Parenting Information

How to Put Your Kids (Or Grandkids) On the Fast Track to Success

Working with adults (as well as children and teens) for the past 12 years I have noticed that there are just a few primary struggles that most adults face. I also see how better training as a child and teen could have given them the skills and attitudes that would have prevented the problems that they now face.

The primary areas adults struggle with are

1. Money, primarily debt

2. Lack of disciple, or the inability to do what they want to do, be it weight, money, work etc.

3. Relationships

As I see it, much of the way we live our lives is groomed as we grow up. And while we can certainly change, it is harder to do the older we get. This can cut both ways: If we are taught correctly we have a high chance of succeeding as adults and if we are taught poorly, there is a high chance that we will continue those poor habits into adulthood and face many difficulties.The good news? We can put our kids on the fast track to success by diligently applying some basic success skills. To get you started, I've brainstormed some ways you can head off your children's problems years before they face them. Here we go!

To have successful relationships:

Show them unconditional love. No matter what, we are to welcome and love our children. This does not mean that we won't get mad at them from time to time or that we won't discipline them when they cross the line. It means that we will always accept them and treat them with the respect they deserve as human beings, no matter what they have done. It means we do not hold grudges against them. We can disagree or even verbally tangle, but then we bury the hatchet and accept one another.

Teach them manners. There are acceptable ways of behaving. Unfortunately, many people today do not know them! Teach your children how to behave so that others are treated well and do not have to put up with our misbehavior. Why? Because they won't put up with it anyway. Many people will simply write you off and never tell you why.

Help them learn to forgive. Most of the relationship problems I work with boil down to this: The people simply will not forgive one another and continue to hold past wrongs against the other person. Here is the fact, and you have to teach this to your kids: People will wrong you. It is what we do with that and how we react that will determine the health of the relationship in the future.

Help them to be able to focus on and serve others. Many parents make their kid feel like they are the center of the universe. One problem with this: They aren't! The world doesn't revolve around your kids and they can't get their way all of the time. What happens later on in life when little Johnny (who was the center of the universe growing up) marries little Suzie (The center of another universe growing up)? You got it, problems! Now they have to share a universe! Instead we should teach our children to help others. We should teach them to consider other people's interests as more important than our own.

To have successful finances:

Make them EARN money. Sure you can give your kids money - we do. But we should also teach them to earn money. We should give them opportunity to earn money. I don't think a kid should get an allowance for doing chores. Chores are the responsibility of being part of the family. But you can give them extra jobs so they can understand fully the hard work they put in and appreciate the value of the money they receive. This will cause them to handle it better.

Have them give money away. Greed works its wonders on some of the nicest people. That is what I have found. And the best way to break greed is to give money away. Our children give away 10% of every dollar they get. This builds generosity into their hearts. We have been doing it so long that it is just a part of them. How can you be greedy about something you are giving away? And when you give it away you can see the good that it does to the people and organizations you help. (One side story: When my son was younger and got one dollar a week in allowance he would give a dime away. He suggested it would be a good thing if he started getting two dollars - because then he would be able to give two dimes away. I don't know if he was being generous or shrewd!)

Teach them about investing. Yesterday I sat in the car explaining the law of supply and demand with my ten year old. Now he knows what something is "worth." Now he knows why Beanie Babies are so expensive but a very efficient way of separating poor investors from their money. My kids hear about the old guns and butter theory (Guns represent items that appreciate and butter represents the things that melt away. Invest in appreciating assets and you can have all the butter you want later on. Invest in butter and you won't ever have the guns.) These are basic principles that will allow your kids to be financially secure and not strapped later on. They will be the lender and not the borrower.

Teach them to delay self-gratification. I touched on this in the last point. If we teach our kids to delay gratification, they can put themselves into a financial position wherein they can actually afford the item they want rather than put themselves into debt or a precarious position to get it. Besides, half the time when they wait, they don't want it in three weeks!

