Search the site

Growing Leaders Blog

on Leading the Next Generation


What Short-Term Thinking Does to Our Kids

Have you read the latest updates on the largest college admissions bribery scandal in our history?  The original story was—at least 50 parents paid bribes to get their children admitted into prestigious universities, like Stanford, Yale, UCLA, Wake Forest, USC and others. It was an atrocious attempt by parents to control outcomes and is an ugly sign of the times—that adults will choose unethical means to reach their or their child’s goal.  After all, it’s a great story to tell at the country club.

The latest update provides a warning for us all.

USC just announced that they will not let the students who may be associated with the scandal register for any classes this fall. Yes, the very students who Mom or Dad intended to give an advantage—thanks to payoff money—now cannot even attend class. Their records are frozen and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The students cannot even acquire their transcripts until their case is reviewed.

Wow. Talk about a reversal.

A Cautionary Tale

Here is a friendly reminder to you as a caring adult. When we adults attempt to control the outcomes in order to provide our kids a break—it usually backfires. By this I mean, the very parents who sought to make college admissions easier for their son or daughter, ended up making things worse. And while the parents will likely have to pay a large fine, these families are affluent. It will feel like a slap on the hand. The students, however, are now associated with this scandal and will likely feel:

  • Embarrassed. (They didn’t get in on their own merits.)
  • Penalized. (They will now fall behind in starting college.)
  • Mocked. (They will be the brunt of social media jokes.)

Shortcuts don’t pay off in the long run.

When parents intrude, their kids usually lose.

This story happens to be the most current example of our short-term thinking, but parents and teachers have done this frequently for the last three decades. May I remind you of some common scenarios I’ve witnessed?

  1. Parents rushing forgotten gym shorts or permission slips to the school.
  2. Dads offering to coach a sport so they can play their child first-string.
  3. Parents negotiating with teachers to get their child a better grade.
  4. Educators changing scores on standardized tests to gain better funding.

I’m not exactly sure what happened to us, but we’ve forgotten our ethics. We believe the end justifies the means. We’ve become pragmatists. This is sad, but what is most disheartening to me, is that—in the end—our children are the victims of our poor leadership. We feel the consequence a little. They feel it a lot. And as a young person, whose brain is still forming, these impressions last a lifetime. During their teenage years, their brain is developing from back to front, and their executive functioning hasn’t completely matured. It is very difficult to rewire a set of ethics, as a teen, when your own parents or teachers have misguided you in this way.

Changing Our Ways

Millions of young people from the Millennial generation and Generation Z have been wounded in these transactions. They fall prey to our good intentions yet bad decisions. If we really care about these students, we’ve got to change our ways. I have a little list I try to follow when guiding students or teaching students. I offer it here:

1. Think Long Term.

Will my decision model ethics and teach them to make wise choices in the long run?

2. Think Big Picture.

Does my decision exemplify seeing beyond my own interest, to see and serve others?

3. Think High Road.

Do my choices assume the best about others and model hope and belief in people?

I’ve written before about my wife Pam’s example for our kids at home. Years ago, when our daughter Bethany was four years old, the two of them were shopping for groceries. When they returned to the car, Pam suddenly realized she had a can of green beans that she failed to pay for. So, she turned the cart around and returned the vegetables to the cashier. When she did, the young clerk did a double take. She could not believe someone would do such an ethical thing. After all, it was just a can of green beans. So the clerk smiled and said, “Thanks, but you didn’t’ have to do this. It’s not a big deal.”  To which my wife replied, “It is when your child is watching.”

Let’s think long term when it comes to leading our kids.

Empower Your Kids to Enter Adulthood with Resilience, Resolve, Purpose & Satisfaction.
Check out our latest book for parents called 12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid

This resource helps adults:

  • Lead their kids to succeed before and after graduation.
  • Discover a relevant, practical framework for recognizing students’ needs.
  • Prepare students who can care for themselves.
  • Develop emotionally-healthy kids who become thriving adults.
  • Clearly see the potential of who and what your kids can be.

Order Today


  1. […] post What Short-Term Thinking Does to Our Kids appeared first on Growing […]

  2. JeremyAstog on April 9, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    Возможные игры долгое время сейчас получили свое главное область посредине активными абонентами сети всемирной паутины, и не выпускают нас повседневно радовать и ошеломлять персональными выпущенными деянием, победителями, эффектами и мыслью ото созидателей. Бывает, такое что по определенной гейм необходимо окончательное загрузка и внедрение в наш именном ПК, однако по сегодняшний день намного складно оперировать данные плезир через веб-сайты онлайн- развлечений, каковы легкодоступные круглосуточно при выхода в интернет подключения, также вовсе не требуют запасного периода и папки в телефоне собственно для настройки. Когда клиент адепт разнообразных вымышленных забав, это будет оптимальным базой отдыха собственно для игроков станет данный онлайн- сайт battle royale, где успешно организована ассортимент самых популярных также новых игр, у каких возможно играть вовсе без записи.
    Веб ресурс создан намеренно на настоящих обожателей веб истории, также вмещает по себя непохожие своевременные, известные, заметные, юзерские, ресурсные, серийные и свежие обновления. На портале очень практично установить игровую новинку на наши с вами индивидуальные вкусы, к тому же если Вы зайдет здесь в первую очередь, поскольку полностью все гейм правильно разобраны в темы и род. В этом месте юзеры имеют возможность ввести надобную гейм-версию:
    – с помощью сетов : армейские, историчные, мореплавающие, фантастика, зомбические, злодеи к тому же иные
    – благодаря игровой значимости : 2Д, 3Д, групповые, стратегия, погоня, выживание, ненастоящие, хитрые, MMOFPS, MMOTPS и иные
    – на характеру: мультипликационные, иностранные, российские, соревнование, вместе с машинами, вурдулаками, эльфов, оборотней, реалистичные, волшебные, забавные, протестированные также другие
    – соответсвенно оценки
    Споручный сервис по комплектование интернет игр предоставляет точное воссоздание игры, год выпуска, чарте плюс тип, потому гости сайта моментально смогут вывести личные позыв насчет тенденции – логичка, шутеры, восторг, ККИ, РПГ плюс подобные разновидность, какие точно принесут для Вас массу свежих отзывов, навыков к тому же связи из другими пользователями. Заходите нашим ресурсом совершенно в сподручное момент, играйте онлайн, скачивайте и обозревайте всяческие новинки на данному сайте бесплатных веб игровых занятий.

  3. on August 18, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    This design is wicked! You definitely know how to keep a reader
    entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job.
    I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that,
    how you presented it. Too cool!

Leave a Comment

What Short-Term Thinking Does to Our Kids