Parenting with a Story Podcast: Real-life lessons in character for parents and children to shareAdobe Photoshop PDF

Tell a young person what to do – play fair, be yourself, stick to the task at hand – and most will tune you out. But show them how choices and consequences play out in the real world, with real people, and the impact will be far more effective and long lasting. Based on interviews with over 100 people from around the world and from all walks of life as they reflect on their most profound and unexpected moments of clarity about who they are and how they should treat others.

The lessons help teach 23 powerful character traits that will help your child grow into the adult you’ll be proud to call your own: ambition, open-mindedness, creativity, curiosity & learning, courage, integrity, self-reliance, grit, hard work, self-confidence, money & delayed gratification, health, positive mental attitude, dealing with loss, kindness, patience, fairness & justice, humility, respect for others, friendship, social intelligence, forgiveness & gratitude, appreciation of beauty.

The Magic (or Curse) of Compound Interest and the 80-10-10 Principle

Making smart decisions about what to spend and how to save doesn’t sound like much fun to most people. They’re often lumped together with balancing the checkbook and choosing between complicated investment options on the list of things we don’t really understand and would rather not spend our time doing. So they’re often neglected. But [read more]

“Dad, I want some f**king candy!”

WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE — Kid’s say the darnedest things, and three things you can learn from it. When running for president in the year 2000, George W. Bush was asked by the press to explain his immature behavior in his twenties and thirties. He responded simply, “When I was young and irresponsible, I was young [read more]

Google President Kirk Perry’s 3 Lessons from Losing a Fight

My guest this week is Google President of Brand Solutions, Kirk Perry. He shares a very personal story about a loss on a high school wrestling mat that has both haunted and blessed him ever since. Kirk is much more interesting (and charming) to listen to than my prose is to read. So I encourage [read more]

The most shameful moment of my life, and the 3 lessons I learned from it

In 1976, Alex Haley published his Pulitzer Prize–winning book Roots: The Saga of an American Family. The story chronicles the history of Haley’s ancestors, starting in 1767 when an African man, Kunta Kinte, was kidnapped in Gambia, brought to the United States, and sold into slavery. A year after the book was published, it was [read more]

Is chivalry dead? Should it be?

I learned one of my most memorable lessons on chivalry as a college student in the early 1990s. One Saturday, my girlfriend and I were walking on a sidewalk downtown. As we walked past a middle-aged African American man sitting on a bench, he said to me, loudly, “Young man, show some respect. Walk curbside [read more]

Would you rather be the head of a dog or the tail of a lion? Leadership opportunities for kids

The kind of goals people deem worthy can vary over time and across cultures. In the U.S., for example, we often tell our kids to set lofty goals. If we fail, so what. At least we tried. In Asia, on the other hand, setting an aspirational goal and falling short might not be what most [read more]

How Larry Bird Picked His Agent

Larry Bird was already a basketball hero in his home state of Indiana by the time he was a senior in high school, graduating as the all-time leading scorer at Springs Valley High. By the time he was a senior at Indiana State University, he was being touted as the best college player in the [read more]

Truth, lies, and shoving stuff up your nose

Natalia learned the painful consequences of not telling the truth at the tender age of three. But it wasn’t the sting of her father’s hand when she was caught that hurt. In fact, she never got caught at all. It turns out that cost her far more dearly than if she had. Natalia was born [read more]

Magic Mirror on the Island of Negros

Most of the daily decisions we make only affect us for a short while: what to have for dinner or what clothes to wear today. Some can affect us for a lifetime, like whom to marry. But sometimes the effect of our decisions lingers on to impact our children and their children, for generations to [read more]

Going alone: an underappreciated strategy for not missing out on life

Glenda Cecil was born in 1908 in Parker City, Indiana. When she was still a young girl, around the age of twelve, she was invited to attend one of the biggest Christmas parties in the county. Everyone was excited to attend because word had leaked out that the hosts planned something special for the evening [read more]