What is it that ensures a child’s success in life? That is the million dollar question!
No matter how you attempt to answer this age-old question, there is no denying that successful parenting plays a major role in determining a child’s success.
Whilst there is no set recipe for raising kids,
Psychologists have found a few common threads of successful parenting:
Assign your children chores.
Giving children chores at an early age can instil a sense of responsibility, self-reliance and mastery. It is important, however, that there is no payment for chores. This lowers their motivation and self-satisfaction in the task. Pocket money is fine, but should not be based on chores.
Have realistically high expectations.
More often than not, children will rise to the expectations set for them. The trick is to set the bar high enough that your kids have to stretch for it, but you both know that they can achieve it. Take a ‘you can do it’ approach.
Teach your children to learn coping strategies.
Children need to be taught to manage their emotions, particularly anger. They need to learn to handle conflict and not expect immediate rewards or gratification.
Children need to learn that it’s okay to fail.
In life, failure is a big part of success. As a parent it is important to minimise risk but not to eliminate it. Whilst this may be a difficult thing to do, failure assists in developing character, resilience and competence.
Children need to become socially competent.
Teaching your kids to co-operate with their peers is an important path to success. Encourage them to empathise and care about others. Model kindness and generosity. Social intelligence is just as important as intellect.
Spend quality time in the child’s early development.
Don’t count the hours you spend with your kids, count the engaging and stimulating things you do together. Don’t be a ‘helicopter’ parent and don’t use the television or electronic games as ‘baby-sitters’ for lengthy periods; DO spend quality time without stress – have fun with your kids.
Develop an attitude of tenacity and persistence in your child.
If you encourage children to stick with things that are difficult or unpleasant then you will give them a ‘can-do’ attitude. This ‘fighting spirit’ is a trait that is unlikely to develop later in life and the ability to endure and handle sustained effort will always be an issue for them.
Assist children in developing a strong sense of self.
It is important for children to know their own strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes. Try not to step in too much when they are trying new things. Give them some direction without taking over. This will give kids integrity and the ability to focus and commit to tasks.
Parent with the end in mind.
It is easy to parent for the moment and deal with current situations to restore peace and harmony as quickly as possible. Successful parenting involves pausing to capitalize on teachable moments and keeping in mind how we want our children to grow as adults.
Be Firm, Fair and Friendly.
Children should always understand that there are consequences for inappropriate behaviour. The punishment should, however, fit the crime. Harsh punishments achieve little and communication should be kept friendly and open.