Teach them to never have any debt! No debt. Never. Period. Nada. Never, ever, ever. Pay cash or wait. Okay, did I get that through? Now let me be a little more temperate. Debt has created more problems I have dealt with than just about any other issue. Marriage problems, emotional problems, work problems, spiritual problems, and physical problems. We should engrain it into our kid's heads that the only acceptable debt is a home mortgage and they should be conservative with that and even pay cash if they can! I hear you, "But I can't get the car I want!" Too bad! See the guns and butter theory above! Your kids will visit your grave every week with flowers after you are gone if you love them and teach them to avoid debt.

To help them be successful in discipline:

Have them do certain tasks/chores on a regularly scheduled basis. Discipline is, well, a discipline. Teach your kids to make their beds every morning. Or do wash every Monday. Or mow the lawn every Saturday morning. Building schedules builds disciplined people who do not procrastinate, who are methodical and who are diligent. These are the people who succeed.

Let them experience discipline and consequences. Consequences are the greatest teachers! Many people who I see fail are people who have never suffered consequences. I know a gentleman who couldn't hold a job. His employers were going to fire him. He was always late and couldn't be relied upon - even by his friends. You never knew if he was telling the truth. One day I was talking to him and he said that he had never been punished or disciplined! The light went on! I finally understood. You know the old saying, "Spare the rod and spoil the child?" I say, spare the rod and you'll raise a criminal! You may not want to let little Johnny experience the pain of consequences, but his boss will let him feel it 20 years from now! Prepare him for success now by making him realize that if he doesn't do what is right, he will spend a lot of time in his room or he will miss out special things. He will grow up to be the most relied upon person in his office and he'll be the boss one day.

Don't protect them from losing. I coached little league football one year. It just so happens we were the youngest team in the league and we were terrible. One game we were getting beat 55-0 with about five minutes to play and I was getting screamed at by an irate parent. I turned to them and said, "You know. I learned some of my best lessons in 55-0 losses. I took a few of them in my athletic career, and I handed a few out too!" Sometimes we win in life, sometimes we lose. We need to learn what it feels like to lose and then get right back out there. It will prepare your kids much better to lose until they win legitimately than to win all the time. I remember one basketball game when I was on my way to about thirty points and a parent from the other team was screaming about it. My brother, who is 13 years older than me told the guy to sit down because I had earned all those point because of how many basketball thrashings I had taken at his hands through the years. Losing made me better!

Teach them to eat right and exercise. Many people struggle with their weight and it is usually because we learned bad habits as kids. We weren't that overweight when we were younger but as our metabolism slows it catches up with us. Teach your kids basic nutritional information. Teach them how Candy bars plus milk shakes plus no exercise equals trouble! When we go to the health club our kids can swim and play all they want in the pool - as soon as they finish their laps!

Teach them to make tough decisions and learn to say "no." The most powerful word in the world! We should teach our children to understand what is the most important - their priorities - and say "no" to everything else. So many people get themselves into trouble and overextended because they do not have the discipline to say "no." The reality is that you will act on an agenda - either yours or someone else's. Saying "no" enables you to stay on track. Teach them to make tough decisions because it is what is right or because it will be better in the long run, rather than on how it will make them feel.

Encourage them to risk failure and try new things. I have met so many people who were always taught to play it safe. And guess what? They are playing it safe, leading, as the quote says, "Lives of quiet desperation." Teach your kids to try new things and give them the opportunity to do so. Help them see the bigger picture when they fail, like what they can learn from the situation so they can win the next time. It is the people who risk failure and try new things who change the world and lead the lives they want to!

Pitch the TV. Okay, my soapbox: Get rid of the television. If you have to have the one-eyed monster in the house just get a monitor so you can watch videos from time to time. I haven't had a TV for 12 years - and I LOVE IT! My kids are healthy, sociable, well-adjusted, smart kids. They have creative imaginations because they have to picture everything themselves rather than rely on someone else's interpretation. They read many grade levels above where they are. They have time to do all sorts of things that they want to because they have an extra 20 hours a week (1040 hours a year) that other kids their age don't! Someday I am going to write a book on benefits and reasons to get rid of the TV because the fact is you will be much better off without it than you are with it! And so will your kids!

