THERE’S A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RAISING KIDS WHO DO THEIR BEST, AND RAISING KIDS THAT FEEL THE PRESSURE TO DO THEIR BEST.
There’s a difference, because that intrinsic motivation is coming from two very different places. And as entrepreneurs, we might be a subset of the parenting population that’s doing more damage than good in this category (I know because I keep messing this one up personally.) We may be preaching one thing while modeling another.
In today’s episode, we’re talking about how this is affecting our kids who are under more pressure than ever and what we can do to raise hard working kids who give it their all because that’s just who they are innately, without feeling like they’re drowning under the weight of having to do it all.
Let’s raise them up right!
IN THIS EPISODE, WE COVER:
[1:51] The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Part of Entrepreneurship
Recently, I was venting to my husband Michael about my endless frustrations with how some things have been going in business and in life. We’ve taken on a lot these last few months and I have felt like I’m working within a pressure cooker. And I did it to myself; I am the one who created this weight that I am under and with each passing minute lately, it’s felt like it’s gotten more intense.
So, I was rambling to him about how I fell short on a goal and how I didn’t like how one of my presentations came out and how I felt like if I had just worked a little harder, we would have better results, and this and that. And he just stopped me in my tracks and said: ”Liz, are you listening to yourself right now? You’re putting so much pressure on yourself. Why can’t you see the wins that we’re having? Why are you just looking for all the ways that you are putting more and more pressure on top of yourself?” And he was so right. I was not only complicit in my own negativity, I was fuel on the fire.
Here’s the cool part and the dangerous part of entrepreneurship. We get to be the boss, right? We get to set the expectations. We get to set the deadlines. We put in the effort and we experience the positive or negative outcomes of those efforts. So, what’s the dangerous part then? Well, we get to set the expectation. And how often do we get that part wrong? How often do we place an expectation on ourselves based on what’s happening in the market, based on what our peers are doing, based on what we think should be the next goal or metric that we hit? That leads to a level of pressure that takes us out of integrity with who we know we’re called to be and how we actually want to live.
[4:11] Businesses are Measured. People are Loved.
How often do we set this expectation and then we hit it, and then we wonder how we could have done even better if we couldn’t hit it that low? There’s no celebration, it’s just finding the holes. So, what’s the big deal with that? Well, aside from the fact that it’s literally putting up a wall between us and joy, us and possibility, it’s also teaching our kids that giving it your all isn’t enough. That hitting the goal means you didn’t set it big enough and not hitting the goal represents you not being good enough.
I was texting with a dear friend of mine, who is the one that just always grounds me, and her response was: “Businesses are measured. People are loved.” When I was venting all those negative thoughts to my husband, I was coming from a place of measuring myself. I wasn’t objectively looking at the numbers, I was looking at those numbers and they were a reflection of me. And that’s a dangerous thing.
Another thing that she said that really stuck with me was: “Validation and truth come from the inside out, not the outside.” I was doing everything from the outside in and if we’re modeling that at home, and that’s how our kids are also being led at school. It’s no wonder that we’re seeing a generation with the highest suicide rates that have ever existed, anxiety, depression, highest levels of achievement with the lowest levels of self-esteem or satisfaction. Kids are getting pressured from every angle and if we are making our home a place where they’re witnessing the defeat that we feel when we’re measuring ourselves by our business metrics, or wins or losses, they take that on, thinking it’s a way to measure themselves.
[9:07] From Development to Detriment?
Sometimes we have to take back those reins with our kids because the expectation placed on our kids is out of control and it’s not serving them. And isn’t that the whole point? If we’re putting our kids in school, or we’re homeschooling, isn’t it for the service and development of our children? At what point does it tip from development to detriment?
We’re measuring them based on their output. We look at their grades, and focus on that one area where they are not getting straight As. In sports, they have to be on the most competitive teams, from super young ages to outperform their peers to even get a shot at playing at a higher level or getting a scholarship. We measure their SAT scores and their IQ but we’re not looking at the things that actually determine what will allow our kids to thrive as adults. Things that we’re measuring right now is allowing them to find success as a student, to get into a college. But why are kids the most educated ever, yet the dumbest ever? Why is this generation of kids, the generation with the least joy, the highest suicide rates, the highest rates of depression and anxiety, the worst relationships? Because we’re measuring things that do not dictate their level of possibility and success as adults. We’re not looking at their EQ (emotional intelligence), we’re not looking at joy, we’re not looking at growth and progress, we’re not looking at their passions being nurtured, we’re not looking at their confidence, we’re not looking at their faith, we’re not looking at their relationships and their abilities to communicate outside of a device where they only know how to send fraction sentences with emojis because they haven’t even learned how to have actual conversations.
All the things that will actually determine how their life shakes out are not even what’s being measured. So, how can we raise kids to work hard and do their best without the pressure of needing to be perfect or needing to perform?
[11:50] What You Can Do
First and foremost is waking up to what we’re modeling as entrepreneurs at home. How are we putting pressure on ourselves? This is one of my biggest struggles.
The second thing is opening the lines of communication with our kids, sharing about the times where we fell short of a goal but how we’re extracting that information and we’re going to step into new possibilities next time. And what good came from it and how it’s not an indicator of our worth or our value. We need to share about the disappointments, but then remind them that that is how we grow.
The third thing is remembering that we are the ones who set the standards for our children, not the schools. You are the one raising your kid, not the school.
The fourth thing is helping your kids really find their spark. Some of these kids are so lost because they’re being forced to be the best in everything and they don’t even care about the things that they’re fighting so hard for. So, help them find the things that light them up so that they can have passions because that brings better quality of life and more joy into their lives. If you need help with this, we have a free tool that we want to give to you. It’s called Raising Luminaries Spark and it’s going to help you really identify the metrics and the things in your kids that they might not be able to identify without some support from their parents.
The final thing is to create metrics that matter for their heart, their confidence, their development and recognize the areas of them in their life that actually represent who they are at the core and how they’re living their purpose and how they’re contributing to the world. It’s not all benchmarks based on what the school says or what society says, you get to recognize what matters in your children.
I hope today’s episode gave you exactly what you needed and that it reroutes us as parents to support our children and take some of the pressure off so that we can help them become who they’re really called to be.
If today’s episode spoke to you, make sure to subscribe and leave us a review. Come connect with me on Instagram at @elizhartke and if there’s a topic, a question or a guest you want to hear on the show or an idea you have for us, just reach out and share that.
We do this for you so the more you tell us the more we can serve!
RESOURCES FROM THIS EPISODE: