This week, I spoke to two moms who both emphasized that when they try to give their children advice, their kids “don’t listen to them!”
I sighed. Sounds too familiar…
What is it with kids? Why don’t they believe what mom has to say?
I’ve been that kid who rolls my eyes at mom and dad… since I was a little girl to now as a 21-year-old first-time founder.
My dad spent years telling me I was bound to be a businesswoman and would prefer business to pre-law. Dad was right. But I had to arrive at that decision myself!
So what’s the solution?
Just accept defeat and acknowledge that whatever advice I have, my kids won’t listen?
Talking with two extraordinary moms -- parenting isn't easy!!
Not quite. You can steer them in the right direction by following a few tricks! But shhh don’t tell them I told you this :)
Rather than telling me that I was wrong to aspire to be the next Ruth Bader Ginsburg and that being a future CEO was my “destiny,” my dad would have been smarter to plant some seeds.
Expose me to female founders/CEOs who I would no doubt admire and see myself in, and let momentum do the rest!
Had my dad brought up Sara Blakley, founder of SPANX, Whitney Wolfe, founder of Bumble, or Emily Weiss, founder of Glossier, he would have appealed to my intrigue. And maybe I would have imagined this path for myself way earlier.
You’ve planted a seed. Now what? Time to nurture it organically and get your child bought in! Leave cookie crumbs.
Perhaps you want them to consider playing a sport because you think they’ll learn a lot and meet friends. It may start with a podcast episode you listen to together where someone successful shares the merit of their time playing high school sports. Then, invite over your family friends whose older kids play sports. You could go as far as finding a Curious Cardinals mentor in another subject and mention that you want them to talk about extracurriculars.
Once there have been enough signals, you’ve removed yourself from the need to be the megaphone.
For some reason, kids' receptiveness turns off like a light switch when the advice comes from mom or dad. Ask someone else your child trusts to be the bearer of this guidance.
One mom told me this week that she had encouraged her daughter to submit to writing competitions, but her kid wouldn’t listen… As a next step, she came to Curious Cardinals to find a fun, inspiring, relatable college mentor who she knew her daughter would actually listen to and submit her work!
At the end of the day, you are your child’s parent and you get the final say. So, when you put your foot down and say, “You’re doing this and it’s not an option,” pick your battles wisely.
Do it when you feel so confident in the advice you’re sure that in a few months, you’ll be able to say, “I told you so.” Tell them to commit to a certain amount of time and revisit when that time is over to see if it has been helpful.
Need some help planting a seed, leaving the cookie crumbs out, outsourcing the advice, or picking your battles wisely? Curious Cardinals mentors suffice as great intermediaries between parents and headstrong kids. Sign up for a consultation call today.
Co-founder and CEO, Curious Cardinals