Profitable Preparedness Podcast – Episode 49
Raising Resilient Kids
Where we help hardworking people in the preparedness community break out of corporate America to live a totally free life.
On today’s podcast we would like to discuss raising resilient kids, and how discuss these ideas with your children to actually get them to listen. I know it’s shocking, but kids don’t alway listen to their parents. And, as many of you can attest… Once they become the dreaded teenagers it only gets worse.That false confidence that teenagers have, and the struggle between the independence that they crave and the dependance and support that they still need can climax into bad decision making. Now that I think if it, that feeling that teenagers have of desiring to be free but being forced to conform to rules that they do not agree with sounds familiar. That is the same feeling that inspired Crystal and I to put a plan in place to follow our dreams and not live like everyone else.
While kids fight with their parents, our fight is with the societal norms that have become all too common in our world today. They rebel by staying out late, hanging out with people they shouldn’t and spending money they don’t have for things they don’t need to impress others they shouldn’t care about. Our rebellion is eliminating debt, not being a follower and charting our own course to pursue the lifestyle that we want to live.
Non conformity can feel like a curse when it comes to raising a child, but I remind myself that I am not much different. Non conformity was the stepping stone to many great things… Rock and Roll, the American revolution and tacos.
- Mistakes aren’t all bad: Sometimes when a child deals with adversity or makes mistakes it can seem life altering. It can feel like the world is crumbling down around them. I know some adults that deal with adversity or mistakes the same way. I see mistakes as a shortcut to learn a life changing lesson. If you learn from the mistake made and vow to never repeat it then something good came as a result.
Ideally, trying to avoid permanent mistakes is key. By that we mean ridiculous tattoos, major injuries that are not repairable (I lost my leg), teenage pregnancy, etc. None of these permanent mistakes are a true life sentence… They just limit your options.
- You cannot control what happens to you in life. We get sold a lame bag of good when we are young. You can be anything you want to be… Life is yours for the taking. With all do respect that’s bogus. I mean, technically with some luck, intestinal fortitude, perseverance you can be anything that you want.
The reality is that options is the key. In #1 we mentioned that permanent mistakes limit options. In life the only control that we have is positioning ourselves to take advantage of positive options or avoid negative options. Things will happen that are beyond our control, and there is a fair chance that at some point you will ask yourself how you got where you are. The answer is options. Don’t burn bridges, treat people fairly, work hard and do what feels right in your gut. Everything else will fall into place.
- Life is not fair: As we raise two children; one of which is about to leave the nest to go to college. We have been reminded of things that we have long known to be truths such as… Life is not fair. Sometimes we work like a dog and do everything we can to get ahead just to get screwed over in the end. You are right… It’s not fair. But, the sooner that we realize that is the case more often than not the sooner we will get good… Like really good at picking ourselves back up. (Cue cheesy sentiment… It’s not how many times you fall but how many times you pick yourself back up) Cheesy or not, it’s true.
The fight is only lost when you have no fight left. It’s those times that define the person that we are.
- Debt is bad… M’kay: I know that is a broad generalization that we rarely talk about. OK, we talk a lot about it. But saying debt is bad is based on years of human nature. Justifying purchases and decisions to get that immediate gratification, impress someone, or create a perception of something we are not. If you go down this rabbit hole it is going to be a long road out.
Most people do not want to wait for things the way our grandparents did. They had the discipline to create and strictly follow a budget. It’s not fun or sexy, but the payoff greatly outweighs the immediate gratification.
A small percentage of people are capable of using debt and diligently paying it off. If you are that person… Like for real that person than this is not for you. But, in moments of weakness we make bad decisions. Purchasing crap that you do not have the money for now and “planning” to pay it off when the statement comes rarely happens. There are other things that come up and a full payment turns into a partial payment and then a minimum payment. Then they have you. Creditors have made it ridiculously easy to fall down the rabbit hole, and nearly impossible for most of us to climb out.
- Emotional decisions rarely end well: Back to the debt rule (#4)… Sales people and creditors alike have discovered long ago that emotional decisions are the achilles heel of humanity. You step foot on a car lot in search of a reliable vehicle within your budget. That’s right, you have a budget. As you look around you find a few options and start to warm up to the idea. I can get a 2000 Ford Escort, a 2002 Toyota Corolla or a Chevy Cruze. All options are good on gas mileage and safe to drive.
But then comes the salesman to show you something just outside of your budget. The has leather this and heated that. Remote start for the cold winter mornings and power EVERYTHING! He appealed to your emotion. If you are not disciplined he is going to herd you into the sales office to slaughter. Once you are wrapped up in the emotion he can pile on extended warranties, and undercoating and whatever else they come up with. You are done for.
Ever hear sex sells? Sex is an emotion based act that conveys strong feelings. The saying should be emotion sells.
- Invite only healthy relationships into your life: Life is too short to be miserable, but many of us trade miserable predictability for potentially unpredictable happiness. Most of us have been in bad relationships and many of those went on entirely longer than necessary.
Much like mistakes are good if you learn from them, bad relationships can be good if you get out early enough and use them as a learning opportunity to identify how you expect to be treated. The rules of the game that you will play by and the actions that are completely off limits by so called “loved ones”. This is not exclusive to romantic relationships either. This can be work relationships, friendships, neighbors, acquaintances, etc.
It becomes a little easier to be an A-hole to people who deserve it as you age and get more experience, but sometimes young and impressionable people have a hard time drawing that line. That is power you wield at any age. Act accordingly.
- Work to Identify your Strengths and Weakness: We as humans are created with a natural strengths and weaknesses. It’s just the way we are. There are things in life that we love and others that we hate. There are other who love the things we hate and hate the things we love.
For some reason we all strive for balance, the old ying and yang of life. Don’t be a ying yang… You will never be better than average at things that you hate. You will never be horrible at things you love. Prioritize your time accordingly and focus on growing as a person and increasing the skill sets as it relates to the things you love. Then and only then will you accel to a level that most cannot.
The difference between the famous people who are known for a specific skill set is that they identified their strengths early on and worked… Hard to achieve their goals. Many times they did not get there alone. They had a support group of friends, family, coaches and community members who helped them identify their natural gifts and gave them advice to capitalize on it. Many times when you see a sports idol or musician they make their craft look easy. What you do not see is the countless hours they poured in.
Equally important is to identify your weaknesses and try to hire it out or eliminate it from your life completely. When you identify and master those life skills that is when you blur the line between work and play. (Enter cheesy line #2: When you do what you love you never work a day in your life).
As parents we try to be the sound of reason for our children because we have all been young and dumb in some way. Craving more and trying to out to outdo the next. If we could tell our younger selves now what we have learned through trial and tribulations, would our adolescent selves listen. I would like to think so but that is not the point here. Being able to be at peace with ones lifestyle, position or rank is something that takes courage. To be able to own our mistakes and be honest with our kids about the experiences of life and the lessons that they will face will create an even playing field for more open conversations. By having these open lines of communication we can start to empower our kids to work past those tough decisions and show them their self-worth.