In part 1 we discussed why the debrief was so important. Now, we’re going to give you the method. All in all, this is something that you can use every day. Sometimes, you can debrief your children, your spouse or yourself multiple times in a given day.
Now, the debrief is all about discovery. Your discovery and their discovery. The debrief is not about you telling them what they should’ve done. It’s also not about you judging what they’ve done and making them feel inadequate.
Basically, when you’re doing a debrief, your intention is to Always Be Curious about what they’re learning. The debrief has 2 parts to it:
The questions help them discover deeper levels of learning. The celebration gets them excited about what they have learnt. The explanation stops them from getting irritated with all the questions! Together, this cycle allows your children to get excited about the process of learning, not the end result that they achieved. And life is all about the process.
Before you can debrief your children, you need to get their buy-in. There has to be a reason for them answering your questions. So, before you even ask the questions, you must explain why you’re doing a debrief. Here’s an example of how this might go:
“Stacey, life is about learning. We learn every day. Do you remember when you didn’t know how to walk? Well, you know how to walk now because you watched the people around you and learnt to do it on your own. But every day you’re learning about new things. My concern though, is that you’re not always learning the best lessons that will help you become the person that you want to be. So many people are out there trying to fill your head with what they think you should know. But sometimes, that’s not the lesson that will help you grow.
Is it okay with you if I ask you a few questions whenever you’re learning something? That way, you can learn twice as much and make half as many mistakes. The best part is that there are no right or wrong answers. Would that be okay?”
Getting approval from your children is imperative. Without it, you don’t have an agreement, and how can they then trust you? If they have more questions about why you’re doing this, then be honest and explain where all of this learning will take them. Find out what they want and then show them how this process will lead them there…on their own terms.
These simple questions will help your children learn from their experiences. Don’t worry if they don’t know the answers. And don’t feel anxious if they get irritated by the questions. Learning can be hard work sometimes.
These questions are not flawless. Every child is unique. Their interpretation of these words and what you’re meaning may differ. Find a set of words that they understand and then use them to formulate questions that your child will comprehend.
This part is critical. We’re human and whenever we celebrate, we anchor in a joyful experience. Think back to the last time you truly celebrated. Do you remember how it made you feel? Do you remember where you were and what you were doing? But most importantly, did you want to revisit that experience? If you could, would you relive it?
Celebrating an experience is so jam-packed with energy that we can’t help but reminisce about these moments. When you teach your children how to celebrate their learnings, you teach them that learning is something that is fun. You give them the greatest gift you will ever give them: the love of learning. This terms them into life-long, enthusiastic learners.
Every day they will learn more.
Each day they will overtake their peers.
And every day they will have a new chance to reinvent themselves.
Keep this in mind when you celebrate with them. Make it your foremost intention. You’re celebrating the person that your child is becoming. Celebrate with a high five, a loud, “Woohoo!”
Whichever way you want to celebrate, do it! But make it a part of this process and you’ll feel the energy in the room, the car or wherever you are explode through the roof, turning a simple moment into one that will be remembered.
I hope that this process is as effective in your life as it has been in mine. Keep doing it as often as possible and the results you’ll begin to notice in yourself and your children will astound you and take the depth of your relationship with them to new levels of profound appreciation.
Until next time…
As fun as life is, you cannot go through it without taking a few knocks. Sometimes, those knocks happen every day. Sometimes, they happen once in a while. Mostly though, they happen so often that we learn very quickly that there are something that we should avoid altogether. The budding kidpreneur is no different. Your job as a parent, is to keep them in the game. And the way you do that is with a debrief.
My cousin and I started our first business in Grade 1 or Grade 2. We noticed a gap in the school market for well-coloured in pictures. It was a short lived business though. I remember only making one day of sales. And it was a good day for sales. For some reason, kids wanted our product.
The problem was that we didn’t know why they wanted our products. In fact, we didn’t see the point to what we were doing, other than the fact that we were making money out of nothing. It was exciting…but the lack of understanding what we were actually doing caused us to lose drive once we ran into some resistance. If we’d had an adult in our lives, a mentor, that could debrief our experience, we would’ve stayed in the entrepreneurship game and become a lot better at serving our peers and turning opportunities into income.
We learn through the mistakes that we make. Mistakes are the only way that we can progress. And when we make the mistakes ourselves, we learn so much faster. But mistakes can be damaging if we don’t learn the right lessons from them.
