“Part of being a winner is knowing when enough is enough. Sometimes you have to give up the fight and walk away, and move on to something that’s more productive.”
— Donald Trump, entrepreneur, television personality and author.
Donald Trump is not a voice that many parents pay much attention to, but his reputation is much more valued in the business world. I think that much of what he’s saying with this quote applies to us as parents, as much as it’s intended audience of business leaders.
As parents, we hate see our kids struggle to do the things we’re asking them to do. We hate losing and we keep fighting until they do it the ‘right way.’ Too many times we are guilty of continuing to raise the expectations with our kids on the things they struggle with the most. But not every fight is worth the time. The key is to try and remember the big story being written throughout your kids life.
Accepting the reality that they are not great at math may be hard for some of us. It may be hard to admit that your middle kid isn’t the reader that his big brother is, or maybe you’re dealing with that left-handed kid that hates baseball. I’m not suggesting you throw in the towel with your kids progress. I’m suggesting that you evaluate how important what you’re expecting them to do really is. If you’re kid struggles to tell the truth…then keep fighting for honesty. However, if they struggle with something inconsequential, then walk away from what’s not working and find something that could be more productive for their life.
Discover a new talent that maybe doesn’t come as natural to you, but comes seamlessly to him or her. Find those few things that your kid is great at, and jump on that bandwagon. Learn to parent from a perseverance perspective, and step out of the stubborness.
I’ve learned that there’s a big difference between perseverance and stubbornness. Stubbornness involves me forcing things to work, while perseverance requires me to work consistently with what’s already working. Some of the best decisions I’ve made involved saying no to a potential partnership or pulling the plug on a product that wasn’t working.