They are all over the media — children who are accomplished in various fields, children who have received bravery awards, children who have come up with unique and innovative ideas, children who have become leaders at a very young age, children who are deep thinkers, children who have brought about change, children who have challenged the existing system, and children with goals and visions.
So, what makes these children different? What makes them stand out? Is it in the genes? Is it that some are just born this way? While many arguments support every theory, scientists say that parents of these children play a major role in moulding them into what they become. Indeed, parents are solely responsible for creating an environment that influences the character, intelligence, behaviour, and the overall personality of their child.
Plenty of research has been conducted to determine what parents of successful children do differently from the rest. Let’s take a look at the top six practices of parents of successful children.
- Giving a world view: Parents of successful children expose them to a whole variety of experiences outside their comfort zone. Be it reading to them books of different genres or watching the news with them and discussing current affairs or introducing them to new kinds of food, these parents push their children to explore, discover and understand things beyond what they come across in their daily life. These parents mindfully raise their children to be global citizens who are well-adjusted and tolerant towards other cultures, systems and people.
- Spending time to understand and engage: Communication in homes of successful children is free-flowing. Parents and children talk to each other, and children feel a sense of security and belonging in these homes. They feel heard and understood. They feel their opinions are respected and not ridiculed or belittled. Family members spend a lot of time around a meal engaged in enjoyable conversations. Parents agree to disagree and arguments are healthy. Parents also encourage children to put forth their point of view even if it differs from theirs and also coax the children to approach them without fear to say what’s on their mind.
- Being a child themselves: Successful children seem to come from homes where parents interact, goof around and often play with them. A playful and fun household lowers stress levels which, in turn, keeps children emotionally stable and enables them to channel their energy towards creative and fruitful activities. Parents of successful children seem to love engaging in outdoor activities with their children, read to them their favourite books, play board games, and are generally fun to hang out with.
- Disciplining when needed: Almost all households with successful kids have one thing in common. Both parents and children are more organised, disciplined and have a routine for the day. They value time and use it well. They also understand that discipline is the distance between dreams and reality, and do not mind pushing themselves and their children towards achieving the same. When there is chaos, parents of these children try and find the root cause and work around the same. These parents follow proactive parenting than reactive parenting.
- Teaching essential life skills: Parents of successful children teach them to fish for themselves. These parents have the bigger picture in mind and do not stress over little fallacies that children make when learning. Children are taught and made to lend a hand and do chores at home. They also teach their children essential life skills like cooking, saving money, organising their space, and planning their day from a very young age. These parents also do not shy away from teaching their children life lessons from their own personal experiences, thus pushing them towards becoming better individuals.
- Encouraging every effort: All children look towards their parents first for meeting their emotional needs. Be it advice, guidance or love, parents influence children in countless ways. Parents of successful children tend to be highly positive and optimistic adults themselves. They are self-motivated and constantly encourage their children to also push themselves higher. Every effort is applauded and every failure is considered a stepping stone. Children are not criticised or censured if they don’t succeed. These parents choose their words with caution and act in such a way that it builds their children’s self-esteem and keeps them emotionally balanced.
How do we improve ourselves to become better parents now that we know what works and what doesn’t? List down what changes you need to make as and where you need to help your child. Here’s wishing well for all the parents who do their very best to raise successful kids!
Anitha Bennett is a freelance author who has written books for children from preschool to preteen levels. She also conducts workshops for parents, teachers and children.
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