How to raise successful children
How can you ensure that your children will become successful in life? Here are some values and life skills that will chart their path of success.
By Dr Priscilla J S Selvaraj
All of us want our children to be successful in life – to accomplish their goals, to lead meaningful and worthy lives and, maybe, leave footprints on the sands of time. But, what effort do we put into this, as parents? Having pep talks? Setting high expectations? Pushing and prodding our children to keep performing better and better? Well, all these efforts of ours may succeed at times; but, they may fail too. Ultimately, what we need to impart to them is a combination of good values and life skills. Here’s a set of all-important values and very essential life skills that you need to inculcate in your child so that she can become successful in life.
Three Values – The Hs!
This quality tops the list of determiners of success. Truth, integrity and a sense of fair play and justice will pave the path of success for your child. Truly great men have scaled great heights only by upholding the truth. Lying, deceit and falsehood will get you nowhere. They may appear to offer temporary success; but, in the long run, it is truthfulness that will ensure long-term success. And, the success attained thus will be sweeter still as the means would have justified the end. So, let your child learn this lesson early on and learn to lead an honest life. What better example than ‘Honest Abe’ (the American President Abraham Lincoln) for your child to draw inspiration from.
“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do” – these are the words of none other than the famous football legend Pele. Teach your child that there is no easy way out - it is the effort that you put in that determines your success. Also, teach your child never to give up but to keep persevering; for, hard work will certainly bear fruit. Even, if occasionally your child loses, make her realise that as the old adage goes, ‘Failure is the stepping stone to success’. Let her learn to keep working harder towards her goals for her to taste success.
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less,” said C S Lewis the British novelist and theologian. The more your child learns to let go of his ego and place others before self, the more he will succeed in life. Pride, conceit and contempt will only lead to failure. There are several instances in history that prove this. The downfall of the likes of Hitler and Napoleon, who reached the pinnacles of success first, was because of their pride and lust for power. Therefore, teach your child to be humble and modest. True greatness lies not in boasting about one’s feats but acknowledging that there is so much more to achieve.
Five life skills – ‘PQRST!’
Develop your child’s people skills right from her kindergarten days. Teach her to be polite, courteous and well-mannered. Let her learn to respect everyone and treat them with dignity. Success will come your way only if you exhibit good people skills. The relationships you establish with those around you largely determine your success path.
Let your child have her priorities right. Teach her to set her goals well and pursue them. Often, success evades you because your quest or search for success isn’t well planned. Make your child focus well on her objectives in life and chart the right path towards attaining those objectives. Only then will she taste success.
How well one manages the resources at one’s disposal will decide the degree of that person’s success. Poor resource management will prove to be a hindrance to achievement. Teach your child this important lesson. Be it money, manpower, time, or any other commodity, let her learn to use it wisely.
If your child feels stressed out, he can hardly achieve anything. Teach him not to buckle under pressure – this is the key to success. Also, let him learn to unwind now and then so that the pressures of work do not get the better of him.
‘Time and tide wait for no man’ – ingrain this in your child. Let her learn the value of time and never waste a minute of it. Also, make her realise that without proper planning and scheduling she can never achieve anything. Teach her to juggle her various activities wisely so that she can give her best to everything she does.
With these values and life skills, it’s wishing your child success in both his personal and professional life!
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Dr Priscilla J S Selvaraj