Parenting can be wonderful and rewarding, but it can also be difficult and unpleasant. Most parents experience moments of feeling overwhelmed. There’s a lot of information out there about what we “should” do to raise “good” children.
In reality, there are no guaranteed methods for ensuring our children will be happy, healthy and successful in life. There is, however, plenty of research showing that parents can make a significant, positive difference through a number of simple approaches.
Research findings assert that the most overwhelming key to a child’s success in life is the positive involvement of parents and that the parents of successful children have some interesting factors in common.
Parents of successful children
Parents are the ultimate role models for their children. Their every word, movement and action has either a negative or a positive effect on their children’s future success in life. Having established that basic fact, scientific research has, however, also uncovered some other interesting facts about what helps children become happy, successful adults and how their parents have helped!
Ten steps to helping your child become successful
According to research results, the parents of happy, successful children have at an early age fostered certain values and skills in their children and have exposed them to some of the following:
- A good basic education in good schools and an early love of learning contribute to a child’s success.
- Researchers point out that mastery of early math skills predicts not only future math achievement but also future reading achievement.
- A growing body of research has found that musical training makes children smarter and gives them learning advantages in the classroom.
- No skill shapes a child’s future success in school or in life more than the ability to read. Experts advise parents to read “with” their children not just “to” their children. This entails actively engaging them in the process by calling attention to words and phrases instead of allowing them to just stare at the pictures.
- Being in good shape increases children’s ability to learn. Parents must encourage their children to exercise and do sport. Do not allow them to equate being athletic and sporty with being a dumb jock.
- Sleep deprivation makes children underachieve, so parents must insist that children get their eight plus hours of sleep every night.
- “IQ isn’t worth much without self-discipline as self-discipline has a bigger effect on academic performance than intellectual talent”, proclaim some researchers. Parents must teach their children self-discipline regarding money, chores, homework and time management. Let them experience the natural consequences of lack of self-discipline instead of always running to “rescue” them when they make the wrong choices.
- Smart children respect their parents and family from a young age and later also respect others, the symbols of faith, the culture and patriotic beliefs of others, property and authority. Rebels without a cause don’t go far in life!
- It’s sometimes necessary to teach very young children not to back chat and that your “no” means “no”. However, teaching children how to communicate and negotiate with a parent in a respectful way without having to throw a tantrum is better. When children know that a parent will listen patiently and when they are earnest and make a really good point that the parent may give in, it not only teaches them how to argue their case but also how to control their emotions.
- Every word, facial expression, gesture or action on the part of a parent gives the child some message about self-worth. Smart, happy children have a healthy self-image because they have been nurtured to have a feeling of self-worth. Parents must show their children that they believe in them, that they like and love them. Even when children make a mistake, parents must show that the effort is valued over avoiding failure and that they keep on believing in their children.
“The day the child realises that all adults are imperfect, he becomes an adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult; the day he forgives himself, he becomes wise” (Alden Nowlan).
Barker, E. 2014. How to make your kids smarter: ten steps backed by science. Retrieved from: http://time.com/12086/how-to-make-your-kids-smarter-10-steps-backed-by-science/
How to be a better parent: three counterintuitive lessons from science. 2014. Retrieved from: http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2014/01/how-to-be-a-better-parent/
Morin, A. 2016 Life skills taught by effective discipline strategies. Retrieved from: https://www.verywell.com/life-skills-your-discipline-should-teach-your-kids-1095032
Quotes about successful children. Retrieved from: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/child.html