If there’s one thing we parents can agree with, it’s the idea that we all want our children to succeed at anything in life. And no matter how much we want our kids to smash through any and all barriers, the sad reality is that most children will not have the advantages that they need.
There are many tips but through research, I have determined that these are 10 essential ones we cannot ignore:
- Teach them social skills
- Doing chores creates a strong work ethic
- Limit video games
- Encourage failing
- Show them affection daily
- Focus on reading and writing early
- Make sure they get enough sleep
- Focus on healthy eating habits
- Encourage pretend play
- Live by example
Now that we have an understanding of what they are, let’s take a moment and examine why they are important in the first place, and learn how to help your child succeed at anything in life.
Teach Your Children Social Skills Early:
Let’s face it, in order to make a good impression with others while cultivating healthy relationships necessary for success, let’s not kid ourselves, social skills are absolutely crucial.
Moreover, on this day in the age of video games, smartphones, and other distracting activities, many kids are at a huge disadvantage thinking that they can hide inside some bubble while the world turns around them.
In fact, superior social skills are linked to the success of virtually everything around them including education and healthy relationships – all preludes to the successful outcomes in life.
Encourage Your Children To Do Chores:
This may seem like a fairly obvious thing that parents should encourage their children to do, however, you would be surprised to learn that the vast majority of parents actually give them a free pass in this area.
According to Psychology Today, a large proportion of parents will actually do the chores for them while around 70% of kids get a free pass.
Not only is this teaching them to have a lousy work ethic, but doing the chores for them overtly teaches them that the world actually owes them something for nothing.
Indeed, as kids get older and mature, this mindset easily transfers over to many other areas in their life, severely limiting a successful mindset.
Limit Their Consumption Of Video Games:
While there are studies that tout the benefits of video game’s ability to improve certain areas such as hand-eye coordination, playing too many of them cause severe health issues like lack of motivation to exercise which, in turn, leads to chronic health issues such as obesity, muscular-skeletal problems, and diabetes.
Indeed, in order to be successful in life, a child must first learn and then apply certain health principles such as eating right and exercising.
The bottom line? Reward your children with the occasional use of them, but don’t make video games a pillar in your child’s overall development.
Encourage Failing Often:
In this day of age where participation trophies reign high, kids today have been taught that failing at a task – any given task – is the worst thing that could happen to them.
Now I don’t know about your generation, but I’m 44 years old and when I was growing up it was instilled in me that if you didn’t win or place high it meant that I hadn’t studied hard enough.
I remember in grade school I was terrible in tetherball, practically losing every match. Frustrated, I spend an entire summer practicing until I finally got so good nobody with the exception of s few kids were able to topple me.
The bottom line? This boosted my confidence and I was able to excel in many other areas in life.
Sadly, while society lectures us about the importance of coddling our youth, these same kids will grow up expecting to succeed in life with little to no effort.
In fact, society has a habit of knocking you down a few levels, and as these same kids age, they will quickly realize that life will not meet you halfway; if you want something you have to go after it with the same tenacity as a lion.
Show Your Kids Affection Daily:
This may appear like a direct contradiction to the point above. However, encouraging your children to fail and instilling confidence and love are not mutually exclusive.
While kids need to learn how to accept defeat, it’s equally important for us to encourage them to accept defeat and subsequently instill the confidence necessary to get back on their feet and work harder.
It’s no surprise that kids need to feel loved and validated, so in order for your child to have the confidence necessary to succeed in life, they must have the confidence and know that you love them unconditionally.
you can do anything you want if you apply yourself” is absolutely essential to a developing brain. This, in turn, will help mold and shape successful adults.
Focus On Reading And Writing Early:
Unfortunately, many parents feel the pressure of modern-day living where both couples often work 2 jobs.
Consequently, modern-day living oftentimes takes the task of educating children from the hands of the parents and places the responsibility squarely in the hands of the over-burdened education system.
Here’s the deal: kids that are taught reading, writing and arithmetic have a much greater chance of succeeding then children who don’t.
According to Readingrockets.org:
Children learn to love the sound of language before they even notice the existence of printed words on a page. Reading books aloud to children stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world. It helps them develop language and listening skills and prepares them to understand the written word. When the rhythm and melody of language become a part of a child’s life, learning to read will be as natural as learning to walk and talk.
Ensure Your Children Get Enough Sleep:
Recently, there was a study that unleashed a wave of concern throughout the scientific community which simply stated that chronic lack of sleep will force an individual’s brain to literally eat itself away.
They went on to further state that:
(Lack of sleep) may cause harm in the long term, and could explain why a chronic lack of sleep puts people at risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders.
Clearly, if your goal is to provide every opportunity for success in your little one, sleep deprivation is the antithesis of healthy brain development.
Focus On Healthy Eating habits:
Much like the need for healthy sleeping habits, enriching your children with a healthy balanced diet is crucial in maximizing their mental and physical development.
In fact, diet is so important researchers are quick to point out that the benefits of good nutrition to health are endless.
Better-nourished kids have much better able to fight disease. Secondly, since iron is a vital component of brain tissue, iron deficiency makes nerve impulses move slower and may cause lasting damage to a child’s brain.
Although there are no guarantees, study after study indicates a direct correlation between healthy childhood development and superior eating habits.
Encourage Creative Pretend Play:
Most of us instinctively know that children like to pretend and act silly most of the time. In fact, it’s not uncommon for parents to have the knee-jerk reaction of scolding them by telling them to stop acting silly.
I remember watching a movie years back (and for the life of me I cannot remember the name).
In it, there was a kid around 7 years old or so and for the entire summer, he wore nothing but a superhero costume. And while I found this amusing, the parents of the child clearly did not.
It wasn’t until I spend time researching information to create this article that I stumbled on the importance of pretend play, and how it was a vital concept in aiding and assisting in a child’s overall development.
According to Scholastic.com, pretend play is absolutely essential in developing language skills, social and emotional skills, thinking skills to name a few.
Live By Example (The Wrap Up):
This last point is not really backed up by research, however, it does represent a high level of common sense that we all should possess when it comes to the best methods on how to help your child succeed at anything in life.
Thanks to early pioneers like Freud, most of us pretty much instinctively comprehend that children mimic what they see in us adults.
If you’re a person who reads, eats healthy, practices physical discipline and otherwise live what we would consider a healthy lifestyle, chances are your children will, in turn, adopt this particular lifestyle as well.
Conversely, if you live the opposite by eating junk food, spend all your free time watching reality television then don’t expect your children to adopt the lifestyle I am advocating throughout this post.
Raising a child to become successful and ensuring their success through healthy means takes discipline, and that discipline will almost always start with you and filter out through to your kids.
In other words, if you’re really committed to raising successful children, make sure your lifestyle is the embodiment you want them to adopt as well.