I laughed when I first read Larry Winget's book entitled Your Children Are Your Own Fault. He has hit the nail on the head, in my opinion.
In his first paragraph, he writes "They are overmedicated, overindulged, overweight, overentertained, undereducated, underacheiving, underdisciplined, disrespectful, illiterate brats with a sense of entitlement that is crippling our society."
I may not go so far as to say illiterate brats, but the rest is arguably true. And, it is our fault. We are enabling them to fail.
How can we fix this and make them the unstoppable brainiacs they deserve to be?
First of all, make them make their bed.
This may sound silly and irrelevant to the making of an unstoppable brainiac, but it is absolutely vital. In the military, bed making is very important, to the point where beds are flipped upside down if made below standard. Their standards are very high and specific. The corners have to be square, sheets have to be tight enough to bounce a penny off of, the blanket has to be neatly folded at the foot of the bed, and the smooth pillow centred neatly below the headboard.
Is it the bed that they are concerned with? Or are they training the minds of successful, disciplined warriors? The military has long known that people who take pride in their appearance and surroundings, ensuring everything is in it's proper place, in good repair, and is aesthetically pleasing to the eye, will be more successful, more productive, happier, have more energy, and have a more focused mind. The thinking is that if they can not do the little things right, they will never do the big things right.
Why is this so? Well, from a neurological standpoint, having disorganized surroundings and calendar cause the brain to expend energy unnecessarily and be unfocused and confused. Your brain will unknowingly (or knowingly) think about the chaos and disorder and will not fully focus on getting things done and true learning. Disorder acts as an incomplete task that steals energy and mind power. Successful people, for the most part, are tidy and orderly. You do not get to be at the top of a large corporation by having disorder in your business, home, or calendar. The military know it, and deep down, I think we all know it. Order is important. Not just in the house, but outside of the house, in your car, on your calendar, in your head.
Have your child be responsible for keeping their room tidy and organized, the car spic and span, and their calendar organized. Have them think quietly for a few minutes, then write down their goals. Then have them break those goals up in to smaller, quickly achievable tasks. then have them check off each accomplished task as they accomplish it. As one task gets checked off, their body will send the brain a dose of dopamine, which will feel great and will motivate them to accomplish another task, and then another one.
It is a wonderful feeling that your children will take well into adulthood and will be destined to do great and wonderful things. Nothing will stop them when they have a clear mind, clear goals, clear tasks, and a clear, organized environment. It is our responsibility to ensure they learn these very valuable lessons.
First task each day to be unstoppable.... Have them make their bed!