Value is in Real-Time

You’ll need to know a great deal about your child to be able to offer something recognized as valuable.

I recognize something as valuable if it’s useful to me now. This means three things:

  1. I recognize that I need something –
  2. I have enough knowledge and skill to be at least a little successful with ‘the something’  right away –
  3. I have enough reserves (time, space, money, support, etc.) to risk trying it –

Basically, value means that it, the product, service, idea, whatever, has a personal benefit to me in real-time.

Extra Extra

An extra sounds like something that should be better than value but that’s not always true. Not everyone will agree with your notion of a valuable extra especially if the extra is layered on top of something that isn’t valuable in the first place.  An extra is something that isn’t strictly necessary right now which means that it has an implied future value from which I may never benefit.

So consider some of the value and extras that you offer to other people every day. Are you offering valuable ideas or services as I’ve defined here? Are you promoting your offerings with extras that aren’t really worth much? And how about the services, ideas, and products you are offered every day. Do they measure up as valuable?

Now your children

You’ll need to know a great deal about your child to be able to offer value. You’ll need to know his or her real-time needs and real-time skills, his or her real-time desires and real-time reserves (mostly confidence and esteem with peers.) Any advice or guideline you offer must have the three basic value characteristics:

  1. Your advice or guideline must be recognized as a fix to a real-time problem
  2. Needs little or no learning curve to make use of the advice or follow the guideline
  3. Your child has plenty of reserves (confidence and esteem) so risk is low

Offer advice and set guidelines with these three characteristics and your child will see the value. The greater his or her perception of value the more likely your advice or guideline will be followed.  Yay!

Caution: Time your extras well

If you’re tempted to add, “It’s important to moisturize every night so that when you’re my age you won’t have so many wrinkles,” or to your 5th grader, “You’ll really need to keep your grades up to get into a good college,” pause first. Yes, these are valuable extras because you’re helping to create good habits and you’re teaching about cause and effect. Yes, keep adding extras but do it in a way that doesn’t block the value of your original offer. Establishing a face-washing routine must first highlight real-time value so initially just focus the real-time stuff. Once the routine is in place and washing face is more habitual you can roll out some extras. In this way the big picture benefits you intend with your extras are absorbed because, to your child, it seems as though you’re offering him or her extra recognition which is valuable confidence boosting that’s useful in real-time.

Related Article: Parenting Promises, Skipping School,

Related Tip of the Week: Powerful Listening – What gets in the way, Articulate, Nightly Tuck-In

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Author: Lorraine Esposito

Lorraine Esposito 914-410-7502 Lorraine Esposito is a certified professional life coach, mentor coach, owner of The Center for Coaching Mastery at Westchester Community College in New York, and nationally recognized author of The Peacemaker Parent, Solving Problems for Today, Teaching Independence for a Lifetime, Lorraine is the featured life coach for a popular New York radio station, WFAS 103.9 FM and is in collaboration with and featured blogger for the National Football League and USA Football adding a ‘coach approach’ to coaching youth sports. Lorraine’s client base includes CEO’s in the entertainment industry, White House and Capitol Hill public affairs staff, entrepreneurs, global TED speakers, award winning writers, new coaches just starting out, successful business women between 40 and 55 looking for more out of life, and parents needing a little help making good on their parenting promises. Lorraine’s career matches the diversity in her coaching practices. Starting out in the rural mid-west, Lorraine has owned four small businesses; the first, an automobile repair center, started at age 16. Her corporate experience is mainly in negotiating multimillion dollar contracts as the buyer of domestic in-flight food and beverages for Trans World Airlines and then as a procurement manager for the New York City Transit Authority. Lorraine’s strength has always been creatively finding solutions to even the most complicated goal. In addition, Lorraine’s 30 years as a professional fitness coach continues to add depth to all her endeavors. She has been featured in various print, broadcast, and on-line media and is a public speaker regarding personal leadership to community and school-based audiences. Lorraine lives in New York with her husband and two teenage sons.

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