YOUR STORY

Raising Vs. Developing Your Kids

I don't raise my children, I develop them. Here's how.

I have a 16 year old boy and a 12 year old daughter. Ever since they could first read, I had a standing rule in place for them. They would read three books of their choosing and then they would have to read one book that I chose. I believe that this helped push them and their critical thinking skills forward. As a part of the practice, after they read, we would sit together and discuss the material inside. If there were words in there that they didn't understand, I would ask them to come to me so that I could explain it to them.

My children have read Rich Dad Poor Dad, The 10x Rule, and Crushing It by Gary Vaynerchuk to name a few.

I soon came to the realization that I was no longer raising my children, but I was instead developing them. Developing them to be thinkers and entrepreneurs. I tell them all the time that they don't have to be a boss but should still know how to be one, because after all they are the CEOs of their own lives.

Both my children swim year round, which differentiates them from the recreational “summer league” swimmers. So I wanted to share my theory of ‘raising vs. developing’ with them. I came across an article online by a swimming coach who wrote about ‘developing’ his athletes which I made both my children read. After they were done, we sat down at the dinner table together and I talked to them about how the concept could be applied to parenting. When I asked them if they thought I was raising them or developing them, they both said 'developing' which made me really proud!

As fathers, our number one duty is to teach our kids to be well-rounded human beings. I hope this inspires some of you dads out there to change the way you think about developing your children.

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