About The Author:

Chris Widener is a popular speaker and writer as well as the President of Made for Success, a company helping individuals and organizations turn their potential into performance, succeed in every area of their lives and achieve their dreams.

To see Chris "live" at the upcoming Jim Rohn Weekend Event as he speaks on the subject of Secrets of Influence go to or call 800-929-0434.

Home and Family:Parenting Articles from
03/15/2018 08:20 AM
When Separation Anxiety Kicks in Post the Baby's Birth
It is heartbreaking to see the tears rolling down the cheeks of your baby when leaving her at preschool or to your babysitter. The scene repeats every day, and it wrecks heavily upon your emotional well- being as well as your baby's.
03/06/2018 08:07 AM
My Epic Diaper Failure
Everybody poops. But babies have a special power, I guess. Well, that's the only thing that they can do, apart from eating of course, and we all did the same when we were babies too.
03/06/2018 08:07 AM
Play: Why Is It Important?
Children are like clay. At the young tender age, they tend to mould themselves based on their interaction with the world around them, just as a lump of clay does.
03/05/2018 09:54 AM
A List of the Baby Care Products for Happy Parenting
When searching the creative toys and baby carriers or slings to care your baby, it recommends looking for the options just introduced to the modern market. There are so many baby care options introduced to keep your baby healthy, engaged and comfortable.
02/26/2018 10:59 AM
Baby Bottle Feeding Advice and Guideline
Congratulations. You are new MOM and need to know how to feed a newborn baby guideline and tips. Follow the advice and feed your baby nicely.
02/23/2018 03:31 PM
Whether to Give Your Baby Vitamins
Parents know that the growing years of a baby has its own challenges. Everyone wants the child to grow healthy, strong and fit. And when it comes to the food and vitamins intake of your baby, you'll probably get to hear varying views from everyone you encounter.
02/16/2018 02:22 PM
Things I Consider Inevitable As a Parent in 2018
1. I don't put much stock in New Year's resolutions, but I do see January as a month for new starts. The new year is filled with new opportunities and challenges.
01/24/2018 02:19 PM
How to Get Your Child to Read More
How do I get my daughter to read more?' The mother sitting across from me is not the first parent to ask me this question. In fact I would go so far as to say that as a tutor, it is one of the most common questions asked by parents looking to boost their child into the next grade level or help them achieve that extra 10% or get them into the best grammar school.
01/24/2018 08:43 AM
How Parental Involvement Affects Student Achievement
Parental involvement is often seen as a cornerstone of a child's education. It can make a considerable difference to your child's school life, both in academic success and in general enjoyment at school.
01/18/2018 02:20 PM
A Daughter's Love
This letter is to all the "daddies" out there who strive to show up for their families every day. We are looking forward to seeing you show up.
01/15/2018 04:04 PM
4 Ways to Raise Optimistic Children
It's easy to get sucked into negativity these days, but you don't have to. Raise your children to be optimistic by teaching them how to look on the bright side of things, because positive children are happier in life and more well-adjusted.
01/13/2018 09:39 AM
Why Are So Many Teenagers Getting Depressed?
Why is teen depression and suicide is escalating? Anti-depressants might help, but not always. What can parents do?
01/12/2018 10:22 AM
Are You Shouting at Your Kids? Know What It Does To Them
Most parents resort to shouting at their children when they don't seem to listen. But what does it do to them? Read what the Psychologist say on how to handle Kids without actually shouting at them. Let's just agree, no one likes yelling. It could seem like the right thing to do for your kid at that time, but it'll always make you feel bad later. Also, it does not seem to work on the children, too. They'll be back at what made you mad in the first place in no time. So, if we as parents know that yelling is not yielding any real results, why do we do it anyway?
01/10/2018 11:21 AM
Holiday Tips for Recently Divorced Families
Having difficulties with your kids during the holidays after a divorce. These tips may help.
12/19/2017 10:07 AM
Is Too Much Screen Time Bad for Speech and Language Development?
