My son was draped across the floor eyeing me with the look of suspicion I’ve come to know very well, whenever I proposition him with a new plan. I’m a bit like Sgt. Bilko with my plans. There is always a new one around the corner that will definitely get me exactly what I want.
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“That’s the stupidest idea you’ve ever had,” he said.
If you’re unaware, my wife and I for nearly the past decade have been the unabashed parents of a homeschooling, fiercely-loved, cocky, headstrong, stubborn little monkey who seems to take great sport in defying our wishes and digging in his heels when he absolutely knows it’s not the best thing for him and will only end in tears. (Whose tears? Could be anyone’s, but usually his.)
My son, Jesse.
When you look at my life, you see an incredibly motivated, driven guy who wakes up at the crack of sparrows to vigorously declare affirmations (or incantations as Tony Robbins has it), before settling down with the likes of Earl Nightingale, Jim Rohn, Eric Thomas, Les Brown, Harv Eker, or my new fave, Tom Bilyeu, hooking up my IV and receiving my morning drip of positivity whilst taking my morning sip of coffee.
I am disciplined and obscenely regimented. My son, on the other hand, plays things a bit more fast and loose, tending to go with his gut rather than look at the clock for what he’s supposed to be doing next in his own quest for happiness.
Being work-from-home, school-from-home (“home” being wherever we happen to be traveling at the moment) kind of people that are able to basically do whatever the hell we want, we’re always interested in what is going to get us more of what we like than less. (Something I think more people would do well to consider.) As far as I, and most wealthy people are concerned, your ability to do more of what you want is determined by how much you work on your own mindset and habits.
Books like Think and Grow Rich, and As a Man Thinketh spring immediately to mind. (Considering them for a quick read? Do! I’ve actually linked you to versions of each that cost less than $1. What do you have to lose?)
We’ve never been the allowance type of parents. We don’t believe in paying our child simply because he exists. The fact that he’s allowed to exist, as far as I’m concerned, is allowance enough.
Nor have we been the kind of parents who would ever pay for services rendered by our child. There’s no such thing as chores, and there’s certainly no such thing as payment for chores. You help out when you’re asked, and you don’t get paid for it. It’s called being in a family. I’d rather instill that life lesson in him than, “Do manual labor and get paid.” While that message certainly has truth to it, it’s not the main take-away I want him to have from his youth regarding work and money. Why? Because there are heaps of other ways besides manual labor to get paid. (Plus! I totally remember getting paid to do crappy jobs around the house and all of a sudden developing a Chattanooga-sized chip on my shoulder whenever any member of the family asked me to lend a hand, without pay. No, thank you.)
So, we’re trying something different.
Unlike what I do, which is at my own expense fly hither and yon attending personal development seminars, business seminars, writing seminars, etc. Basically, any kind of seminar where I have the opportunity to grow as a human being. (Pro-tip: Slap the word ‘seminar’ onto whatever it is that you do for a living, find someplace to hold it, and I’ll probably be in the front row, hanging on your every word (because, of course, you’re brilliant) and furiously taking notes that I absolutely will go back through at a later time.)
Digression aborted: I am now offering to pay my son to engage in self-development. I don’t know how much it will be… It kind of depends on the climate of the market. He has close friends that are simply given $5 per week for the fact that they are children, residing in their home. I need to make this opportunity greater than theirs if I’m to simulate what I feel to be ‘the real real world.’ I’m thinking $3 per hour of self-development material consumed.
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I shan’t put a weekly cap on it, though it could end up costing me a small fortune. He needs to know that the more he works on himself – be it through motivational videos on YouTube, TED talks, autobiographies of the world’s great leaders, personal development books, audio, video and seminars – the more money he will make.
He needs to learn that at home. Not that you don’t take the trash out for your mother who has birthed you unless she gives you money.
What do you think? Have I lost my marbles? Have I taken a flying leap off the tracks? Do I need to be put away? Would you ever consider something similar for your child? Or, are you simply willing to let me be the guinea pig…?
Comment. Send me an email telling me I’m nuts. (Or, a genius.) Recommend this to a friend you think needs to read it. Follow me for the update on this story.