Where do you eat your dinner at home? Most will reply “in front of the TV”. It seems that a lot of families have done away with having dinner at the dinner table as a family. But what if we told you that dads can prepare their kids for their future careers by just simply having dinner together without any TV or other distraction? Will you do it? Will you make the extra effort?
The lessons dads can teach their kids from a young age is really worth the dedication. Fathers must bring back the dinner table ritual.
Dads teach us a great deal. Even if you don’t think so, your dad had an influence in your life which also rubbed off on your career or shaped your career path. Dads can teach their kids skills to deal with what happens as part of the boardroom games.
Teach your kids that there is a set time for dinner and everyone must have washed their hands and be seated by that time. This teaches your kids that they have a “meeting” to attend and should be “punctual” for it. They cannot for any good reason miss this meeting.
Teach them to set up the table from an early age. Not only does this teach them that they have a responsibility to make sure everything is ready by dinner time, but it also teaches them to prepare for dinner. Therefore prepare for a meeting.
Welcome everyone positively and compliment the cook, by saying the food looks great. Then start the question and answer session. Make sure every family member has a turn. Don’t interrupt. Listen with understanding and show compassion. When you show your kids you care, they will in turn care for someone else. People who develop the emotional intelligent skill of empathy are often good leaders. If you care, others tend to trust and follow you.
This part also encourages your kids to ask questions which are absolutely vital in meetings. It teaches them to communicate and understand various other situations. It makes them emotionally intelligent.
Solve any problem. Identify a problem even a small one, like one of your kids, forgot his school book or was not on time for dinner. Ask the member around the table to come up with solutions to fix this problem. Presto, you taught your kids that by dissecting the problem and getting input from all, a creative solution can be reached.
Encourage simple things like table manners, please and thank you as well as elbows off the table, not slurping etc. Kids with table manners, tend to have manners around any table especially in the boardroom. This also earns respect from others
Focus on the positive, but don’t talk around the failures. Have a reward plate that circulates every evening or once a week. The person in the family, who reached a goal or achieved something awesome, gets to eat out of this special plate. This encourages achievements and enhances self-growth. However, don’t underestimate the power of talking about the failures in life. Sara Blakely explained that her dad wanted them to share their failures and in turn, this taught her not to be afraid of failure but to see the value in it.
You are the cheerleader. Dads must always find something to boost their kids. If your dad boosts you and focusses on your strengths, you will gain the confidence you need to hold your head high when walking into that boardroom.
Dads are not only investing in their child’s future career but also creates a platform to teach them good communication skills, manners, respect, preparation, decision-making but also a stress-free family activity. Remember to compliment your better half for making the food. If kids see that dad respects mom, they will intern respect themselves and others.
The Mindspa Institute, is a soft skills developer specializing in the development of leadership, time & stress management, emotional intelligence, problem-solving, change & diversity management to name but a few. For more on the courses visit www.themindspa.co.za or email [email protected]