Lessons in how to raise strong kids | SummitDaily.com
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Lessons in how to raise strong kids

KIMBERLY NICOLETTIsummit daily news

BRECKENRIDGE – Do you coddle your kids too much?Employers complain parents have sheltered many graduates from challenges they should have faced on their own. They complain many young employees don’t have the skills – such as initiative, creativity, problem solving and determination – to make it in the business world.”Parents are busy trying to help kids, but what happens is they end up sheltering them,” said Carol Carter, a college and career expert who will talk Friday morning at Beaver Run Resort in Breckenridge. “Kids who have two or three failures before graduating high school do better in college.”She encourages kids to take realistic risks in order to learn how to deal with chaos and ambiguity. She believes summer internships – especially out-of-state positions – help kids gain the competitive tools they need to excel in the workplace.

“If you’re resourceful, you can always create work for yourself,” Carter said. “You have the ingenuity to hatch ideas. These are tremendous times for people graduating college. If they have a sense of an indomitable spirit of what’s possible, they can create some great things.”But when parents rescue kids from challenges, do work kids can do themselves such as writing college application essays, hover around their college students or even fully pay their college tuition, kids don’t learn how to stand on their own two feet, Carter said.The best way to help kids become responsible adults is to teach them how to think critically about short- and long-term outcomes of decisions; see children as bright and creative; and balance being demanding with being supportive.Carter said the work ethic of the World War II generation has slipped away. That generation lost everything and built up a new world from nothing. In comparison, within the last 10-15 years, college students returning home to live with mom and dad has become more of a norm. Indeed, the new adult age is 26 as opposed to 18.To make matters worse, many kids from wealthy families struggle to find their own identity and meaning in life, she said.”Kids need to put energy into themselves, build their own skills, overcome obstacles,” Carter said. “People who do that have a number of open doors. A quitter mentality doesn’t help. You have to look at challenges as opportunities.”Carter teaches kids to be optimistic, yet realistic about their skills, talents and goals. She helps them assess what they have, where they want to go and whether or not the challenges are worth the effort for them. She says many kids head off into a career without considering the obstacles and later discover it’s not a good match. Critically thinking about certain career paths can help young adults make the necessary sacrifices for success – something employers don’t necessarily see in young adults these days.Carter will be available to sign books and answer parents’ questions between 8-9 a.m. and 10-11 a.m. Friday at Beaver Run Resort.Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or at knicoletti@summitdaily.com.


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