Hello Monaco Winter 2018–2019 HelloMonaco #05 Winter 2018–2019 - Page 150

POOR RICH KIDS pointment thus contributed to his inner and emotional growth. He went on to found his own company relatively early as a student. We must teach children to achieve their goals and experience satisfaction from this process. Something that is earned, conquered and long-awaited for, has more value since it comes as a reward for your perseverance. Giving them free time. Our children are tied up by rigid schedules: learning foreign languages, drawing, playing tennis, horse- back riding. You might say: «That’s excellent! If a child is idle, he will spend a whole day sitting at the computer». It might be true, but this does not mean that they should not have a spare minute to themselves. The child needs to hear you say «no», «later», «next time» and you must be con- sistent, firmly stand your ground. Then he would understand that not everything is in his power, not all his desires are fulfilled «here and now», he learns to handle his dis- appointments. Patience is like a muscle: the more it is trained, the stronger it gets. Chil- dren who are used to endure and tolerate frustration grow more resistant to stress. They are focused, know how to reason and handle the problems better. Let’s go back to a famous «marshmallow» experiment carried out by an American sci- entist, Walter Mischel. A four-year-old had a choice, whether to eat one piece of marsh- mallow staight away or wait for an assis- tant’s return and get two pieces instead. Later in the mid-80s, Dr. Mischel compared the behaviour of the teenagers who were able to wait 15 minutes and those who grabbed a marshmallow. Those capable of staying away from eating the sweets at age 4, grew to be more strong-willed and con- fident, decisive and resistant to difficulties. In addition, they were much more success- ful in their studies. When you are introducing limits and forc- ing your child to wait and restrain himself, it is necessary to be consistent. You cannot give in at his first imploration. Otherwise all our efforts mean nothing. «I can give my son 100 toy cars, but I will only give him one, for the sake of his own future» — this is what you should be telling yourself. 148 / Hello Monaco Winter 2018–2019 Whatever your child is like, your love is just as necessary to him as the air he breathes. Teach them to overcome difficulties and achieve results. Character is only forged in resistance. It is therefore necessary to create conditions for the child to cope daily with difficulties. His desire («I  want») should be always followed by an action («I must») resulting in («I can»). You can then set him tasks not just for a minute or an hour, but year-long goals, the same as in sports. Start with simple things. Lets say, the child has had enough of playing with mosaics and is now reaching for a train set. Make a condition: you can only take the train after having carefully sorted all the mosaic ele- ments by colour and put them back into the box. In other words, if you want to get a new toy, do a long and boring task first. An owner of a large company once told me that back in his childhood he dreamed of having a scooter. His parents could not af- ford such an expensive purchase. The boy went to work at a cannery, making crates during his school holidays. He had almost saved enough when he came upon gam- blers playing thimbles in the street. He put all his money into playing and lost. He thus had to work all over again to buy his scooter. But he came to understand a very impor- tant thing. You have to work to get what you want, not just count on easy money. A  dream unfulfilled, a failure and disap- Children need some playtime. A moment that is not imposed on them, not struc- tured, with no set rules. They can then invent their own game, give out roles, push time and space boundaries, make the im- possible possible. Now you are a captain of a frigate or a cowboy, and then you are nothing to our children, we are ready to give it to them here and now. However, we do need to learn to say «no»! We all, both children and adults, sometimes just need «to do nothing». Relax, chat, play, potter around. We cannot always stay one hundred per cent focussed like a robot. During the day, a child is entitled to some free, unfilled, «boring» time. It is incred- ibly valuable. It means just as much for the child’s future as all these extra activities. If he is not constantly stimulated, then he has time to calmly reflect, look at the world with his own eyes and make independent discoveries. A Canadian psychologist Gor- don Neufeld once wrote: «Growth comes from a point of rest». We only want to learn or do something new once our basic needs are met, once we are calm and at peace.