Are your kids settled?

Business Leader Post, January 9, 2014

Thomas D. Davidow, Ed.D.

What are the criteria for the word settled?

My criteria have to do with their careers. Do they love what they do? Is it their passion? Are they well trained? Are they competent? Do they have confidence in their abilities? Do they believe that their work brings value and/or psychic benefits to others? Do they enjoy and/or respect their fellow employees? Do they respect the company they are working for?

Do I as a parent believe in their abilities? Would I hire them if they were not my children? Are they in the world and moving along on a constructive path that may have its bumps and challenges, but will ultimately give them satisfaction and success? Are they challenged in their work? Do they have the respect of their fellow workers? Are they respected and valued by the authorities/“bosses” in their places of work?

It is the responsibility of every parent to know the answers to these questions. The only way to find out the answers is to talk to children at length about their jobs. Knowing these answers cannot only put the parent in the role of being helpful as their children struggle to find their way, but it also creates a dialogue that sends the message that the parent is interested in the child. That message of interest can be the ultimate ingredient in the support children need to prevail in this demanding and competitive world.

If you have a family business, and you have members of the next generation in that business, you can double the sense of obligation you have as a parent and as a boss to know each answer. If you don’t, you are cheating yourself, your child and the business.

Take the time. If you listen with an open heart and an open mind, I guarantee that the information you receive and the experience of the dialogue will be mind-blowing/rewarding.