The best way that you can help your children is by allowing them to make small mistakes and then debrief their learnings with them afterwards.
In the next article I’ll show you a debriefing tool used by some of the most successful entrepreneurs and trainers today. It’s a way of accessing individual learning without getting in the way with your own ideas.
Until next time…
“Entrepreneur” is a buzz word right now. But entrepreneurship is nothing new. In fact, it’s a very organic, natural way that human beings have earned a living for themselves. Look back at the history of cilivilsation and you will find a long line of people who saw that their friends had problems that they could fix. These were the first entrepreneurs…or if they were kids, we could call him or her a kidpreneur.
Regardless of age, the need to help people and see the opportunity in chaos and confusion is something that comes naturally to certain people. If you’re one of these people, you probably have an entrepreneurial mindset. The question then becomes, “how do we help others to think in this way?”
Everything starts and ends with someone. You are the controller of your destiny. But how do you get this message across to your children? How do you teach them that there’s more opportunities in the world than they’ve ever believed possible?
Education is the art of extracting understanding. The Greek philosophers saw it as similar to giving birth. The person doing the pushing was the person who gave birth to the ideas, and the understanding.
The problem we face though, is that for children, it’s easier to let the adult do the thinking. Adults know more than children and are seen as a greater authority. But there’s more to this. The person who does the work needs to exert the effort, and effort is hard. So many children will avoid the heavy thinking and the hard work that goes into understanding something.
So, how’s about we change this? All it takes is asking these five simple questions…and then waiting for answers.
Whatever home you have created for your children will be the space where they form their habits. It’s up to you to figure out if these habits are going to help them become the independent people that you want them to be. As Dr Demartini says, the greatest growth lies on the border of support and challenge.
To help you find these answers, here are five questions to ask yourself each day:
The last question is vital. The person who asks the questions holds the power. And they hold the power because they are doing the work. If you continue to give your children answers, they’re going to believe that someone outside of themselves will always hold the power. That is the way most employees grow up thinking. Someone else will give them a job…instead of, “someday I will start a business that will employ people.”
There are always better questions to ask your children. Don’t be afraid to experiment with them and learn from them.
In the next article we’ll deal with what happens when your children start actively going out and finding people with problems. This is make or break time, because if they have a negative experience, they may stop trying altogether. Your job is to keep them on the path, by keeping the communication open and non-judgemental.
Until next time…
Allowances are the standard practice in most families. If the family can afford it, most children receive an allowance. But money is a curious thing. It can be a source of happiness when it’s in abundance and it can be a source of irritation and anxiety when it’s absent.
Before I even start this article, there’s an important point I need to stress.
“Monkey see, monkey do.”
Or if you want a more scientific term for it, it’s called ‘mirroring’. Our brains are filled with mirror neurons, allowing us to learn from the world around us. We see our parents, our family members and we learn from them. This is how we learn to walk, talk, communicate and do everything else.
Your children will learn about money from you, but more importantly, they will learn how to respond to money from you. If you’re the sort of person who gets anxious around money, chances are that they will pick that up from you. If you’re always stressed about money…they’ll learn that from you as well.
However, if you’re the type of person that sees money as an opportunity, that sees money as something that flows through the world every day, your children will pick that up from you as well.
Basically, your children will inherit your level of emotional awareness around most topics. If that scares you, it shouldn’t. It means that you have a choice. You can choose how you approach every subject.
You’re a mentor to your children, whether you want to be or not. Whether you like it or not, you’re the person that brings perspective into the world for them. Now that we’ve got that out the way, let’s look at the Allowance Argument.
There’s only one way your child will learn about money – by using it. They’re going to need a lot of practice with money. They’re going to need to count it, understand it, learn how to use it, save it, spend it and make it.
Money is a life-long journey that most people never wrap their heads around. That’s a hard statement to swallow, but just take a look at statistics from around the world. Most countries have a negative saving pattern. That means, most people rely on credit to make their ends meet at the end of each month. It’s scary, but it doesn’t have to be you. It doesn’t have to be your children, either.
Allowances are a great way of getting kids to understand how to manage money. Especially when they know that their money is limited, they become creative about how they’re going to use it.
The problem with allowances are the same problems that come with the formal economy systems of our world. The problems are called expectation and entitlement. When people expect things, when they believe that they’re entitled to things, they hand over a great big portion of their personal power, because now there’s no need to work as hard for something that is automatically coming in.
