A few months ago, I attended a lecture by Dr. Eyal Doron, researcher, author, and consultant who works with managers and organizations to generate shifts in consciousness and creative thinking for problem-solving. I relished hearing from someone else who thinks similarly to me.
After the lecture, I hurried to buy his book Let's Think It Over: Parenting and Education in the 21st Century, only to discover that my sister-in-law was already in the middle of reading it.
Before even finishing the book, being the entrepreneurial-minded person I am, I sought to set a coffee date directly with Eyal myself, persisting for about a month across Messenger and WhatsApp. Since I was incredibly eager to discuss the interconnection between a few critical and present topics in my life, I was determined.
For several years, I have been thinking about how the intersection between education, parenting, entrepreneurship, creativity, business, and marketing is essentially our lives' everyday tasks. These same tasks are often the most fulfilling, the most challenging, and most impressive parts of our journey, making me curious to further explore this cross-section.
I love the creativity involved in parenting! My friends are amazed time and time again at how my kids go crazy over cabbage chips, how we plan YouTube video productions, and how we talk about puzzles at the dinner table. For my family, going on an outing together in nature is our basis for holding meaningful conversations about relationships, symbiosis, and the meaning of growth. We even manage to make a trip visiting a winery, an opportunity for quality family time. These moments are how our kids learn to respect and discover the experiences derived from their environments. Now, can we call this creativity or what?
So as I read Eyal Doron’s book, I was energized:
"Reaching an unfamiliar situation and finding the exact path is all a person needs, which needs to be instilled from an early age, through education, and ourselves too. Creativity is related to discomfort on a substantial level, understanding that my existence is fragile and that anything can turn on me. A person needs to have a dialogue with the uncertainty in their life in a contained manner. It means challenging yourself, drawing boundaries."
These words resonated so strongly with me, as they are so accurate and insightful. Sometimes I joking think to myself, "Why didn't I write this book myself?"
Doron presents an incredible statistic on how upper-class children are exposed to an average of 6,818 words a day! Vocabulary exposure is one of the significant factors in child development. It was refreshing to hear someone else singing the same tune regarding the importance of speech development. Language is the basis for communication and relationships, which all starts with how we view our children, respect them, and talk to them, not over them. It creates rich children in language, opinions, ability to express, ability to fulfill, ability to feel.
On Equality & Balance
Eyal raises ethical questions about our parental responsibilities regarding the importance of achieving balance surrounding obsessive activities that attract both ourselves and our children, such as today's commonplace addiction to watching endless YouTube videos.
During my first year of college, I remember learning Aristotelian equality in my philosophy of law course, which was defined as giving equal treatment to equals and different treatment to different people. I strongly believe in this motto, which impacts how I look at my life across various aspects.
I connect this motto to achieving balance across life, understanding that each aspect of life should be treated differently according to its needs, values, and timing. What is true today will not necessarily be true in a year. For example, you love and devote yourself to all your children, but different life stages and circumstances require specific and individual attention tailored to them. We should learn to embrace this dynamic instead of our tendency to be judgemental of ourselves.
Our ability to achieve balance or lose it comes from within. Eyal called things that were actively important in our lives "obsessions," which I would arguably replace with the word "passions."
A few months ago, I attended a lecture by Yuval Hass, the "wonder child" of videography, who I first met in a coaching course we went through together. He delivers excellent content on video marketing and practical tools to produce it. However, I was much more interested in his personal story. At the age of 14, he chose to further explore his passion and work on it. He approached his mother and asked to be enrolled in a neurolinguistics programming course to develop and learn how to deal with people. Now, years later, he stands in front of hundreds of people, inspiring them to take action in their own lives. This story required desire, passion, creativity, and one adult who believed in him to help him make it possible.
I came home from Yuval's lecture and told my 7-year-old son, Jonathan, about it. Jonathan loved hearing about it and proceeded by immediately asking if he could start creating his videos. I replied yes, of course, and explained that to make a video that will truly capture and interest an audience, you first need to brainstorm ideas, develop a concept, plan some content, create a graphic cover and think about distribution. Essentially, embracing all of the fundamentals of a digital marketing course. Learning about strategy, strategic planning, creating a work plan, schedules, and self-management are now fundamental life skills that we as parents can relay to our children from an early age.
Technology has many wonderful sides. It's possible to discover a passion for something and get carried away into it. In fact, in pre-school, the teachers have the freedom to create, not have to follow one uniform plan, and can teach to bake, draw, play an imaginary game, produce a play, and play with animals. We are responsible for being attentive to a child's sensitive periods and giving them space at home. By the way, these passions and values do not necessarily entail taking dozens of expensive classes for hundreds of shekels. Watching the right YouTube video, learning familiar songs in a foreign language together, and reading together are just some of the endless inspirational options to choose from that we as parents can use to help deepen our children's passions. And just as importantly, teach and encourage them to explore independently so that tomorrow, our children will try these things on their own in real life.
Long before I became a mother, Winnicott's notion of the "good enough parent" is one of the most significant concepts I took away from my undergraduate studies in psychology. This concept implies personal balance, from a place of conscious choice and awareness, rather than a place of guilt. Someone wise once told me, "What is most personal is most universal," which is oh so true, as is the good enough parent. Being good enough is ultimately in your own eyes, the eye of the beholder, the observer, and no one can tell you otherwise.
Assumptions, Beliefs, Prejudices & Everything Else
We tend to judge ourselves and the results of our lives according to societal assumptions, or rather, others' expectations. Our judgments make us suffer because we are trying to live within expectations. When was the last time you stopped to think about whether the assumptions we judge ourselves on are indeed ours? Did you really choose them?
Doron invites us to wake up and embrace a different parenting style––one that reflects flexible, happy, and entrepreneurial parenting and allows us to continue to grow as adults. It is a model that actually considers our need for self-fulfillment, balanced, relaxed, inclusive, and loving parenting, rather than a style dictated by others' desires.
Without reading any manual on how to be a parent, I have been successfully doing this for eight years now. I have adopted the concept of having choices in my parenting style, cultivating the ability to look at any complex situation, understanding that it is momentary and that we are so much bigger than the small daily challenges. Even when a child cries, there is so much determination, perseverance, expressiveness, intelligence expressed in this reaction.
Just as I encourage all my entrepreneurs to have at least 2-3 coffee "dates" a week to open their minds, creativity, and network, I walked the talk and sat with Eyal for coffee. I was so glad I insisted on meeting with Eyal.
We spoke about the renaissance of the multidisciplinary people who are both lawyers and marketers, interested in psychology & innovation, just like ourselves. We also discussed how to develop an entrepreneurial mindset among children.
With that said, I urge you to embrace the first lesson listed above in being a role model for your children through exhibiting determination and commitment to a task, educating your kids to embrace an entrepreneurial mindset, taking the initiative, and creating opportunities for further growth and development.