All parents want the best for their children. You want them to grow up into happy, confident and successful adults, devoid of health problems and financial worries. How your little one grows up is down to a myriad of factors. It’s partly down to luck and genetics, which are factors no one can control. But it is also significantly influenced by their upbringing.
As a parent, there are lots of things you can do to increase the likelihood that your child will succeed in life. You can influence their personalities and desires in many ways while giving them a secure, comfortable life that allows them to be exactly who they want to be.
If you want your children to grow into well-rounded adults, here are ten tips to help them succeed in life.
Set a good example
Children are natural imitators, and take on a lot of characteristics from their parents. If you are constantly stressed and unhappy, these attributes will rub off on them and could lead to mental health issues further down the line. If you want your children to be happy, the first step is to become a happier person yourself. Work on reducing any sources of stress in your life. Talk to your boss about managing your workload and enlist family and friends to help out with childcare.
It’s good to have various stress management techniques in your arsenal to help you cope during tough times. Meditation and yoga can be a great way to relieve anxiety and tension in your body, and any form of exercise will help you let off steam. Even if you are feeling particularly unhappy, try not to let it show too much in front of your kids. When children have a happy, confident, relaxed parent to look up to, it increases their chances of turning out the same.
The most successful people in life are intelligent, curious and always open to learning new things. And the best way to foster these attributes in your children is to encourage them to read. It’s never too early to buy your children books and help them learn to read. You shouldn’t wait until they are at school. Books will expand their minds and enable them to explore fictional worlds and learn about their own. A child can never have too many books and you should try to encourage them to read a wide variety of genres including adventure novels, literary classics, biographies, histories, and science books. As they get older, they will discover the genres and subjects they are most passionate about and this may even shape their future career path. If you're worried about the cost, you can simply help them open a library account and they can take out as many books as they like for free. To get you started, here are some of the best children’s books of all time.
Get involved with their schoolwork
How well your child does in school could define their future, and unfortunately, even the most intelligent children can struggle in school. Your child could be a genius yet be negatively influenced by their friends or be hindered by attention deficit disorder. As a parent, you should get actively involved with their academic studies and make sure they are on track for success. Talk to their teachers about how they are doing and what you could do at home to improve their learning. Sit down with your child regularly and discuss any problems they might be having at school, as well as ways you could work together to resolve them.
Help your little one out with their homework if they need it, but you should take care not to be too overbearing. If you get frustrated and angry with them whenever they struggle, they will be reluctant to come to you for help in future. Be patient and help to guide them to the answers without overtly telling them the solution. Even if you are not the most academic person yourself, there are plenty of resources online to help children of all ages with their work. You can find tests, quizzes, study guides and even an antilog calculator to help with those difficult mathematical formulas.
Limit their screen time
Sadly, more and more children are spending excessive amounts of time staring at phones and iPads. In fact, one in every four children is addicted to their smartphone. And this is having overwhelmingly negative effects on their physical and mental health, not to mention their intelligence. It causes vision problems, poor posture, impaired memory and concentration, and a greater risk of stress, anxiety, and depression.
Of course, these devices have their benefits too. Once your kids go off to school you will want them to be able to contact you whenever they need to. But they should not be spending hours at a time scrolling through social media and watching YouTube videos. You should ensure they find the right balance of screen time while promoting more wholesome activities for them to enjoy. Set rules such as no phones at the dinner table or in the bedroom, and have a cut-off time each evening for devices to be switched off. Instead, they should make better use of this time to read, study, socialize with friends face-to-face, or spend time with family.
One in five children in the US is overweight, and as a result, they will continue into obesity as an adult. This increases their chances of disability and premature death in later life. For this reason, it’s important that you encourage healthy habits like physical exercise and a good diet. When your child starts school you should encourage them to take up a sport and get good at it. This could be anything from soccer to gymnastics to dancing to running. This way they will have something meaningful to focus on and keep them healthy without it seeming like hard work. Exercising together as a family is an excellent way to make physical activity more fun. Go on long walks, runs and bike rides together, or try out new and exciting activities like stand-up paddleboarding and rock climbing.
Make them do chores
All adults of a certain generation grew up having to do chores at home. Whether it was mowing the lawn, washing the dishes or helping to paint the house, kids grew up familiar with a little bit of hard work. But fewer and fewer children today are getting involved with the housework, despite its many benefits. Children who have everything done for them grow up feeling this is the way it should be, and don’t learn valuable life lessons like the need to contribute for the benefit of everyone. Getting your kids to help out will teach them that hard work is a part of life and nothing comes for free.
The ability to persevere and never give up is one of the most valuable characteristics anyone can have. It will help succeed in later life whatever avenues they go down. Whether they decide to start a business, run a marathon, or write a book, the resilience they learn in childhood will help them see their goal through to the end. Teach them that it’s OK to fail, as long as they don’t give up at the first hurdle and they try again. Provide support and encouragement throughout all their endeavours but don’t let them throw in the towel the minute things get difficult. Help them to manage adversity, deal with setbacks, and praise them when they succeed.
Teach them to build meaningful relationships
The ability to build meaningful relationships with other people is extremely helpful for getting ahead in life. It will help your kids to further their careers, meet new friends and romantic partners, and do well academically. Encourage them to make friends their own age, either in school or through playdates with children of people you know. Introduce them to adults and help them manage their emotions and resolve conflicts.
Spend time together as a family
A happy family life has a strong correlation with a happy adulthood. Don’t let your kid’s childhood pass you by. Make sure you schedule time to spend as a family, doing whatever activities make you happy. It could be playing board games, going for bike rides, or travelling the world. Make memories that you’ll always remember fondly.
Set high expectations
Finally, if you want your child to do well in life, you should show them that you have high expectations. Although you shouldn’t map out their entire life for them, you should make it clear that you expect them to do well and will do everything you can to set them on the right path. If you set expectations that they will graduate high school and go to college before getting a good job, it makes it more likely that they will want to do well and make you proud. Just make sure you let them have control over the precise direction their life takes. Don’t be overbearing or put too much pressure on them, or they may rebel and go in the opposite direction.