Here’s the dictionary definition for Allowances:
A sum of money paid regularly to a person to meet needs or expenses.
By looking at this definition, it’s easy to point out that everyone has needs. Even children have needs. But think about this, as cute as it is to give your 10 year old child an allowance each month, how cute would it be if you’re still giving them an allowance at the age of 35? There’s nothing remotely cute about that.
It’s the employee mindset – do enough to get what we’ve agreed to receive. Having a regular allowance can lead to this sort of thinking around expectations and entitlement. If we’re going to change the way the world operates, we need to change the way our children think about money.
Allowances don’t have to be a bad thing, just don’t call them allowances. Dave Ramsey discussed the idea of calling it a ‘commission’ instead of an allowance. I think that’s great, as long as it follows a commissions structure and other technicalities. Let’s look at a couple of ways to change the way your child looks at money
Money doesn’t grow on trees. You, like me, may have heard this growing up. So where does it come from? People. Other people. Not just parents, but all people. But how do we get people to hand it over?
The best definition for fair exchange comes from the film adaptation of Les Miserables. 13 year old Gavroche is sent to deliver a note to Cosette’s father. When he arrives with the note, he holds out his hand and says, “Something for me. “ The gentleman places a coin in his hand and Gavroche hands him the note. “And something for you. Who needs charity?” He turns and runs down the stairs.
I love this scene because I believe that when things are fair and equitable we have sustainability. Sustainable practices can go on forever.
When children learn that everything is an exchange they begin to see that the world is a place where things move in two directions. The problem with allowances is that they only move in one direction.
What is being exchanged for the allowance money?
What is your child giving for the money they’re receiving?
Some children argue that they work hard at school and the grades that they work for warrant their allowances. I don’t agree. The amount of money parents fork over for education is a reward in itself. Sure, you could “reward” your child for doing well at school, but don’t give them a steady allowance for grades that shift each week. Adjust it accordingly. This is another approach.
I still don’t like the idea of rewarding academic results. At no point in the real world do you receive monetary rewards for passing tests. In the real world, money is exchanged for things of value.
What is value? It’s the beating heart of industry. It’s the thing that really changes hands in every monetary transaction. Show the average 8 year old a fistful of money and a fistful of chocolates and they’ll pick the chocolates. Money in itself holds very little value…it’s the things that we can do with money that hold value.
So, where’s the first place value appears? In solving problems for people.
Every sustainable business solves a problem for people. Public transport solves the problem of getting from here to there. Restaurants solve the problem of hunger. Schools solve the problem of illiteracy. Problems are one of my favourite topics, because the study of problems becomes a study of human progress, development and evolution.
Every problem that we solve creates a new problem at a higher level of existence. Buckminster Fuller pointed out that in the 1960s the average poor person lived better than the kings and queens of the 1400s. People solve problems and improve everyone else’s life in the process.
That’s where the money making opportunity lies. It’s about creating something of value. Creating something that solves a problem for people. The more problems you can solve for people, the more valuable your skills or your product become and the more people will pay for your skills and products. This is the opportunity you have of creating wealth.
When children stop seeing themselves as gift-receivers and instead see themselves as the problem solvers, they empower themselves. Isn’t that what every parent wants – a child that is prepared for the world ahead, regardless of what happens to them?
Let’s look at a few questions you can ask your children to create this new sort of awareness around their own opportunities.
I’d start by sitting your child down and explaining what sort of budget you can dedicate to their cause. Be honest. Be clear. Tell them how much you have, but explain that you can’t just hand it over for nothing in return (at no point in life will people give without a purpose, unless it’s charity and you don’t want your children relying on charity to survive…that negates their powers of creativity).
Sure, the first place most children will find an opportunity is doing things like chores. This is great. Let them understand the problems that they’re solving for you by doing chores. However, please don’t pay them for making their own beds and cleaning their own rooms. That’s about responsibility.
After they’ve been able to successfully solve problems at home, it’s time to expand their awareness:
Trust is a big part of solving problems for people. However, that’s a discussion for another time. I’ll leave it on this point, transactions move at the speed of trust. The more people trust you, the faster you’ll do business with them. The same goes for your children.
After they’ve practiced solving problems here, why not draw their attention to school? Their school is a great market for them to tap into. And the best part about school is that they learn very quickly that without fair exchange, they’ll develop a reputation where people will avoid them.
