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More Bad Parenting is What We Need

Real Estate Agent with Seth Campbell Realty Group @ Keller Williams Realty

parental disciplineI have an eight year old son and enjoy teaching him all the things he will hear from everyone else (including his mother) that he needs to ignore.  Call me crazy but I believe we are raising a generation of go-with-the-flow, sit in back, don't make waves, don't give your opinion if it will offend someone, use credit to get what you want now and pay later, spend more than you make, instant gratification, blend in, follow the crowd kids.  My latest and favorite is, "Don't talk to strangers!"  

I'm teaching my son to talk to as many strangers as possible.  I believe he/she who talks to the most strangers by the time they die will most likely be the wealthiest.  Wealthiest not just monetarily but in relationships, legacy, career, and positive influence.  Yes, I tell him to talk to strangers - just use judgement and don't get in a car with one.  The best way for him to learn who is good or bad is to talk to a lot of people.  I believe whoever talks to the most strangers will sell the most, make the most friends, have the best chance of finding the best spouse, and have more career opportunities even if not in sales.  Think about it... if he wants to be an astronaut and talks to enough strangers at some point someone is going to say, "Hey, I was an astronaut and here's what I did to achieve that."  or "Hey, my best friend was an astronaut let me give you their number."  More strangers equals more opportunity, more doors opened, more chance for success.  

Too many real estate agents are frozen when it comes to asking strangers for business or even approaching strangers.  One of those strangers might change your life forever.  I think we are scared because we were programmed to avoid strangers.  That programming is part of what holds us from higher achievement.  My son will be programmed differently.  He knows to talk to as many strangers as possible.  Call me a bad parent but I think I've lifted a mental barrier that would always hold him back otherwise.  I've got a whole bunch of these type of "lessons" I'm teaching my son.  Maybe we need some more bad parenting like this?

Comments (8)

Jack Mossman - The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Stockton
The Nines Team At Keller Williams - Stockton, CA
The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Stockton

Seth - I'm with you about talking to strangers ... as an adult or late teen ... earlier and I keep seeing the headlines about the times in which we live.  From a different prospective ... if our protectionism leads to fear factors in facing life's issues - then maybe we went a little too far in perceived safety over imagined fears. 

Sep 24, 2010 01:04 PM
Matilda Nestoroska
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Signature Service Inc., - Mississauga, ON
Real Estate Broker

Hi Seth,

I've learned about programming from Harv T. Ecker and I agree to it to some point. I am OK with my kids talking to "strangers" as long as ME OR MY HUSBAND ARE WITH THEM!! Other than that, they are not suppose to talk to strangers AT ALL!

I agree with the theory regarding the "programming" and I am doing my best not to talk to my kids stuff like " money don't grow on trees" etc :))

We all should be more positive with our kids and to teach them to grab the opportunities, but,we need to think about their safety too.


Sep 24, 2010 01:09 PM
Mark Hitz
Keller Williams - The Colony, TX

Check back with us in 8 years - when he is 16 - and let us know how it worked out.   The great thing about good parenting is there are many ways to go about it. My kids talk to enough strangers as it is without me having to encourage them.  It all depends on the surroundings they are in.  If they are at chuch they can talk to anyone they want.  If they are in a Wal-mart where a lot of wackos hang out, then I keep them close and quiet.  Enjoy your family.

Sep 24, 2010 01:18 PM
Jason Piedrasanta
Seth Campbell Realty Group - Worcester, MA

I've got to agree with Seth.  Chances are his 8 year old son isn't just walking around by himself.  Those who are successful talk to lots of people.  It's a good idea to encourage your children to talk to people they have never met; at school, church, the grocery store, or on the bus.  

Unfortunately my children are still young, and I've spent many years telling them not to talk to strangers.  They are 8, ,9, and 11 years old.  Not one of them talks to strangers.  They all act shy, and even when I tell them to answer someone's question, they either don't answer, or talk very softly.  I can't go back in time, but it's not too late (I hope) to encourage them to talk to strangers.  They know by now not to go somewhere with a stranger ever!  They know not to go anywhere with anyone unless mom or dad know about it first.  Kids are smarter than we give them credit for...

Good Luck Seth!  Now time for you to comment on my blog :P

Sep 24, 2010 02:30 PM
Kathleen Cooper
Kathleen Cooper, Sposato Realty Group - Worcester, MA
Sposato Realty Group - Broker Owner

Great post Seth!  I'm with you 100% and that's why I have some of the most social kids out there at the ages of 6, 4, 3 and 1!  Having a very social mom helps!  :)  I'm sure you're growing a billionaire with your brains & social skills!  

Sep 24, 2010 02:49 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Something my son is doing with his daughter that many would consider bad parenting - teaching her that while it's fine to be friendly and talk to everyone, she must say "NO" to anyone and everyone if what they request is wrong.

It doesn't matter if that someone is another child or an adult.

I remember being a child and rebelling against family members who insisted I must respect and obey any adult... So I taught my kids that was wrong. Not every adult is to be trusted or believed, or respected.

Guess I taught my kids that and now they're passing it along.

Oct 05, 2010 05:13 AM
Katy Cardinale
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Northport, NY

I'm  a parent too and one of my favorite books is "Protecting the Gift".  It says the same thing about talking to strangers.  Kids need to learn to talk to strangers.  I highly recommend reading it. It sounds like you would really enjoy it.  Thanks for the post.

Nov 04, 2010 03:18 AM
Ross Quintana
Real E Smarter - Spokane, WA
Real E Smarter Real Estate Coach - 509-362-1966

Ok I have to buck the trend here. It has to balanced with wisdom. Kids that age don't have the wisdom to deal with predators so I think the don't talk to strangers is a good bit of advice. I will give them something they can remember and not put them in danger for bad judgment. As they get older you can teach them to make better decisions once they build up judgment.

I think an all or nothing strategy is reckless. My concern wit a small child is to protect them until they can learn to protect themselves, not try and prepare them for a sales career. That being said, I do think that you need to teach children how to succeed in the appropriate time. I teach my kids to discern why we don't talk to strangers, and like one person commented, it depends on the setting. Now for adults I think that in real estate this is a lead generation business so if you don't want to master that, then you may have a hard time in this industry.

Nov 10, 2010 05:59 AM