Ivanka Trump on Family Values and Being Our Best Selves

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Ivanka Trump is a woman with many passions, including her tremendously successful businesses, her thriving brand, growing family and her #WomenWhoWork initiative. Ivanka recently sat down with Poppy Harlow of CNN during Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women Summit.” We recommend that you watch the interview with your teens.

Ivanka speaks about the roles of women in society and within the workplace, stressing the need to allow women to be “multi-dimensional.” Ivanka believes that a woman can be the best she can be professionally, while still being a wonderful wife, mother, and a person with hobbies, interests, and a stimulating life outside of her professional responsibilities.

For young girls and young women looking to find their place in the world, it is important to stress the concept of multidimensionality. We must challenge them to think not of how they will choose between being a professional or a family person, but to think of how they can have both if they choose to do so – to be their best across a variety of roles and create a multifaceted life for themselves. Ivanka hopes to be a “small part of changing the narrative around what it looks like to be a woman who works today.”

The focus for our children and teens, regardless of gender, should be about allowing them to become the architects of the lives they want. We should all strive to build the lives that we want, ones that are consistent with our personal priorities and allow us to be all the things we want to be. Ivanka’s message is about integration, but also about not compromising. Rather than neglect any area of our lives for another, we must find ways to make the pieces fit, to build the lives that include all of the things we care about.

While this may seem like a lofty goal, Ivanka is quick to point out the need to look for improvement over immediate perfection. We should encourage our children to follow their dreams and to recognize and celebrate the fact that we are all figuring it out. The idea of creating a full and balanced life is not something that can be accomplished overnight. The notion of living our best lives will evolve over time, simply because the priorities in our lives change over time. An open mind and a commitment to being adaptable will be the best tools for finding this work-life integration.

All these ideas are ones that are best incubated in our children at an early age. Ivanka says that she now appreciates the way she was raised (though she admits she might have a little less so when she was a teen). She uses adjectives like “loving” and “supportive” to describe the way she was brought up, but also adds that she was “pushed,” “corrected” and even “disciplined.” She says that now, as a parent herself, she can appreciate how important all of these parental roles are, as well as how hard they can be to step into. Sometimes parents must play a role that is not fun, but it is a role that enables our children to learn important lessons and to grow. Teens may not appreciate a “strict” parent at the time, but it is a key component of raising children with “drive, passion, energy” and a “well-set moral compass.”

We at believe that Ivanka shares a powerful message worth discussing with our children and teens. The approach of balancing a life of professional success with family values and shared time is one that we should all be striving for and looking to promote in our children. Start by role modeling these behaviors for your children. Take time for family discussions and device-free family activities, demonstrating that you can work hard and be passionate about and committed to work, but also have time away from your job. Encourage your children and teens to start seeking this balance and integration in their own lives. While performance in school is important, it can also come with dedication to extracurricular activities, as well as time for family and friends. Start talking about, as well as showing, your children that it is possible to have it all – to live a balanced life built around all of the things that are important to them.

If you valued your discussion of this article, and Ivanka’s powerful message, we recommend you take a look at our posts “Learning From and Appreciating #WomenWhoWork” and “Eric Trump is a Great Role Model for Teens to Follow.”

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