This is the 2nd article in the series "The Impact of Technology on Childhood Development." If you missed the 1st article, it covered the Hidden Hazards of Blue Light and Digital Devices on Kids Eyes. My friend's three and a half year old was showing signs of delayed speech development. As parents, they did what any concerned parent would do and took him to their pediatrician.
12/08/2017 04:04 PM
Tenderness at a Child's Rebuke
AS I read a story to my son during his bedtime routine, I received a sharp albeit respectful rebuke. All I had said was the street, "Riverbank Close." It did happen to be "Riverbank Rise," so he simply said, "Riverbank Rise!" to which I said, "Yes, that's what I said," not thinking. "No," he said, "you said Riverbank Close!" "Yes," I said, having given it further thought, "you're right, I did get it wrong." There was no gloating in him as he heard me say that, just the body language of thankfulness that he had been heard.
12/04/2017 03:24 PM
Does Technology Benefit Young Children's Education?
Parents battle with their kids with their use of tablets, mobile phones, TV, and streaming services. How can a parent balance a child's use of technology with education?
12/04/2017 11:22 AM
Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month Is Throughout the Year Because It Must Be
In any year lately, Mental Illness Awareness is announced for various conditions. Borderline Personality Disorder will be on the increase in 2017 and 2018, and this means a lot of adult children away from home will be struggling with reality itself in struggling with powerful mood swings. Borderline Personality Disorder - BPD - strikes many young adults in their mid-twenties.
11/26/2017 10:15 AM
Precious Little Moments, Surreal Little Wonders
"MUM, when I'm an adult I want to marry you," I heard my son say to my wife as I washed dishes and she helped him brush his teeth for bed. In that moment I wondered what her response would be. I was curious. Then I heard her say, "Sorry darling, but you can only be married to one person, and Mum is married to Dad." Then I chimed in and said, "But you could marry someone like Mum." The conversation continued for a few more moments, but we could tell these concepts were hard for him to absorb. But he was absorbed!
11/23/2017 07:33 AM
When to Expect Those First Words
Babies do not start talking instantly. It is a series of phases of hearing, grasping, speaking and understanding! The first time when the child speaks something understandable such as mama or dada, parents are undoubtedly excited but a little disappointing fact is that they don't really mean it and they don't know the meaning of words that they just spoke.
11/20/2017 08:23 AM
When Will Your Baby Understand a "No"?
Parents try to answer every call, and their attempts would be always positive to satisfy the baby with a "Yes". However, it is essentially not possible for all parents under the sky to satisfy the baby every time. No matter how resourceful the parents are, there are certain phases where they have to restrict their children with a "no" for the best interest of their child.
11/19/2017 10:00 AM
The Greatest Gift to Give a Child - Teach Empathy
SITTING with a little girl in tears, Aaron, himself just a little boy, doesn't say a word. He just sits there with her, trying to imagine how she feels. She soon felt a little better.
11/10/2017 09:11 AM
If Wishes Were Horses, And Clicks Were Purchases
Single parents juggle with multiple responsibilities primary being managing finances and being by their kid, ensuring they have access to all amenities of a healthy development. While there are problems there are solutions as well. We delve into the subtle emotions of a single mom, peeping into her desires.
10/27/2017 03:31 PM
12 Reasons Exercise for Kids Is Beneficial for Growth and Development
If someone had told me, when I was a kid, to stare at a screen for 4 hours instead of play outside, I would have told them to stick it where the sun don't shine! I ran a lot as a kid, as did all my friends. We were in constant motion running through the fields, to the woods, over the creek, onto the tennis court, through the pond, under the bridge... It was not the norm to watch TV all day; it was just not done in our household. Being outside was our playground, and we wanted to be moving.
10/26/2017 03:04 PM
How Technology Affects Children
Over the past few decades, technology has completely changed every aspect of our society, beginning from how we work to how we socialize and everything else in between. Technology has helped mankind with many advancements and comforts, but it also presents with some adverse consequences for our children. Technology does have many benefits for learning, but it can also have many negative effects in the development of a child.
