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How to Raise a Successful Child? Focus on His Attitude, Not Just IQ
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  • In case you haven't heard, online jobs portal JobStreet.com Philippines recently came out with its annual survey of schools that employers prefer. And the one on top did not come from the "big four" universities. Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) claimed first place this year as the school most preferred by employers who are hiring fresh graduate employees. 

    Employers noted PUP’s “reputation of producing quality graduates and eventually employees” and the “positive attitude/work ethic of employees and applicants from this school,” Entrepreneur.com.ph reported.

    If you're wondering about the big four, here was the ranking: University of the Philippines (2nd place — it was first last year when PUP was second), Ateneo de Manila (3rd place), University of Santo Tomas (4th), and De La Salle University (7th).

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    In an article for Esquiremag.ph, Mac Vengco Bergantin, a former human resource (HR) executive for an IT company and currently the HR director of a marketing start-up, shared how he was more keen on meeting and interviewing fresh graduates who aren’t from the “big four” and who come from lesser known universities.

    “They are humble, patient, and hungry for knowledge and recognition. They want to make a name in the industry but they know that it's a tough climb to the top. Their humility makes them believe that there are no handouts in life, hence, they complain a lot less and have reasonable demands,” he writes.

    An impressive resume and alma mater can land the graduate an interview, Bergantin adds, but “it's your attitude and character that will get you hired.”

    Character has always been a better driver for success rather than an individual’s intelligence quotient (IQ) or, in the case above, where he went to school. And character-building starts. In fact, it's possible your baby can learn the value of hard work when he's just one year old, as one recent research suggests. Babies who watch an adult struggle with a task and then succeed afterward are more likely to show perseverance with their own baby-sized challenges. Amazing, right? 

    So what traits should our children have to grow up with the right attitude? 

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    1. They’re resilient
    “More than education, more than experience, more than training, a person’s level of resilience will determine who succeeds and who fails,” the president and CEO of Adaptiv Learning Systems, Dean Becker, tells the Harvard Business Review. 

    Resilience is the ability to get back up after experiencing failure or other particularly distressing events (for kids, this can be losing an art contest or getting a bad grade on a project). Resilient people view such unpleasant experiences as a fact of life — bad things can and do happen — and therefore choose to learn from them instead. Resilience is “bouncing back.”

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    2. They’re not self-entitled
    “Academic pedigree gives a false sense of superiority,” Dedet Reyes Panabi wrote in an article for SmartParenting.com.ph. In her interview with Matt Fields, a CEO of a Canadian digital agency, he said graduates of exclusive schools are “unwilling to go the extra mile, because they think they can get an easier and higher-paying job because they were told they were the best and hard work is beneath them.”

    Graduates of schools outside the big were “hungry to prove something to themselves.” Bergantin agreed, sharing, “I've had an encounter with a fresh graduate from one of those big universities who was adamant that if I wanted to hire him, I had to agree with his asking salary — a whopping P35,000.”

    The HR director was astounded at the ego and self-entitled attitude of the applicant. “Your Ateneo diploma doesn't immediately guarantee you your own office and a secretary... The world doesn't owe you anything. The four years you spent toiling away in college? That work is only about to get harder.” 

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    3. They have grit
    One of the “disappointments” with many applicants from exclusive schools is “the obvious lack of grit,” Bergantin writes.

    Closely related to resilience, “Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality,” Angela Lee Duckworth, a psychologist, researchers and the pioneer in the study of grit, explains.

    In other words, employees with grit do not give up and quit their jobs because of difficulties like criticisms from their boss or the occasional overtime. Having grit is knowing that success takes a lot of hard work for a very long time.

    On a final note, as we guide our kids in learning important life skills, we should also be reminded: we need to stop with the hovering. Micromanaging our children’s lives means they become dependent on their parents. We need to stop solving their problems because it won't do them any good in the long run. 

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