Raising Our Kids to be Functional Adults

As a full-time education consultant, Allison Zmuda works with educators to grow ideas on how to make learning for students challenging, possible and worthy of the attempt. Over the past fifteen years, Zmuda has shared curricular, assessment, and instructional ideas, shown illustrative examples, and offered practical strategies of how to get started.

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growing-upA functional adult doesn’t fear failure. It doesn’t define who they are.

Functional adults …

  • Take calculated risks
  • Get comfortable getting out of their comfort zone
  • Are willing to do post-mordem of their victories and their losses
  • Embrace change, not run from it
  • Don’t perseverate on what used to be — they have their eyes wide, facing the open road

It is incumbent upon us as parents to excavate our child’s gifts. Take the time to figure out what our children are naturally good at and create an environment where they can develop those gifts.

  • Expose them to the best of a myriad of things. Take them to an art museum, a symphony, a sports event. If you are in a major metropolitan city there is a ton of events in all professions that are absolutely free.
  • The more you see, the more you can see. The broader your scope and depth of your experience, the further children can create, explore, problem-solve both in and out of the classroom.
  • Every experience provides a basis or frame that confirms or shifts their world view. Expand their thinking, their horizons, their knowledge
  • When you watch the news, have a conversation about the profession.
  • Engage in real conversations about real problems.
  • Talk about saving until it hurts. Having them think through delayed gratification.

The power of a great example that continues to inspire, to motivate but you still have to commit to doing the work. There is no easy button.

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