Join the next Smart Parenting Giveaway and get a chance to win exciting prizes!

Join Now
  • Groom Your Kids For Success: Get Them Out Of Their Comfort Zone

    It’s okay to let kids experience discomfort once in a while. Experience, after all, is the best teacher.
    by Rachel Perez .
Groom Your Kids For Success: Get Them Out Of Their Comfort Zone
PHOTO BY iStock
  • There might be a common denominator in how billionaires parent their kids. It’s not to treat them like they are wealthy kids.

    It’s not unheard of for kids of successful businessmen to say that they didn’t have it all or easy when they were growing up. Michael Tan, son of the second richest man in the country, recently shared that one of his first jobs is in a beer bottle factory’s hot furnaces.

    His father, Lucio Tan, the founder of LT Group that has interests in tobacco, spirits, banking, and property development, likes to “get us out of our comfort zones.” Michael shared with ABS-CBN News that he and his brother Lucio “Bong” Tan, Jr., were pulled out of their private school life in Manila, and endured “hardship” in Singapore before they were sent to China in 1984, before Beijing’s economic boom.

    “He was trying to instill in us Confucian values of patience, hard work, self-sacrifice. He distilled, instilled it in his children during his dinner talks,” said Michael, president, and COO of LT Group. Also part of his father’s teaching them these values is telling them Chinese parables, and stories about how their family survived the war, and his beginnings in China.

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
    More from Smart Parenting

    Why you should get your kids out of their comfort zone

    The Tan patriarch may have done his kids a favor by often yanking them out of their comfort zones. You had done it when your toddler was taking his first steps, or during his first day in preschool. Pushing kids out of their comfort may be about doing better academically and trying new things that parents believe their children need to improve their lives or make them feel good and happy.

    It’s a parent’s instinct to protect their children and shower them with love and affection, but the next generation shouldn’t be devoid of life challenges to overcome. Here are a few reasons why parents should get their kids outside of their comfort zones:

    Kids develop grit and resilience.

    “We know that being able to tolerate discomfort is a wonderful life trait, and in addition to that, it makes them grittier and more resilient,” says Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and the founding president of the Child Mind Institute. Along with these traits, kids also learn to persevere, collaborate, and be resourceful as part of their developing problem-solving skills.

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

    It also gives kids a boost in confidence.

    Dr. Janine Domingues, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, adds that parents should guide kids to power through a tough situation rather than remove it entirely. “A child really does feel accomplished and good about the fact that they were able to get through it,” she explained. This, in turn, helps them to be brave and courageous to take risks.

    More from Smart Parenting

    It paves the way for a growth mindset.

    Having a growth mindset is what you’d want for your kids. (Read more about growth mindset versus a fixed mindset here.) In new environments and challenges kids face, making mistakes is an opportunity for them to learn and do better. As you would want your child to do better or try new experiences, you should also allow your child to explore without your mandate.

    When kids are having a hard time, it’s the parents’ job to provide perspective, writes Andy Molinsky, professor of organizational behavior at Brandeis University’s International Business School, for Brightly. "Praise their hard work, their effort, their perseverance," he said.

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

    Don’t expect kids to like it; they might resent you for making him do something new and unfamiliar. They often eventually learn to love and enjoy it, but you need to be wary of signs that your child is not interested in piano lessons, for example. The point of pushing kids outside their comfort zone is to support him in acquiring skills he needed success and encourage new experiences so he can find what he wants and loves to do — not what you want for your child.

    Keep in mind, the pushing kids out of their comfort zone is not equal to pressuring them to excel or leaving them hanging. It only works both for you and your child if you’ve equipped him with tools that they can use to inspire and drive them towards their goal. It includes not only skills but also emotional love, security, and support.

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
    More from Smart Parenting

View More Stories About
Recommended Videos
View more articles