by Professor Mark T. Moy
Parents often tell me that they have a hard time
juggling all of the activities of their children.
Yes, children should have fun, be exposed to a lot of
experiences, and enjoy their youth.
But, eventually they’ll be
on their own, which means that while they are kids and
teens, they need to be equipped and trained to stand
firm against morally compromising influences and to live
in an adult world that is highly competitive.
What knowledge, skills and
character traits will they need to not just survive, but
to be successful?
“As the twig is bent, so
grows the tree.”
I believe that just like
an academic school curriculum, life has electives and
Electives are generally
fun and optional, but not required for graduation.
Requirements are necessary for success.
My formula for success:
1. Discover my
intrinsic strengths. What are my natural talents and
interests? I should be an ‘A’ student at my core
“I want to major in my majors.”
2. Acknowledge my
weaknesses. I should at least be competent, not
fail, at my high-impact weaknesses. These are
areas that will significantly impact my performance.
face and deal with my fears. I need to be in
environments and around people that are
challenging-in-a-good-way and that will stretch my comfort
“Man sharpens on man.”
self-discipline; the act of controlling and managing my
impulses and behavior.
5. Be a good
finisher. Good intentions and setting goals isn’t
enough. Completion of the goal requires
commitment, resilience and endurance. I need to
develop a strong work ethic.
6. I must take
ownership of my thoughts, words, attitudes and actions.
choose to be a person of integrity and good character;
trustworthy, loyal, compassionate.
As a parent, this all
comes down to value and prioritizing. What’s the
return on investment of your time and money, compared
to the fruit cultivated in your child by that activity?
The key, in my opinion, is
to identify the specific activities and environments
that will prepare your child to be successful as a
teenager and when they’re on their own.
Think of two
One fridge has the
activities that will purposefully model, equip and train
your child with the characteristics that you feel are
important. This is nutritious, real food.
The other fridge holds all
the electives and optional activities. These are fun but
not fundamental to success. Dessert is good but
will not nourish me.
I’m not saying that kids
shouldn’t do fun things just for fun. I am saying
that our natural inclination is to seek pleasure and
instant gratification, and avoid discomfort and hard
Ultimately, we want our
kids to become strong and courageous teens and adults of
good character, who use their power in a just manner,
and add value to their spheres of influence.
We want them to “Get
strong in a good way.”
To be empowered and taught
how to stand up to bad peer pressure and use their
strength “To do the right thing, not the popular thing.”
here for New Student Training Specials