I was planning for a holiday with my 13 years old daughter a few years ago.

It was my first trip to that city, and I tasked her to develop the full itinerary once I had booked the flight and accommodation.

I told her I was going to switch off the moment we land at the airport. After that, it was her job to navigate us to the hotel and around town.

She took on the challenge with zest and set off to research and build her itinerary on an excel sheet. The results were impressive. She had mapped out daily itinerary, complete with narratives of different destinations, the transport routes, where to have meals and the related cost.

Two days before the trip…

She came to me crying for help. Apparently, she had accidentally erased the entire itinerary that she had painstakingly put together.

She was obviously looking to me to save the day.

I look at her calmly and asked,

“Are you going to cry to your manager in the future or your teacher if the same thing happens to you on your job or homework before your deadlines?”

 “What are you going to do now that you still have two days left before our trip?”.

She pondered and receded into her room.

Three hours later…

I was extremely proud of her when she resurfaced with a revised itinerary she had reconstructed from her memory and notes.

We proceeded to have the best vacation together.

Some of you might think that I was being too hard on her. I call this tough love.

This is the way I train her to be accountable, resilient and independent.

Lessons learnt

This incidence helped her to build her confidence. She also learned these lessons,

  • Do your groundwork, your work will be easier the second time round
  • Be accountable and fix your mistake
  • Press on to get the job done
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