our college choices and/or professional training. Many people research the car they want to buy for months or years. Most couples start preparing for their wedding day a year or more ahead of time. (For one single day, they spend a year in preparation.) People often get their own retirement portfolios in order to play out and renew over decades. And, of course, parents spend at least nine months preparing for the day their child is to enter the world.
So then you have a fresh cut of clay put in front of you.
What’s your plan?
Investing the time to learn how to proactively parent … truly lead your child … is one of the best investments a human can make. It’s never too early. It’s never too late. Start now.
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Rick Stephens is a co-founder of Birth2Work. With 33 years of experience as a top-level executive at The Boeing Company and having raised four children of his own, he is able to support parents and grandparents by incorporating his knowledge of business, leadership, and complex systems into the family setting. In his “free time” Rick enjoys road biking, scuba diving, visiting his grandkids, and generally trying to figure out which time zone he’s in this week. Read full bio >>