What Your Own Kids Can Teach You About Better Messaging

Ever wonder if your messaging sticks with your audience?  Just ask your kids.

When we joined Cindi Bigelow on a trip to her alma mater (Boston College), we were blown away by just how many college students drink tea (we figured college was a serious coffee haven).  But even more surprising than the students’ taste for tea was how they developed their tea-drinking habits: it came from their families.

If you had told us beforehand that we’d find a random wave of passersby (none of the students were pre-selected) and almost all of them would have had a love of tea instilled in them by their parents, we would have said you were crazy.  Why?  Because of sterotypical preconceptions, like:

  • Kids don’t listen to their parents
  • Kids rebel
  • Kids define their own personalities in opposition to family tradition
  • College students have horrible eating habits
  • College students live off caffeine

And so on.

Yet, if college students are willing to admit that their parents’ love of tea has rubbed off on them, what other bits of wisdom (or, conversely, what other bad habits) have you passed on to your kids?

Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  If you have students returning home from college — or if it’s you who’s heading home for the holidays — take a moment and find out which elements of your (or your parents’) messaging have survived the gap between the backyard and the dorm.  You may be surprised.

And you may learn a thing or two about the kinds of messages that last.