10/25/2017 10:12 AM
Is Teaching Critical Thinking Skills Important?
Children need to be thinking for themselves and asking the what now follow up question; these skills are what employers today and tomorrow are looking for. The ability to analyze a situation or problem is important skills that demand from employers will only grow as we continue to adopt technology throughout our lives.
10/16/2017 12:15 PM
The Former CEO of Panera Bread Teaches Us a Few Lessons About Parenting
The article profiles the former CEO of Panera. His rise to success in the business world reveals-though unintended- some valuable strategies for parents.
10/13/2017 10:03 AM
How to Keep Your Kids Safe in Playgrounds
Check out the playgrounds where your children play. Look for hazards such as rusty or damaged racks and dangerous surfaces. Report all dangers to the school or the local authority that the playground has.
10/11/2017 01:00 PM
Forced Family Fun
When was the last time you unplugged, created a family adventure and experienced conversation and bonding together in a setting atypical of everyday life? Be courageous, implement Forced Family Fun, make it a habit; everyone who participates is a winner!
10/11/2017 12:59 PM
It's Flipping Awesome!
As savvy parents of the only children who don't own smartphones we discovered a hi-tech solution to keep our teens' social lives in tact. It's flipping awesome!
10/11/2017 08:26 AM
Tips for Getting Back Into the Homework Routine
Does the thought of doing homework make your kids cringe? It can hit everyone in the family hard, especially when it's still early in the school year, so find out the best ways to approach the often-dreaded subject of homework.
10/11/2017 08:26 AM
Create Effortless Back to School Routines
We know kids thrive on routine, so how do we harness their energy to create effortless back to school routines? Begin with easy checklists and rewards to help take the pressure off Mom and Dad!
10/09/2017 10:33 AM
Parenting With Empathy
Giving your children room to do as they are capable. This builds trust and empowers them. How do you convey to your girls and boys that you were once where they are without taking the wheel out of their hands.?
10/06/2017 10:44 AM
What Are The Signs That Your Teenage Kids Are In A Lonely State?
This article deals with teenage kids during emotional trouble. It is knowing some points on how to reach out for them.
10/05/2017 08:18 PM
A Kindness Honored
We should see all gestures of kindness and generosity as being significant, however small or insignificant they might seem to us. Sometimes all a person needs is an opportunity to realize the potential that is within them. Here's a true, historic account of the dividends a gesture of kindness has the potential to pay.
10/04/2017 03:25 PM
Outsourcing Child Rearing to India
I am an Indian male who has lived in America for almost 20 years. My wife gave birth to our first son in July 2015 in a Govt. hospital in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh in India. Our second son was also born in the same hospital in March 2017. It was a deliberate choice on our part to have our kids born and raised in India. Many people, when they hear it, wonder why? So, let me tell you my story.
10/03/2017 08:10 AM
How to Explain an Arrest of a Loved One to Children
An arrest in the family can be quite traumatic for multiple members. Learn some helpful tips about explaining the arrest and/or absent of a jailed parent or family member.
09/27/2017 10:34 PM
Two Tips to Help Busy Parents Declutter, Tidy Up and Get Organized, Even With the Help of Your Kids
So if you have children in your home the entire day, every day, the sorts who stay home and homeschool, you can surely empathize with me when I say getting my house neat and tidy most days is no easy task. And because of homeschooling there is always the need to have other people's children in the home, too because the kids do after all need social time. Building friendships is an important aspect of growing up and being social in society, right?
09/25/2017 11:35 AM
Don't Be One Of Those Sports Parents
My wife and I married in our mid-thirties. Over the next five years, we had three sons. When our boys were young, we had no real desire to go anywhere or do anything unless it involved our family. Traveling and entertainment were a low priority unless it involved a Disney character, the Power Rangers and the like. My serious passions such as hunting and fishing were put on hold until my boys were old enough to go with me. We were old in comparison to most parents.
