Raising entrepreneurs

January 25th, 2014

I recently watched Cameron Herold talk about raising entrepreneurs and what he says makes a lot of sense!

If you want creative children, innovative children, children who are not afraid to “think outside the box”, let them create their own play.

Years ago, my daughters went to Missouri every summer to see their grandparents with their cousins. There was no TV, and no amusement park. There was a garden, there were some stray cats, and there were a million things to discover. Boxes and crates became cars and houses, garden tools became staffs and wands, swings became airplanes. The kids created their own worlds and platforms. These were some of their fondest memories.

Today, I have fearless women as adults who are not afraid to dream, and dare, and stand up to workplace injustice.

What can you do to create entrepreneurial spirits in your daughters?

Your Job Isn’t done when your daughters are adults!

January 18th, 2014

One of the items on my bucket list this last year was to speak with my daughters. I was able to get two out of the three of them onstage with me, and even pay them! It was the beginning of a new “partnership” and relationship between us as co-presenters. We got great reviews and it was a load of fun! More than that, it is the beginning of my legacy to them.

What do you have to leave to your daughters? I’m not talking about your wealth, or your property. I’m talking about your talent, your skill, and your accumulated knowledge. What can you leave them that will enable them to take what you have done and make it their own?They might even take it up a notch.

There is no one better prepared to step into your legacy, women, then your daughters. If you have raised them fearlessly, they will be ready to shine when you share with them what you know.

Are you willing to go there?Graphic Illustration of talk with Christie Ward and her daughter

Tiger Mom and Raising Fearless Women

January 18th, 2011

Amy Chua, author of the recently released “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” is coming under attack for being tough and having high expectations of her children. Actually, most parents have high expectations. What’s getting Chua in trouble is that she is putting tiger teeth into her expectations, creating rules around them, and then enforcing them.

Having raised three women who are fearless and successful, happy and contributing members of society, I heartily support Chua’s approach, and know that was one of the contributors to my success as a parent as well. I set rules, I had charts, there were times of day off limits to entertainment and leisure when there was work to be done.

I remember the high school counselors who contacted us to complain about our “strict” household and unfairness to our children. I remember because clearly one of our kids had used our “methods” as rationale for why an assignment wasn’t done or why they couldn’t provide transportation for other teens to an event. I was shocked at the time. My daughters were high achievers in both academics and the arts. What on earth could you find fault with? Then I realized it was the other parents who were unwilling to put teeth into their expectations for their children who were the critical ones. Our strictness was a direct contradiction to their permissiveness, and the results were so telling that it was clear who was on the right track. The complaints were coming from other parents about our strict households, and the counselors felt compelled to reach out to make sure we weren’t abusing our kids with the chore chart. Amazing, isn’t it?

As parents, we do need to seek a balance and let our kids be kids. But in this competitive world of ours, if we don’t “insist” and make sure our kids live up to their potential, who will? Trust me, it won’t happen on it’s own! Amy Chua, you get my vote, and my support. Well done!

First born daughter

April 13th, 2010

When my firstborn daughter Erin arrived in 1980, my life as a career college teacher changed dramatically. Our family moved from the city to a small town several states away. I suddenly found myself in a rural setting with a newborn and no family or close friends nearby. This led to lots of time with the new baby. I nurtured a strong desire to raise this child to become a woman of significance. I asked, “How can I ensure she will learn to fearlessly control her own destiny?” My answer was to talk to Erin as if she already was that fearless woman.

Starting in her first hours outside the womb, my husband and I looked straight into her eyes and told her what a wonder she was, how she could become whatever she wanted. We pledged our support and love but not our rule. She would be allowed to decide for herself how to live her life.

Do infants understand our intentions and our messages before they can understand our words? I think so.

FEAR – What is it and Why does it stop us?

April 7th, 2010

In my 20’s, I read Frank Herbert’s Dune trilogy and remember its hero Paul Atreides saying, “Fear is the mind killer.” I agree. I’ve seen how fear stops us by killing our wills and our minds. When stuck in fear, we can no longer think, we simply respond.

On the other hand, fear can make us strong and even courageous. Because of this, I don’t advocate making sure that young girls around us never have to deal with fear. Instead, let’s teach them to not allow fear to stifle them or kill their minds. For fear breeds courage and courage can propel them to excellence, to move fearlessly through their lives.

Yet how does a young girl learn to move through the fear and not get stuck in it? I believe it depends on the significant adults in her life. What these adults say and do in the earliest years affect her forever.