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Sell Yourself To Your Kids
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Sell Yourself To Your Kids

There is no shortage of things to have in this world. Things to lust after and things to indulge ourselves in. It starts at a very young age.

Children see and hear about an overwhelming amount of ‘stuff’. TV, school, peers and especially even the internet are all sources of information that drives our kids to need, want, and desire for the next best thing.

So here’s my burning question. Are you a salesperson and what are you selling?

Many of us don’t identify with being in sales. We don’t like the thought of being a ‘sales person’. It’s not our niche in life or identity even though on some level we may actually work in sales or fill a role that includes selling of some type.

I'm making a suggestion here, though, that you sell yourself to your kids!

We all need to be salespeople when it comes to our children. You and I need to identify with being the person who has something to offer them that

  1. They’re not going to get anywhere else
  2. They must have
  3. They want and desire so much they’re willing to sacrifice to obtain it

If you’re not selling something really good to your kids then someone else is going to. So what do you have to sell and how are you going to sell it?

Children have basic needs, as do all of us, and you can go a long way to filling those desires if you’re conscious of making them a priority every single day.

A child will not go shopping around for second best or what you don’t want them to have if they’re so satisfied with exactly what they have at home.

Here’s a child’s wish list and you may be able to add to it more also.

Unconditional love.

Note this is not just ‘love’. It’s unconditional. This doesn’t mean that your child can do whatever they want without consequences. It does mean they need to know you love them. They need to be reminded you love them. They need the actions that prove you love them…. and this doesn’t include buying love in any way, shape or form. Put away your wallet and work out how your child knows, without doubt, that you love them every single day! NO exceptions. None!

As teenagers my parents taught us two important things. The first was that they had never had teenagers before and were learning. They might not always make the right decision but they were trying to do the best for us that they knew how.

The second thing they taught us was that it didn’t matter what we did we were always welcome home. We tested it, but not often, and found the sentiment held true. Home was a safe place.

A sense of belonging.

People, some more than others, need to feel a sense of belonging. They want to feel a part of something bigger than themselves. This is a similar ideal that encourages people to join an organization, such as an army or a church, which gives people a set of rules and belonging (amongst other things).

For children who don’t feel supported at home it can translate to being part of a gang or other group which will provide them with kinship and belonging. Which leads me to the next point.

Boundaries.

From the time my children were about six months old I have found that children have needed a safe boundary to their life. They need to know what is right and what is wrong. Actions mean consequences (and not just in a bad sense) and all is well with the world when they’re within the confines of a loving structure.

Realise that you’re the parent and while it’s nice to be your child’s friend you are also their guide and constant. Say ‘no’ when you need to. Let the child know it’s because of your concern for them.

Just this week my eight-year-old daughter asked to go to a party that was a sleep over. I said 'yes' to the party and 'no' to the sleepover. She was inconsolable. I explained my decision like this:

Imagine you had a suitcase full of money. Hundreds of dollars. Would you take it around to that girl’s house and give it to her parents and say “Here’s my suitcase of money. I don’t know you but could you just keep it here for me all night?”

My daughter agreed that wouldn’t be a sensible thing to do and I assured her “You’re worth more to me than many suitcases stuffed full of money…. and I don’t know those people at all”.

Routine

Create a time for your children. We have homemade pizza and movie every Friday night. We’ve turned down social occasions to be there for that time together. We value that time and the kids know that being together is better than many other experiences in life.

Bedtime is ideal for this type of bonding as it’s a daily event. At this stage in my life I know it’s easy to achieve. We set the bedtime, read a story, sing a song and hug our kids individually while I hear what they have to say.

What about when they’re older? I’m not there yet but one thing I will say: when I left home and went overseas on youth exchange the thing I missed most was my dad giving me a squeeze at bedtime and saying “Goodnight Cuddles”.

Love Your Partner

Assuming you have a partner (and I recognise many people don't) love that person. Demonstrate you're tolerant, understanding and respectful of each other. When you can achieve this then you're a great role model to your child and they will feel safe to expect that you'll offer them the same.

The best thing you can do for your child is to love their (other) parent.

Make your kids a priority and remember that you’re a salesperson of the most sought after of items. The very special things that money can’t buy.


Street Talk

Thank you for sharing!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

And you for stopping by Stacy!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
C4rmen  

You have highlighted the beautiful basics of parenting. I applaud your love and wisdom, such a blessed family :)

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thank you C4men for your lovely comment.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Great Article; the differences of raising children today as to yesteryear, are so dissimilar , and too many parents are leaving it up to the internet, TV etc to raise their kids. A good relationship with the children, a must, the confidence gained, to communicate their inner most fears and incidents with a understanding parent, vital.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Wisely said. My inlaws had two sons and then another two when the first pair were teenagers. Even with the smaller gap between them they say raising the second two was very different. I guess we adapt to our circumstances and society and do the best we know how.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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