Does your definition of success set your child up for failure?

It’s pretty crazy how much has changed over the last few years. I was recently reminded of something and I wanted to share this with you all. Gavin has become so much more independent and is working on moving out. I’m trying to help him practice being on his own as often as possible. I work remotely so I can relocate easily and be just as efficient. I’ve been working away from the house on some mornings because it gives Gavin a chance to operate on his own. I’m usually within 5 minutes from the house, just in case. He’s doing so well and with some help, he will do pretty well when he moves out.

There are some things I need to work with him on but I’m completely blown away by how much progress he’s made over the years. Success looks so good on him. I’m so incredibly proud to be his dad.

I’ve talked about this before but it’s worthy of saying again.

As parents to these amazing kiddos, we must be careful how we define success. Success is a relative term in my world and isn’t defined by what the world at large considers to be success. Success in my world is Gavin learning to use the stove, and doing so safely. Success is being able to stay home on his own, manage his day, and not get too lost in his video games.

Success is being happy, and continuing to try, even when it’s hard. Success is always getting back up after being knocked down. Success is being kind, compassionate, honest, trustworthy, and willing to learn from mistakes. Success is treating others with dignity and respect, the way they deserve to be treated because he believes everyone is special.

Society has a pretty narrow definition of what success is and it often revolves around money and power. If that’s how you define success in your life, I encourage you to stop and think about how your views on success may impact your child’s ability to be successful in your eyes. I got into a debate with an autism dad once because he said that his autistic son would never be successful because he would never manage people at work, have a large salary, and a beautiful home. If that’s how he chooses to define success, his son may never be able to live up to that. That’s such a horrible feeling when you can’t live up to someone’s unrealistic expectations of you, isn’t it.

Take some time and think about what your vision of success is for your child. Is it realistic? Are your expectations reasonable?

Success can mean different things to different people. I strongly encourage to evaluate your definition of success, especially as it relates to your kiddos. There’s more to life than money and power. Think about it. ☺

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Suz

agree with your comment about the world’s warped obsession with status and money defining your success. I don’t think I would have seen that so clearly if I hadn’t experienced the issues with my eldest son and poured my heart out trying to help him and change my expectations in the process. It is very humbling but ultimately a good thing. You’ve done a great job, Gavin seems like a lovely, kind guy who has a good heart and that is definitely what really matters.

Curtis G.

Success in our house is for our oldest son to be a good person, be as self independent as possible and to live as happy a life as possible. That’s what my wife and I see as success for our son.

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