Everyone wants successful children. Success has different meaning to different people but it simply focuses on yielding positive results.
Being successful is everyone's dream.
So many factors can determine if an individual will be successful or not. Research is also of the opinion that most successful people have similar early childhood experiences.
How To Raise Successful Kids
Following decades of scientific research, here are seven things every parent can do to if they want theirchildren to be successful. There are more activities expected to be carried out but this list serves as a starting point for parents.
1. Be a responsive and accommodating parent.
Don't condone bad things but be ready to listen to them.
In 1938, Harvard University conducted a special study to find the secret to raising successful people.
In the Harvard Grant Study, the first study of its kind, 268 male Harvard students, including John F. Kennedy, were tracked over the next seventy years. Their physical and emotional health were recorded, and their successes, or the lack of, were analyzed.
Researchers arrived at one clear conclusion:
Relationship is the secret to a happy and successful life. Having a childhood in which one feels accepted and nurtured is one of the best predictors of adult success, well-being and life satisfaction.
This outcome was hardly surprising.
Bowlby & Ainsworth formulated the Attachment Theory in the 1950s, stating that a child who receives warm and nurturing care from a caregiver can develop a secure attachment. A child with a secure attachment is much more likely to have positive development and outcomes.
In addition, human brains are highly experience-dependent. The brain’s architecture is shaped by life experiences and interactions. An experience with a warm and responsive parent sets the foundation for future mental health. Memories of a happy childhood are a lifelong source of strength.
Therefore, the best way to raise successful kids is to become a warm, responsive, and accepting parent, and cultivate a close parent-child relationship and family.
2. Master and teach emotional regulation
Being able to regulate one’s emotions is crucial in achieving success and happiness in this world.
Emotional regulation is not a skill we’re born with. It is crucial for us to teach our children how to control their emotions.
However, teaching emotion regulation is not simply giving kids exercises or games to play. Children learn to self-regulate primarily from watching the parents and seeing how they regulate themselves. If we are upset and yell at our kids every time they misbehave, we cannot expect our kids to be able to stay calm when they get upset.
Many of us were brought up being reprimanded or yelled at when we misbehaved. Therefore, emotional regulation is probably not something you have mastered either. So to help your child succeed in life, first and foremost, master self-regulation yourself and become a good role model for them. Then your child will learn how to do this.
3. Teach them how to make make right decisions
As parents, we want to protect our children, but controlling or helicopter parenting can hinder rather than enhance a child’s development. Making sound decisions requires practice, which can only come from experiences.
Give children choices over non-safety and health-related things so they can start learning how to choose. Instead of forcing them to follow your advice, guide them. However, if they still want to do it their way, let them suffer the natural consequences. Experience is the most efficient way to learn to make good decisions. Autonomy also allows a child to gain self-trust and self-esteem.
A person cannot succeed no matter how well they’re equipped if they don’t want to succeed. A person needs to be motivated to achieve greatness in what they do. Besides learning to make good choices, freedom of choice is also a crucial motivator, especially with school work.
If kids are not allowed to make their own decisions, they will lose motivation.
A child’s ability to self-motivate to learn and achieve relies on having the autonomy to choose.
4. Challenge them, just enough
Children are motivated to strive toward goals they can achieve. It takes effort to sustain motivation, but success must be possible.
A task becomes uninteresting to the child when it is too easy, but also when it is too challenging to accomplish. Offer kids challenges within their current capabilities and provide them with prompt feedback so they can keep improving their performance.
In case school work seems too easy, you can help them find extra learning materials. If school work is too challenging for your child’s current level, work with the school or seek a tutor to work on this.
5. Don't use reward and punishment as motivation.
Not all motivations are created equal. Rewards and punishment only create extrinsic motivation, which is not a good long-term solution.
We may be able to force kids to do school work when they’re young using rewards and punishment. But if they don’t like learning or school, they will quit eventually, or do poorly in it.
To help kids develop intrinsic motivation, share your values in why learning is important. Going to schools and learning shouldn’t be just about getting A’s. It’s about acquiring knowledge and growing as a person.
Only if kids enjoy learning will they be intrinsically motivated to succeed and enjoy doing it. Thus, strive to motivate your child to learn, and to enjoy learning.
6. Be kind, firm and instill respectful discipline
Being kind and firm is the characteristic of authoritative parenting, which has been consistently found linked to a kid’s success. Children whose parents are authoritative tend to do better in school, more resilient, have better coping skills, and less likely to drop out from school.
“Tough” parents are often afraid that kindness will allow their children to rule the house. But being kind doesn’t mean being permissive. These are two separate things.
Being permissive means you’re warm and kind, but you cannot set rules or maintain boundaries. But being kind and firm means you can kindly let your child know what the boundaries are and then firmly enforce them.
Positive parenting is a popular form of authoritative parenting you can adopt. It is a parenting philosophy that emphasizes using positive instructions and mutual respect to each other.
Inductive parenting is another authoritative way to teach kids right from wrong. In addition to positive instructions and mutual respect, it also teaches a child critical thinking and strengthens their reasoning skills, which we sorely need in our society today.
7. Avoid parenting myths
“Make them do chores“, “tough love“, etc. are popular parenting advice you can find on the Internet. Science shows that these parenting myths not only fail in raising healthy children, but some of them are detrimental to kids.
In some ways, parenting is an art. Everyone can do it differently because every child is different. But there are also universal truths, no matter how different your child is.
And this is what science-based parenting means. No doctrine, no opinion, no personal beliefs, no bias. Just facts that scientists have discovered through rigorous peer-reviewed research to help moms and dads raise thriving kids.
In summary, parenting matters! You can choose to raise a successful and happy child in whatever way that pleases you. The moment we adopt science-based approaches to parenting, we will be able to make a huge difference in our kids’ lives.