We all want our kids to be ok in life. Get a job, find a spouse, be happy, be healthy.
The problem is that the world’s advice for helping your child find success is to go to school, get A’s, go to a top university, get top marks, get a great job, get a mortgage, etc etc etc.
All of the above is wrong. School is not important. University is not important. A job is definitely not important.
The world is changing. Twenty years from now the most valuable opportunities in the world will be for those people who understand how to solve problems.
The first step in solving problems is to not panic when confronted with a challenge. Then you need to tackle the problem without the fear of failure. If you fail on your first attempt, you need to keep trying, by yourself. No one else will help you with your problem.
School doesn’t teach you this. School teaches you that the world is ordered and predictable and if you memorise your homework you can get an A for your test. School teaches you that failing is bad. School teaches you that being friends with the cool kids in crucial to success.
School is important, but it won’t prepare your child for the real world. Only you can do that.
The good news is there’s help at hand. Technology is doing your job for you. Video games alone are teaching children more about problem solving and failure than most parents could on their own.
All you need to do is give your kids your undivided attention for a couple hours every day. Give your kids the love of reading. Give your kids the Internet.
If your kids are smart they’ll do well at school and go to a top university. They’ll start life with a safety net.
If you raise them as entrepreneurs then they’ll enter the real world able to confront uncertainty and solve their own problems.
And maybe they can look after you in your retirement.
(much of this was gleaned from listening to the legendary Seth Godin)