09/25/2017 10:04 AM
Adults Teaching Children: The Legitimization of Bullying
When I was in Grade 4, I struggled with an ability to read, especially when asked to read in front of the class. I wasn't dyslexic but I was quite shy, and not at all confident about my intellectual abilities relative to my peers. Unfortunately, I had a teacher who, I discovered many years later, had a reputation for being a bully that extended far beyond the city of Winnipeg where I lived for that one terrible year.
09/22/2017 08:32 AM
Television Makes You Average
Television will destroy you. No joke. Tell me if this describes you: you get home from work, turn on the television, fall asleep with the television on, and wake up with it on. American adults average watching over five hours of television per day (John Koblin, New York Times).
09/20/2017 12:01 PM
Keep Kids Safe Online, Step Two: Learning To Not Overshare
Oversharing is often a problem with young people on the internet and social media. They feel safe behind a screen and therefore don't always take the steps necessary to protect themselves on. This is a breakdown of the steps I took to teach my tween daughter to think about and turn off GPS location and MetaData in photos and consider the contents of her photos and the possible dangers of oversharing.
09/18/2017 03:25 PM
Tips for Your Child's Happy Bedtime
Is your child's bedtime your most dreaded time of the day? Sometimes it's just good to take a step back, remove yourself from the emotion of it to get an objective view. Here are a couple tips you may find helpful.
09/15/2017 10:03 AM
Fun Ways to Spend Time With Your Children
There are many exciting activities that you can do with your child. It is important for several reasons, including strengthening your parent-child bond. You are also giving your kids a way to explore the world around them
09/12/2017 08:59 PM
Don't Wait to Start on a College Savings Plan
Outside of retirement and purchasing a home, there may be no more important financial goal that requires preparation than your children's higher education tuition. While saving for college may seem daunting, planning early and saving thoughtfully can make the goal more attainable for many parents. Here are four steps that can help along the way.
09/12/2017 08:58 PM
Financial Planning for Adult Children With Special Needs
If you're a parent of a child with special needs, you've likely dedicated much of your life to researching, providing and advocating for the best care for your child. So naturally, you may worry about what will happen when you are no longer able to supervise your child's care due to declining health, illness or death. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help ensure your child has sufficient financial resources along with a dedicated support system.
09/01/2017 09:56 AM
Top Incredible Breastfeeding Facts
Being a "Mother" is an incredible experience of a lady. You have heard your grandmother saying that "when a lady becomes a mother, she not only gives birth to a child but also her own new life takes birth".
08/31/2017 08:08 AM
What Do You Mean, My Child's Not Brilliant?
EXPECTATIONS are tricky things. When we expect bad news it never seems so bad, but, of course, we get it mostly when we least expect it.
08/28/2017 10:13 AM
The Hidden Hazards of Digital Devices and Blue Light on Kid's Eyes
Imagine it's 2035 and you get a call from your son who proceeds to inform you that, at the young age of 32, he's going blind as a result of macular degeneration. Your immediate thought is how is this possible? Macular degeneration is a disease of the old. It is not a disease for young, vibrant people in the midst of their careers, just starting a family, and buying and furnishing their first home. This cannot be possible... Your son explains that all of the years playing with your iPhone in a restaurant and playing "educational" games on the tablet you bought him when he was 3, have damaged his eyes. Blue light emitted from these devices was the cause.
08/24/2017 08:45 PM
How Business Management Mirrors Parenthood
I accepted my first managerial position at the tender age of 24, a mere babe, and a full two years before I became a father. Placed in charge of a diverse accounting department of eight employees, it was a daunting period, to state it mildly. Gaining the respect of people much older and with much longer tenure was a challenge that I accepted with open arms, however.

home | site map |