Kids are going to end up defining what success looks like to them as they grow up, but parents who raise kids who are happy, healthy and independent do these 10 things differently from other parents. Your role as a parent lasts a lifetime, but your role in their development is crucial. How can you find a balance between molding them and letting them mold themselves?
Let’s look at 10 things that research shows parents who raise successful kids do differently.
Research Reveals: Parents Who Raise ‘Successful’ Kids Do These 10 Things
1. Let them fail
Persistence is what parents who raise successful kids are teaching when they allow kids to fail in small ways without rushing in to rescue them. Learning to get back up after a fall builds determination to carry on.
2. Teach the meaning of gratitude
Spend time with those who have less, who have lost, or who are fighting a battle beyond what your children have to deal with in their young lives. Seeing that what is provided to them is more than others have cam be a valuable lesson in gratitude and humility that parents who raise successful kids teach early on.
3. Teach them to be their own best friend
You won’t always be there to pick them up after they are lonely and need comforting. Kids who don’t learn to rely only on other people to comfort them are independent and more likely to be successful.
4. Teach them the value of hard work
Chores are the kid equivalent of adult work and allowances are the kid equivalent of a paycheck. No work, no paycheck means that you are teaching consequences for behavior that will serve them well in the real world.
5. Don’t let them settle if you know they are capable of more
Researchers from the University of Minnesota and University of Miami School of Medicine looked at parents who teach competence and resilience in their kids to help them be successful. We can say that a kid is raised to be competent when they are able to adapt successfully to changes, for example when school work gets harder as they progress, or when they have to make new friends due to a move. We have already talked about resilience in our first list topic about overcoming failure.
The research found that knowledge rapidly expands for children and the brain changes in both structure and function as they learn. The researchers listed these characteristics of parents who raise successfully resilient kids:
* Good intellectual functioning
* Appealing, sociable, easygoing disposition
* Self-efficacy, self-confidence, high self-esteem
* Close relationship to caring parent figure
* Authoritative parenting: warmth, structure, high expectations
* Socioeconomic advantages
* Connections to extended supportive family networks
* Bonds to pro-social adults outside the family
* Connections to pro-social organizations
* Attending effective schools
6. Praise their efforts, not the results
Researchers looked at parents who raised successful kids based on their academic performance and found that there were five family and home environmental factors that affect student achievement in school and academic performance. These five factors are:
* Parent expectations and attributions
* Structure for learning
* Home affective environment
* Parent involvement
Parents who do these things differently match their expectations with school expectations, but aren’t necessarily focused only on grades. The amount of effort that each student puts into their work can be different based on intelligence so praise their efforts based on your knowledge of their skill level.
7. Help them find their identity separate from you and their peers
One of the most basic functions of parenting is to raise independent young people. As a result, you have to allow them to be totally different from you. Parents who raise successful kids allow their children to form a separate personality from themselves early on in their development and they respect these differences.
8. Teach kindness, respect, and manners
These three traits, probably more than any others that they will learn, will help your kids to be successful in their lives.
9. Teach honesty and integrity
All of us lie, but kids learn about lying when they are a vulnerable age. They see that a lie might keep them from getting a punishment, so the lie has a built in reward. Eventually, as the one raising successful kids, you will catch them in a lie. When you do catch them, point out what happens when they lie as far as the impact to others’ lives, rather than focus on the punishment or evidence.
10. Teach them to stand up for themselves and others
Kids get pushed around a lot; by bullies, by authority figures, by adults who don’t know them, and by people who ant to take advantage of them. Of course you protect your kids from stranger danger, but when you aren’t around, knowing that they know how to reject mistreatment will help them be successful in many important ways.
Helping them to also stand up for other people when their rights are being abused is helping to raise successful members of a healthy society that work together for the common good. Kids who reject not only bullying of themselves, but bullying of others are just and good kids who are raised by success and future-minded parents.