As a parent, you want nothing more than to empower your children and ensuring they lead the most successful life possible. But most people think that all you can do is put those kids on the right path. That, when you take them to the right school and sign them up for the right extracurriculars, they will become successful. But that’s not exactly the case.
Success is in the eye of the beholder. For some people, seeing someone who has three houses and five sports cars at forty is a success. A small home in a nice neighborhood with a loving family is the best possible outcome for others. Some people are passionate about art. Others like exact sciences better. Some people want to be activists, politicians, doctors, bankers, singers, or whatever else.
But success can never be something narrowly defined. And no amount of extracurriculars will make sure that your kids become successful. Sure, you might have a kid who graduated from Harvard. But, if you forced them into going to Harvard Law, and they hate it, they might not even take advantage of that degree. So, there’s no way to make sure they are successful, even if you make sure they have the best education and opportunities.
And that’s precisely why you can’t rely on always being there to hold your kid’s hand and guide them through life. It would be best to teach them how to make the best possible decisions. If they can define their success, they will also reach it on their own. So, instead of controlling your kids’ life, you need to empower them to live that victorious life.
What Does It Mean To Live a Successful Life?
As mentioned previously, there is no such thing as a single way to be successful. Success comes in all shapes and sizes. Just because most people are money-hungry doesn’t mean that money is the metric of success. A billionaire might be more miserable than a farmer. Even though having a career and supporting yourself financially is essential, that’s not all there is to life.
Teenagers work themselves to the bone to get into an Ivy League college. Recently, there has even been a scandal related to parents who tried to bribe schools to accept their kids. But if you ask professionals in the education area, they will tell you that these colleges aren’t even better than many others. Still, American teenagers have one of the highest rates of depression and anxiety in the world.
This example shows that, as successful as getting into Yale might seem, it’s not worth it if your kid is killing themselves over it. Or better yet, success is all about balance. And, no matter how prestigious something is, it doesn’t mean it will lead you to a better life. When it comes to success, everyone will describe it differently. Some will say it’s all about family. Others will say that it’s about building something of your own. But everyone will say some things that seem to be true for everyone.
Being happy, following your dreams, and doing something that makes you feel helpful seem to be signs of a successful life. Most people also add being able to provide for the ones they love in the mix. That special someone doesn’t have to be a partner or kids; they could also be parents, friends, or pets. And, above everything, being true to yourself is something that everyone believes to be part of a successful life.
3 Tips to Empower Your Children to Live a Successful Life
If you want your kid to be happy, prosperous, and lead a meaningful life, you need to teach them to follow their dreams and work hard. Don’t try to force a career on them, and don’t make them pursue your dream. Just give them the tools they need, but let them decide how to use them. This way, you empower them instead of controlling their life.
1. Guide Your Kids Instead of Limiting Them
No matter how smart it might seem to map your kid’s whole life, that won’t do them any good. If you decide that they will take ballet classes and tennis, they won’t have time to find their passion. If you decide to go to a specific school and take typical APs, they won’t have time to nurture a hobby.
Or if you make them pick between majoring in business, law, or medicine, then you aren’t giving them a choice. Everyone can be successful if given the right opportunities. Even though people look down on art majors, if you are good and support your family, you could make some real money. So, there’s no field where people can’t be successful if they are passionate and work hard.
You need to give your kids a lot of flexibility and guide them instead of making them follow rigid lines. If you want them to play a sport, maybe ask them what they want to play before signing them up for soccer. If you want them to play an instrument, don’t just go for the cello because maybe your kid wants to play something else.
You will not do your kids any favors if you start enforcing rigid rules. It will never seem like they do enough. They will never be enough extracurriculars they can take. Their grades will never be high enough. And they will never have the time to understand what makes them happy.
So, if you want to empower your children, enable them to discover who they are. And, when you give them a choice, you also make them more responsible. Knowing they can choose what hobbies to pursue will make them understand why those things are essential.
2. Listen to What They Have to Say
Most people believe that kids can’t have anything meaningful to say just because kids are young. Just because they haven’t had forty years of life experience, there’s no way they could know what they want or need. Indeed, you’ve heard someone say, “I’m the parent. I know what’s best for you”.
And, though parents indeed have their kids’ best interest at heart, that doesn’t mean they know what’s best for them. Sometimes, to empower your children, parents need to take a step back and listen. Let go of the steering wheel for a little while, and try to understand what your kids need.
You’d be surprised how much you can find out about your kid by simply letting them speak. But most kids will never say, “mom, I want to be a writer” because it is not a risk-free career path. Most kids won’t ever tell you what they want to do because they are afraid their parents will get mad at them.
They think that if they say they want to do something that’s not in your plan, they will disappoint you. So, what you need to do is let them know that they can say anything without being afraid of getting yelled at. You need to let them dream and find out what they like. But, most importantly, you need to let them know you will be there to listen and support them no matter what.
You will teach them essential life skills by simply communicating with them. They’ll learn how important it is to speak their mind. They’ll understand that their dreams are worth following even if not everyone wants them to. And it will empower them to stay true to themselves.
3. Teach Them to “Walk the Talk.”
It’s great to teach your kids to dream, but the most important thing they need to learn is the value of hard work. They need to understand that talking a big game about something is all fun and games. But nothing is going to be offered to them on a silver platter. They need to work as hard as they can for what they want. And, they need to stay true to their morals, without trying to cut any corners or otherwise cheat.
Even if you are rich, you still shouldn’t spoil them. Even if you can afford help around the house, you still make the kids do some chores. And even if you can get them the best tennis classes, it might still be a good idea to make them work for it a little. Please don’t get them all the fanciest equipment. That will only teach them that being wealthy can make everything in life easy. But it would help if you showed them that’s not how the real world is.
Besides that, you need to teach them how important it is to respect others and develop meaningful relationships. Teach them that they always need to be nice to people no matter how successful they might get. Discourage them from stepping on other people’s heads to get ahead. Teach them the value of integrity and companionship.
The best way to empower your kids and ensure their success is to lead by example. Be a role model, and your values will eventually rub off on them. Don’t just tell them that they have to be nice to others. Teach them how to do it. Help random people on the street who need a hand. Act kindly towards your peers. This way, you won’t only teach them a sound theoretical base, but you will also teach them how to apply that theory.
Final Thoughts on How to Empower Your Children to Live a Successful Life
It’s normal to want what’s best for your kid. And it’s normal to feel like the best way to make them successful is by mapping their whole life and eliminating all obstacles. While that can make them get a good job, it won’t necessarily succeed. But what will make them successful is empowering your children to follow their dreams and build their path.
As a parent, you need to make sure that you guide them along the way. It would help if you never made them feel like there’s only one path they can take. Let them have a choice and learn to be responsible. Listen to what they have to say, and teach them how important communication is. Lastly, teach them that actions are more important than words.