All parents want their children to be successful, to accomplish worthy achievements in their lives, and to become adults who know how to navigate their lives without worries. There is no doubt that alongside the innate qualities of children, our functioning as parents can have a considerable impact on their behavior, learning skills and character. Therefore many parents are willing to do everything in their power to pave the way for this desired success for their children.
There are many theories about how this can be done, and there are innumerable psychologists, researchers, and parenting consultants who agree on the effectiveness of some of them and recommend that you apply them as well. The following 10 tips are based on research into children’s behavior at different ages and they will help you raise successful and ambitious children.
In a study conducted at the Brown Research Institute in 2014, it was found that when children are required to do chores from an early age, feelings of responsibility, confidence, and ambition develop. The researchers agreed that chores play an important role in building children's personality, but were surprised to find that while 82% of the parents in the study noted that they themselves were given chores from their parents when they were young, only 28% claimed that they required their children to do them.
The researchers emphasize that it is important to prevent conditioning between chores and rewards such as pocket money. In fact, research findings show that these rewards actually reduce the motivation to do them.
Having high, realistic expectations of children will help them understand the direction they should pursue later in life. Many studies have found that children whose parents expected them to continue to higher education usually did so as long as the parents conducted themselves in a way that helped their children succeed in school. The trick is to set a high enough expectation threshold so that children will aspire to reach it, but keep it within the possible range to prevent them from feeling frustrated or insecure.
Children who get everything they want without trying or waiting for their turn may find it difficult to cope with challenges at school and even in their future workplace. To prevent this, give your children the tools to deal with anger, delay gratification, or deal with situations that are needed to finally achieve success. At the same time, don’t deprive them of the opportunities to use these tools. If they learn how to survive small challenges in childhood, they will be able to overcome more significant ones in adulthood.
Teacher and educator Jessica Lahey, who wrote the bestseller "The Gift of Failure," notes that the role of the parent is to manage and minimize risks, rather than eliminate them entirely. She says successful parenting involves understanding that failure is a big part of success, and parents who raise successful children teach them not to fear failure or to feel ashamed when they do fail.
Many parents find it hard to watch their children fail without helping them or scolding them, but failure helps children develop a strong character and independence. In fact, research findings show that we learn a lot more from our failures than our successes.
In today's world, high social intelligence is just as important as success in various school subjects. In a comprehensive 20-year study of 700 children, those with well-developed social skills were also more likely to graduate with a degree and gain full-time employment before the age of 25. The most important things that must be taught to children in order to promote their social skills are to cooperate with their friends, to empathize with others' feelings, and to help without being asked to do so.
While there was no correlation between the number of hours spent by mothers with children between the ages of 3 and 11 and children's behavior, scholastic achievement or personal well-being, there was a significant correlation between the quality of this time and all three indicators. Therefore, there is no need to feel guilty if you work long hours, as long as the time spent with your children at the end of the day is not devoted to passive activity like watching television.
Talk to your children like you would to an adult, listen to their experiences, and try to share the important moments of your day. Try to avoid discussing disciplinary problems or scolding children during that time so that they know they can talk to you in a pleasant atmosphere regardless of what happened throughout the day.
Encouraging children to perform challenging or difficult activities and not to give up immediately will prepare them for success in later stages of their lives. Perseverance and persistence are among the things that are necessary to teach children at a very young age since a child without a "fighting spirit" will find it difficult to develop this trait later in life. Do not help your children with a task you know they can do themselves, they’ll thank you in the future.
Along with the desire to help children get on the right track in life, it's also important to maintain a balance and remember that children are people in their own right. Excessive protection of children may delay their development and prevent them from being able to think for themselves, solve problems, and cope with difficulties. Therefore, make sure to let them feel that they can make their own decisions. This helps them develop preferences, a unique taste and an understanding of the impact they have on their lives.
Many parents treat parenting as a "fire-fighting" task and conduct themselves every day in a way that enables them to take control of specific problems as soon as possible. However, finding the quickest solution as soon as possible does not meet our ultimate goal of raising children to become successful adults. Consider which of your daily struggles are important, and which you can avoid, remind yourself of the moments when you let your children off the hook, even though they behaved badly, and try to act as a role model for them.
Some children find it difficult to behave their best simply because they don’t fully understand what is required of them. This is because many parents find it difficult to educate their children consistently, punishing them only for some of their negative actions and not commending positive behavior. Successful parenting is deliberate and goal-oriented, and you have to remember that every time you talk to your child in order to convey some message to him or her.
The consequences for inappropriate behavior should be clear and proportionate, same with rewards for positive behavior. If your response to your children’s behavior is effective but also stable and friendly, your children will understand how to act and at the same time you’ll be able to maintain an open channel of communication with them and they won’t be afraid to reach out to you in the future. Follow the three commandments, and you’ll raise independent, successful and happy children.