Why do we teach our children to conform?

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My friend sent me a link of an audio clip titled ‘The Strangest Secret’ by an American radio speaker and author Earl Nightingale. The clip picture is black and white and looked to be set in the 1950’s or 1960’s so I didn’t think I would connect with whatever the speaker had to say. Boy was I wrong!

I was captivated the first time I heard the piece. The message was clear and Nightingales voice was strong and direct leaving me fascinated.

o   “If you asked any man if he wanted to be a success, he’d tell you he did”

o   “Why do people conform?”

o   “Why do you get up in the morning and go to work?”

o   “Why is there such a disparity between what a man intended to do in life and what he actually accomplished?”

o   “Universities have proved that most of us operate on about 10 percent or less of our abilites”

o   “The opposite of courage in our society is not coward, it is conformity” Rollo May

These are some of the statements and questions from the audio. Pretty powerful brain food huh?

I’m actually writing this article because my husband Cam suggested I write about our children and how we helped shape them into good people. But I kept thinking about Nightingales audio – and yes we have shaped our children to become the great citizens that society suggests they should be...

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A little about our girls

We have six beautiful children. Our three older daughters had no idea what they wanted to be or do when they finished High school.

The eldest Maxine, 27 went to University because her sport teacher saw huge potential in her and helped her bridge her exams to get there. Max liked the idea of going to Uni but lacked the desire. She flunked the first year and failed her exams. 

Kadeem, 25 also went to Uni straight out of High school and is still studying seven years later. She just couldn't decide what she wanted to be/do so she kept changing her pathway.

And Kara, 24 is completely different to her siblings. She is a go-getter and became very independant, slogging it out at a factory until she saved enough money to buy her dream car. She went on to do some modelling and promotional work as well as lingerie bartending! Her life is very different to her sisters. Because she thinks differently.

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We taught our kids to:

  • Use their manners, which is great
  • Eat their vegetables, yes
  • Be nice to other people, absolutely!
  • Go to school for 10 or so years and get a great education
  • Spend loads of money on University fees and study for a few more years
  • Get a great ‘well paid’ job and repay your student loan
  • Move out of home
  • Settle down and start a family
  • Get a mortgage that will take most of your adult life to pay off
  • C O N F O R M I T Y!

Some people are good at following the list of conformity and some are not - that's what makes us different. And we think people who become very successful, or very rich or both are superheroes, celebrities or very talented people. But these extraordinary people are no different to you and I, they just think differently. They think outside the box. They set their goals, focus on them and charge at them with all their might!

Our kids basically conform to this list because we teach them to. 

But now, At 46 years old I have started my own online business, because I don't want to conform anymore. I've decided to think outside the box armed with a big dream and self belief and I will teach my kids to do the same from now on.

Watch the The Strangest Secret below and try his 30 day test, it's really fascinating. Let me know how you go.

You will become what you think about all day long!

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