Monday, August 11, 2014

Should I Be Good or Successful?
I heard this segment on NPR last month and felt it was something we should really be paying a lot of attention. The driving question: Do kids think their parents want them to be good or successful?

The premise of the story is that many of us as parents say we just want our children to grow up to be good people, but a Harvard study says otherwise. While we say we want them to be good people, we often send unspoken messages which rewards success. Here's a snippet:

If their daughter, Mila, 15, had to say whether her parents cared more about her being good to others or being successful, she says it'd be close, but she'd have to say "good," she hedges. 
Her brother, James, 13, however, doesn't hesitate. 
"Successful," he says. 
How does he know? Because achievement in school is what his parents nag him about, and reward him for, the most. For example, they let him quit volunteering at the soup kitchen when he didn't like it, but he gets no such pass on schoolwork. Similarly, Mila says, her parents got really happy and took her out to a nice restaurant for dinner to reward her for getting a B instead of a C. 
"It's one of those things people say, like, I really want you to be a good person, like that's my main thing," she says. "But deep inside, it's like, but I really want you to be successful."
 As a school we believe that the messages we should send to our students is that serving others through your gifts is success. This is the premise on which our Servant Leadership program is based. I highly recommend this article and let me know what you think!

For Most Kids, Nice Finishes Last

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