To Naveen Jain, sending rockets to the moon to collect meteorites and solving the world’s biggest health problems are every day passions he currently explores. However, he didn’t grow up with the much in the way of money. He grew up with something far more valuable: seeing integrity in action.
His father defied an environment that encouraged bribery, in order to safekeep his integrity. With a foundation like this, it’s no wonder that Naveen Jain has achieved massive impact in the world today. So, what does he teach his own children?
In his powerful interview at the Bulletproof Conference, he pointed out that his children have grown up in an affluent home. Money has never been an issue for them. This is remarkable, considering that Naveen Jain went to America with five dollars and spare change to his name.
So how does he raise his children to ensure that they don’t misuse money? How does he keep them humble?
“I teach my children that your self-worth is never tide to money. Your self-worth comes from what you create in the world. You can have all the money in the world, but if you aren’t doing something to make the world a better place, you may have money, but you’re a waste of space.”
In the natural world, every creature begins life as a dependent and moves its way into independence. Within a year, goslings are let loose and are ready to fly away. Within a couple of hours, wild dog pups are ready to run (they’re also born with teeth). The readiness really depends on the creature’s lifespans.
Human children take a lot longer to rear and prepare for the world. However, there’s a lot more for them to learn. Everything, even bacteria, moves from dependence to independence. Keep this in mind with your children.
Ask yourself this question: “By doing this today, am I helping my children become dependent on me, or dependant on themselves?”
You love your children. You want to give them what you didn’t have as a child. You’ve come a long way and you’re able to provide for them in ways that your parents couldn’t do for you.
But think about it this way, is giving them an allowance and spoiling them about them…or is it about you?
If it’s truly about them, then look into the future and picture them there. Have you equipped them for the future? Have you given them a realistic understanding of how the world works?
Today is the perfect day to stop being nice to them and start being kind to them. Kindness may not be pretty, but it’s real, it’s fair and it’s honest. Most importantly, it will prepare them for whatever comes in the future.
Until next time…
An entrepreneur is not someone who runs with the crowd. An entrepreneur is someone who stops when others are running, sees the direction they’re running in, and then decides if that’s the best way to go. An entrepreneur is the free-thinking, evolving spirit of change. If you choose to, the entrepreneurial path is waiting for you. All you have to do is pick up your feet and start walking along the pathway. Here are a few tips to help guide you along your journey.
Children wake up every day with fresh eyes. They see the wonder of the world because they don’t think they know it all. Wake up each day as if you’ve never known a thing in your life. Look at the world around you as if you’re brand new to it. You will begin to see certain things that don’t make sense (e.g. why toilets flush 6-13 litres of water at a time, when there’s a water shortage in the country) and then you can start looking for different solutions.
Always ask yourself questions about what you’re seeing in the world around you. We all have different things that we’re curious about. Follow your curiosities until they provide answers for you. These answers will produce better questions and soon you’ll be asking better questions than most adults ask in today’s world.
People want to keep their lifestyles, but they don’t their problems. Help them solve this and you’re in business. Every problem is an opportunity.
Beliefs are things handed down to people, from their parents, teachers, friends and the world of their experiences. Often, these are bogus. They make no sense. Imagine a ceiling on a room, a very low ceiling that keep people bent over and walking crouched. These people will convince you, with all of their hearts, that there’s no other way of living. Don’t try and change the way they think. Build a room with a higher ceiling and let them decide for themselves which is better, to walk crouched or to stand tall.
Most people are only thinking about themselves and what they can get out of a good deal. A great entrepreneur knows that to create a solution that lasts, everyone involved in the business transaction must win – including YOU.
There’s no limit to the things you can achieve as an entrepreneur. Just take a look at Elon Musk. Every day he challenges the stiff beliefs the world has clung to. And every day he makes tomorrow a little brighter.
So the questions is, “What is your best vision of the world?”
Here below are a few great articles I’ve come across that deal with money. The more you read about how to handle your own money, the more you build your Financial Intelligence. So check the out and learn something!
4 Money Boxes Pocket Money System For Kids – Rambling Thoughts – GUEST ARTICLE: “At a loss to begin showing your kids how to handle money? I was too which lead me to this easy system of four money boxes. By dividing their pocket money, my kids understand how to apply their income to multiple goals. Our four money boxes are: invest, save, crazy and give.