I know you want the best for your daughter. But, please don’t schedule your daughter for another Extra-curricular activity, Sport or Dance/Cheer/Competitive (fill-in-the-blank).
Because you want her college application to look better.
Instead, give your daughter time to explore her interests and make some mistakes.
Make mistakes? Yes. Time to learn more about herself. I met with some students recently who demonstrated why this is key. They were academic rock stars who were struggling to answer the question:
What is your goal this year?
They knew they wanted to attend a top tier college. Had good insights into future career paths. But they struggled to share personal goals that weren’t related to “Does this help with my college applications?”
And that was concerning. Because I know that these rockstars are going to gain admission to good colleges. But what will happen the first time they hit a bump in the road? Like:
- They fail the Org Chem class that they needed to get acceptance into Med School.
- They take a tough class that could open up future career paths for them. But it’s the first time that they have struggled in school.
- An interviewer tests them to see if they want the job. Or if it’s just another notch on their resume.
Let your daughter have time to explore her interests. Without structure or the constant approving guidance of her adult role models.
It’s how the world’s top entrepreneurs and leaders often talk about they came up with answers. They had time to think on their own. Figure out solutions to problems that bothered them. And make mistakes with their ideas.
So how do you start?
Let her explore an activity that she hasn’t done before. And that won’t win brownie points on her college application.
Here are some tips:
- Schedule time. Around 1-2 hours. Yes, it’s ironic that you need to schedule it. But just do it so you don’t push it off.
- Visit a store that she hasn’t spent much time in. Give her $10-20 and let her pick out an activity that looks interesting. Something she hasn’t done before.
- Take away her usual devices of distraction – cell phone, computer, TV. Heck shut the wi-fi down for an hour.
- Offer a reward. And don’t worry if she doesn’t do it “perfectly”. Completion in this example happens when she is willing to teach herself a new skill. Without googling the answer. Let her muddle through on her own.
- Talk to her about her experience.
So let her build up her inner entrepreneur and start by finding her passions. And have a bit of struggle along the way.