As a teen, the desire to fit in is incredibly seductive. Incredibly alluring. And as a parent part of our obligation and responsibility is to teach our kids that long-term success trumps short-term popularity.
There are certain things you could do as a teen that would no doubt gain you short-term popularity. But long-term it would go against the things you would want to do. It would go against the things you would want to be known for. And it would go against the future goals that you have for yourself.
So here’s something very practically that you can do. Find out who a role model or inspiration is for your team. It might be someone who’s famous. It might be an aunt or uncle. Who knows who it is? But find out who that person is.
And then what I want you to do with your kid is to go back and look not just at where they are today but go back and look at how they started. Go back and look at early on, what were the choices they made? What were the things they did? What were the sacrifices they made? How many times did they fail?
Probably dozens. And interestingly they did not give up. You see, when your kid has a role model and they just see the end result, they can idolize them. And they can say, oh, they’re so smart and talented and successful. I could never be that. That’s the end result. But when you go and study the origin story, the beginning, that becomes an interesting on-ramp for your kid.
Because this successful person, what their beginning looked like, they were terrified, they were immature, they were insecure, they failed-failed-failed, they did not give up. They made those smart choices. They did not buy into peer pressure, the naysayers, people saying they couldn’t do it. They continually said, here’s something that I want, that is good for me, and I’m going to do whatever it takes possible to get there.
And so by leveraging whoever it is that your kid looks up to and by going back in time and saying, let’s take a look at how they got here, you can increase their understanding of what it takes to succeed and not give in when it gets difficult.