Here’s 4 simple (or not so simple) ways of raising kids like Bill and Melinda Gates raise their kids.
Parenting and raising kids is by far one of life’s hardest tests, because we don’t see the results for 18-50+ years later.
There are many strategies and parenting styles.
As a father of three awesome teenagers I can share that we adjust our style of parenting slightly towards each child’s unique behavior. Thus, I’ve found pulling some nuggets from all the different methods to craft your own has worked out pretty well thus far (we’ll see when I get my results in a few years).
4 Ways of Raising Kids Like Bill and Melinda Gates
Regardless of whether you follow every tenant of the ‘Love and Logic’ style of parenting that Bill and Melinda Gates adhered to when raising their three children, the fact is, they appear to have done something right. Simply the fact that you never hear media reports about the kids is a testament to that.
So what have they done to ensure their kids grow up to be hardworking, independent adults (even though their dad is the second wealthiest man in the world)?
I Love you Too Much to Argue
This could, quite possibly, be one of the most challenging things you have to do as a parent.
Our kids push our buttons, whether they’re begging for a toy at the grocery store or begging to go to a house party on a Friday night.
Instead of getting worked up and finally yelling (as most of us have done at one point or another), refuse to let your child get you riled up. Imagine you’re a garage door that refuses to budge, no matter how may times your kid pushes that button and no matter how worked up they may become.
Just respond with the simple phrase, “I love you too much to argue.”
Yes, you may have to listen to some door slamming, but you’ll have set clear boundaries that will benefit everyone in the long term.
Give Your Child Freedom to Fail
This one is tough, right? Remember the first time your child began to try to walk on their own and we ran to catch them when they begin to tip over. But as they get older and let’s say they have a problem in school with a bully or a teacher, how do you handle it?
One thing you can do is ask a lot of questions to guide them (without actually giving them the answer). Help them flex those critical thinking muscles and gain confidence by figuring it out on their own. We need to remember that it’s oftentimes harder on us than them, watching them struggle and fail.
Also, make sure you’re talking about your own failures and normalizing failure, teaching them that it’s just part of the process. You can take a page from Spanx founder Sara Blakely’s father who asked his kids every week, “what have you failed at today?”
Love your Kids for their Effort Over Achievements
Admire your kids for who they are and what they are, not what they achieve. Praise the effort your kids put in, the process they used and the progress they’ve made rather than focusing on the end result.
John O’Sullivan shared with us 5 words that you can use after your kids compete to further emphasize that you don’t care about the end result: “I love watching you play/compete.”
Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should
In this interview with Oprah, Melinda shares that just because they COULD afford anything their kids wanted doesn’t mean that they SHOULD. In other words, they didn’t indulge their children’s every request just because they had the means to do so.
Melinda shared that her kids got an allowance and if the money was gone and they had nothing left to spend, they were free to put it on their birthday or Christmas lists… but that their parents didn’t buy it for them, just because they could.
Melinda also shared that she and her husband work very hard every single day, even though they don’t have to anymore. They modeled that work ethic to teach their kids to have one of their own, to work hard for what they wanted.
Conclusion: Bill and Melinda’s Advice on Raising Kids
To recap, four of the basic tenants that Bill and Melinda Gates used for raising their three children are:
- I love You Too Much to Argue
- Give your Children the Freedom to Fail
- Love your Kids for Their Effort Over Achievements
- Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should
Does one of these, in particular, resonate with you? Are there any others that you would add to the list? Let us know in the comments below or jump over into our Facebook Group.