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Parenting and Bartering

For years, we have experienced that parents now have more conscious and professional attitudes towards parenting their children. This trend does not apply to everybody, of course, but it is clearly observable across the world. Businesspeople have an even stronger desire to make sure that their children do not suffer from the consequences of general parenting problems; the same problems that they encounter every day as adults. It is not by chance that we chose to publish a book on personality-based parenting before its official debut. Nevertheless, we did not expect it to end up at the top of the most-read list.

Diamond Dough Kid in the world

Although the title is very catchy, and the concept behind it has a marked effect on managers, the message it carries gives everybody a lot of food for thought. It is true that, as parents, we do not just want to make our children happy, we think that we must meet external expectations as well. It does make a difference what our parents tell us about how to raise our children. It matters what our partners’ parents think about us regarding this field. We also have to mention our schools, immediate environments, and a litany of other people who may give feedback. We have to meet a lot of expectations, don’t we? Of course, we want to be good parents as well. The “I cannot fail as a parent” attitude mainly characterises businesspeople in leadership positions. “If I can deliver every project at 100%, a baby cannot test me”. This attitude is so wrong. Nobody knows what fate brings. Now I am not talking about genes and their effects on health, but about the personality traits that appear in early childhood. They are what they are. We also know that although there are common points in a child’s upbringing and the development of personality connected to it, the shocking truth is that after tracking the lives of more than a thousand children for 15 years, we see that the base personality develops between ages 4 and 5. Parents know that conservative child psychology—according to which a child’s personality can be developed in the direction we want to, and it is only a matter of will and methodology—is of no use. Practising parents know that it does not work like this in reality. Manager parents face a major question: Should I let my child embarrass me in front of their teachers, or what is worse, in front of my colleagues, even if I could significantly contribute to their healthy development? Or should I turn them into a “well-mannered” child, even if they will have an unhappy life?

The Golden Mean

The book suggests that reality is not that black or white. Every personality type is precious and can be successful. Every personality type requires some level of personality modification so that children can fit into society more easily and reach their goals. The emphasis is always on the extent of forced modification. We need to pay special attention to this as businesspeople. If our children are very intense, dynamic, creative, demand attention, and as a result tend to break the rules, we should not expect them to tidy up every day before they go to bed. However, we cannot give up the idea that they can behave themselves at a company event. What is more, if we tell our colleagues that our child is actually a “little devil” and simply will not let up even for a minute, they will be quite shocked when they behave appropriately during a one-hour event. How is it feasible? Dear businesspeople, we have to make a deal with our children. I do not mean a money-based deal, however, that does work well in the case of certain personality types. It can be a simple barter: I give you this, and you give that in return. Is it awkward to make a deal with a five-year-old? Isn’t it awkward if they present the worst side of them in a company event? Is treating children as adults awkward? Which one is worse, if we make them change their personality on command? Of course, it only works for a while, because they will break out of the barriers created by us in the long run.

Why is it topical now? 2021 will be about enjoying life. People will learn to appreciate life. Let children enjoy their lives in the same way as their parents.