I read a Vanity Fair article which led me to an entrepreneurial wunderkind who said the book that most influenced his life was The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. I mainly read fiction, but every once in a while I read nonfiction or a self-help book, especially upon recommendation by a kid who secured funding for an idea that wasn’t even completely thought out. Smart people truly rule the world.
I’m barely past the introductory chapter, but there is one example the author gave that I think is very relevant particularly for my peers, the majority of whom are parents. I hope to refer to this example when I’m in the same stage of my life. Mr. Covey describes his daughter’s birthday party and how she refuses to share her toys with the other children. As a parent, Mr. Covey begs, bribes, then authoritatively insists that she share! This is the same way I was brought up and I assume most kids were brought up. We were told we had to share versus going through our own emotional development and learning how to share naturally. The author says that emotional development is a process like any other, just like learning how to ride a bike or playing the piano. You don’t just skip from playing chopsticks to playing a nocturne. Similarly, you shouldn’t deprive your child the stages of learning how to share by just telling them to share. They learn only that they are told to do something when what we really want them to do is feel generous enough to share.
Simple enough, but that was really eye-opening for me. So many parents tell their kids to share or apologize immediately! Parents are more inclined to fear what other parents think of them than having the strength to be a supportive parent.