And as my father taught me, “Trust every one once,” and when they prove OK, then trust them again. But if they cannot be relied on, then do not forget it. However, my wife is teaching me that it is OK to let people make mistakes if they can learn from them, because the best way to learn is from direct experience - but this does require good teachers and constant monitoring.
Simon Davidmann, Visiting Professor of Digital Systems, QMC, University of London and original Co-creator of SystemVerilog
Things I teach my children (ages 8 and 11):
- No matter when, where, or what you may do, I love you 1,000%
- If you think you can, you can a lot better!
- I don't care how well you do in school; I care how well you do against the talents that you have. If you have a lot, then one should expect a lot from you.
- If you have the brains to criticize, you should have the heart to help.
- A cookie shared is two cookies' worth of pleasure.
- When you go out together, you come back together. You are responsible for others.
- Do the right thing when nobody is looking.
- You don't lie; you don't cheat.
- Water, electricity, food are all precious resources; don't waste them!
- Finish your plate, then dessert; finish your homework, then play.
- Have you brushed your teeth?
- No matter when, where, or what you may do, I really love you 10,000%
Comment from 8-year-old in seeing this list: “I sort of remember the stuff to do, but not that you told me to, I guess.”
Comment on the list from 11-year-old: “No comment!”
Aart de Geus, Chairman and CEO, Synopsys, Inc.
I teach my children (all in their mid-to-late 20s now) that it doesn't matter what you do for a living, as long as you are HAPPY, that's what matters. I think too many of us push our kids too hard, and they end up in jobs they don't really like, but they think mom and dad will be pleased with them for doing it. It's all about living one's OWN life, not someone else's.
Lois Dubois, President, Cayenne Communications
My son just turned 20, so like Mark Twain's father, I still need to do more learning than teaching. Fortunately, he's a patient mentor, wittily pointing out my middle-aged foibles and in-grown hypocrisies. If I protest too much, my wife will gently remind me that he's “just a chip off the old blockhead.”
Bruce Edwards, Executive Director, Altium
You are always better at what you like, so it is important to learn to like school, and math, and spelling, and,
You don't have to choose between a well-paying job and a good job. Pick the good job. By being happy with what you do, money becomes a lot less important (this is a tough sell
.) The fact that you are smart doesn't make you good - it is much more impressive when you master something that you find hard, than when you go far with something you find easy.
Jacob Jacobsson, CEO, Forte Design Systems
My adopted children were born in Europe and China, and a big idea around our house is: respect diversity. We talk about being citizens of the world - what does this mean to an 8- and an 11-year-old? I suggest it's important to be curious about cultures, open to differences, and willing to share and be changed as a result of interacting with others. They say it means going to interesting places and sharing their toys and stuff with new friends. Whatever the ages involved, it pretty much all comes down to playing nicely together when we're in the same sandbox .... no matter what its size.
Melissa Jones, President, Ultimodule, Inc.
I would tell parents that their children are the world's children and, in that regard, raising their children is the most important work of the world.
Barbara Kalkis, President, Maestro Communications
The greatest mission for me is helping my son be happy, healthy, positive and kind.
Eva Kam, Director of Marketing, ChipMD
Well let's see. I have a bunch of nephews whom, being British, it is important to remind them to remain sober, as you suggest. But I would say for the column, that I have a favorite motto “Today is the first day of the rest of your life!” which I pass on to anyone that takes the time to listen to me - and sometimes my nephews do. What an interesting thought - if you need to change something, there is no time like the present. What would happen if you applied that to our business? Maybe an uptick in the economy?
Dave Kelf, Vice President of Marketing, Novas Software, Inc.
What I teach my children (i.e., my nieces and nephews) ...
I teach them the sweet rewards of being loving and considerate.
I teach them that disco funk is man's highest musical achievement.
I teach them to kick ass at bumper cars - Sorry! - and badminton.
I teach them to be optimistic, hardworking capitalists.
Abbie Kendall, Principal, Armstrong Kendall
My husband Kevin and I are determined to teach our children the importance - and great value - of tolerance. The word “tolerance” is itself misleading, implying that differences are something to be endured or allowed. It's essential that all of us treat people from different cultures, socio-economic backgrounds, religions, etc., with equal kindness and respect, going well beyond tolerance and into the realm of complete acceptance and appreciation. I feel blessed to live in Silicon Valley, where we not only enjoy great diversity of people, but can find tremendous value - if we choose it - in seeing things through the eyes of people who are different from ourselves.
Kathryn Kranen, CEO, Jasper Design Automation
I teach my children that they must become masters of the English language. They are lucky enough to speak as their native tongue the language that has become the "world language." That being so, they must put in the extra effort to employ English in all of its beauty to clearly articulate their thoughts both in written and spoken form. As an aside, I am quite proud that my kids typically have been the first in the various writing tests conducted by our local schools. They didn't used to appreciate my insistence on language, but now they are happy (or so they say) that I was so insistent.
Stan Krolikoski, CEO, ChipVision
My teenage daughter has heard a lot from me about cultivating a balance in her life - specifically, in terms of physical activity, mental challenges, and overall enjoyment and appreciation of life's 'special' gifts. I try to make this balance real for her in supportive ways. We enjoy playing squash together on the weekends and driving together each day to her challenging private high school. As often as possible, we giggle with delight as we open a can of fois gras - lovingly packaged by her grandmother in France.
Alain Labat, President and CEO, Tera Systems, Inc.
Basically, my “children” learn, from a very early age, that teaching is far more effective with actions rather than words. At any age, we learn that encouragement and kindness, positive feedback, go much further in shaping a personality than do criticism and negative comments. My “children” and I have both learned that a bond of love is the best teaching mechanism there is, no matter who is the teacher and who is the student. Oh, by the way, my wife and I have six “children” of the feline persuasion and, throughout the years, we have all learned a lot from each other.
Jim Lipman, President, SemiView
I travel a lot, so when I'm home, I like to be the fun parent. I try to help my children have a sense of humor, to be competitive and outgoing. I think these are necessary characteristics in today's world. I also try to help them with their homework, especially math. But with the homework they're assigned and the way they're being taught, I end up questioning the whole educational system and getting just as frustrated as they do.