5 smart parenting tips we learnt from former Microsoft CEO, Bill Gates
While he's better known for business advice, here are 5 smart parenting tips that we've picked up from observing him as a dad. Read about them here.
Many people throughout the world draw inspiration from Bill Gates. This is no surprise, as he is a self-made success who became a billionaire by the age of 31.
Beyond being fulfilled in his work though, Bill Gates is also a father of 3 — Jennifer, 18, Rory, 16, and Phoebe, 12.
While Gates may not be the go-to resource for parenting advice, we can still learn a thing or two from the way he has chosen to raise his children.
Here, we invite you to take a closer look at how the kids of Bill Gates are being raised, and share five important life lessons that we can pass on to our children:
You don’t always get what you want when you want it
It’s hard to say “no” to our children when they ask us for things. We must remember, though, that by not giving in to their every request, we teach them to put greater value on what they have.
Even the richest man in the world sets rules for his children when it comes to material things.
Case in point: The two older kids of Bill Gates had to wait until their 13th birthdays to get a cellphone, and his youngest daughter still has to wait until her next birthday to get hers.
The Gates family decided that 13 would be the appropriate age for phones, as revealed by the billionaire on a Today show interview.
Through setting rules and boundaries in your own home, you can help develop your children’s patience and sense of contentment as well.
When you want something, work for it
Teach your kids to work for what they want by doing chores at home or performing well in school. You can motivate them by giving a toy or treat that they really want as a reward for a job well done.
In fact, that’s what Bill Gates does with his children. He has them help out with chores at home in exchange for pocket money.
When life has been good to you, give back
Charity and compassion are important virtues for kids to grow up with. This is why giving back is something that both Bill and Melinda Gates have taught their children to do.
In an interview, their mother shared that the kids of Bill Gates save a third of their allowance, and designate a charity to which the money will be given. To encourage them further, the parents even double whatever amount the kids have saved up to donate.
The family does a lot of volunteering together, and Melinda Gates makes an effort to reach out to less fortunate communities, and sometimes takes her kids with her. You can teach your kids to give back, too, in their own little ways.
For starters, you can encourage your children to donate their old toys to a local orphanage. Bigger kids can volunteer to help clean up around the neighborhood or raise funds for a worthy cause. The possibilities are endless.
Pursue your dreams and passions
In an interview on Larry King Live, Bill Gates shares that he was fortunate to have found a career that he truly loves. This same future is something that he hopes for his children, and he helps them realize their passions by exposing them to different things.
You can do the same for your kids — by paying attention to their interests, recognizing their talents and abilities, and showing support for them. Through various activities and experiences, you can help your kids become better at the things they like to do.
A sense of fulfillment in what you do is worth more than millions
It is natural for us parents to want to shield our children from hardship or harm. But while it may be tempting to hold their hands through life and pamper them as best we can, the value of hard work is something that they will need to learn.
Even Bill Gates realizes this, and applies it in his parenting. It is because of this that the kids of Bill Gates won’t be inheriting millions. Instead, much of his wealth will be donated to charity.
This decision was made because he wants his children to have a sense that their own work is meaningful and important. He believes that what is best for them is a good education that will enable them to enhance their own abilities, and allow them to succeed on their own.
Invest in your children’s education, and make sure that they have the tools they need to develop their skills and abilities. When you empower them this way, you enable them to rely on themselves and attain their own success, too.
Would you teach these life lessons to your children? What other valuable teachings do you feel you need to share with them?