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Back off

April 28, 2017

“Creativity may be hard to nurture, but it’s easy to thwart. By limiting rules, parents encouraged their children to think for themselves.” Adam Grant in The New York Times, Jan. 30, 2016

It’s a daily challenge to find balance between creating a structure, teaching right and wrong and encouraging creativity and decision making for our children.

Studied parents of world-class musicians, artists, athletes and scientists….”weren’t drill sergeants or slave drivers. They responded to the intrinsic motivation of their children. When their children showed interest or enthusiasm in a skill, the parents supported them,” Grant writes.

There is so much gold in this article. I want to print it out and read it every day as a reminder. As many reminders. LEAVE HIM ALONE SOMETIMES. Let him find what he’s curious about and support him fully in exploring it. Back off and support. Repeat.

“If you want your children to bring original ideas into the world, you need to let them pursue their passions, not yours.”

Grant’s findings are right in line with other things I’ve read and written about when I’ve considered how entrepreneurs are raised.

In practice, it seems, it’s more difficult to achieve. But we persevere. And we remind ourselves. And we remind our partners and co-parents. We watch them flourish and hope our children get what they need. 

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