March 10, 2014

You should be glad if you have cunning, crafty and mischievous kids


I have two kids ...  my son is 15 and my daughter is 13. Both are now in secondary school doing IGCSE ... well, academically I must admit they are not as good as I hope they can be but that is OK because I don’t believe that exams results should determine their futures.

But if they are not up to mark academically, they definitely made it up with the traits of cunningness, craftiness, mischievous and disobedience ... so don’t be fool by their innocently naughty and playful nature.

Now, I am not worried about them having these traits ... I will be very worried if they don’t. Look, they are normal teenagers ... so, it is very normal for them to pick up these traits as they grow. The way I see it, cunning doesn’t mean one have to lie, crafty doesn’t demand one to be deceitful, mischievous is not necessary ill-behaving and disobedience means knowing how to say no ... these traits are not so bad actually ... so long as these traits are not being used underhandedly, deceitfully or dishonestly.

(Example of a cunning, crafty and mischievous kid ... cartoon image sourced from the internet)

OK, this is my personal opinion and you don’t have to agree  ... the way I see it, these traits can be good for the kids. I think kids who display cunningness, craftiness, mischievous and maybe playful disobedience are the more resourceful ones and quite likely will be successful (I am not saying this because my kids have similar traits) in whatever they do in the future. ... that is, if these traits are channeled constructively ... 'put to good use' so to say.

I am not saying that the good, obedient and well behaved kids who followed the book and played by the rules are not going to be successful ... I am sure they will flourish and will do very well too. What I am saying is ... it is OK if kids bend the rules a bit or twist the story a little or maybe wily in approaching or cunningly calculative ... this means that they know how to get around things, get to what they want, putting things in their perspectives and using alternative methods ... that is creativity at work. 

If managed and channeled properly, the cunningness, craftiness, mischievous, scheming and conspiring ways of the kids can be constructively developed into what I called “street smartness” that will provide them with an added advantage when they go out to make a life on their own.

Look, it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there ... I am sure you will agree that a street smart kid will fare a lot better when it is time for him/her to come face to face with the real world.

Let me share with you a true story to support my point ...  I know of a very successful person who started working under me when he finished his studies ... we were working together in a large international company in the early 90s. He is a smart guy ... today, he owns and operates a multi-million dollar company. Picture this ... the CEO of the international company that we used worked in is now working for him.

Now here is what I really want to tell you ... when he first started his company, he told me he was going into a business venture with a financial service broker that I knew. I was a bit concern and ask why he decided to go into a business venture with this broker knowing very well he (the broker) is a very cunning and shrewd man. What he told me made a lot of sense.

He said this (not in exact words but something along the line) ... “I know the guy is very cunning and shrewd ... that is why it is good for the business venture ... I know how to manage him and channel his cunningness and shrewdness to my advantage ... really, I am not worried at all”. What he really meant was that as long as he did not allow his partner to take underhand advantage of him, he can make use of his (partner’s) cunningness and shrewdness to generate revenue for the business venture.

You see, we meet all sorts of of cunning, crafty, sneaky and sly people ...  in work or in our personal lives. Many will avoid these people, not wanting to deal with them ... but hey, why not think of how we can manage and channel the cunningness, craftiness, sneakiness and slyness to become something constructive?

OK, back to the kids ... do your kids bend the rules a bit or twist the story a little and full of tactics? Are you worried?  But really, you should be glad if you have cunning, crafty and mischievous kids.

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