Parents with Successful Kids
Do Certain Things the Same
Being a parent isn’t easy. All parents want to raise healthy, happy, independent, and well-adjusted children. When we see it in black and white, it seems like a tall order. It is. There is no secret formula to ensure we get it right. However, recent scientific studies have shown there are common practices among parents of successful children. These practices appear to have helped both parent and child circumnavigate the obstacles of life so that the child is healthy and happy in childhood and adulthood. Here are five of them:
They Choose to Accept Their Children For Who They Are and Treat Them with Kindness
Children develop a sense of themselves and others based on their relationship with their parents. If that relationship is negative and abusive, the child may see themselves as unworthy of love, which may lead to problems with their peers and abusive relationships when they are older. If the relationship with their parents is positive, loving, and nurturing, and one where the parent accepts the child for who they are, the child will see themselves as worthy of love, and will probably have healthy relationships with their peers and life partners.
They Teach Their Children Social Skills
Studies conducted at Pennsylvania State University and Duke University found a significant correlation between the social skills of subjects when they were in kindergarten and the adults they had developed into 20 years later. When parents teach their children the importance of working with, and getting along with, their peers; working out problems for themselves; having empathy for others; and treating everyone with respect, according to the research, they will probably earn a university or college degree and have a full-time job by the time they are 25 years old. Helping our children develop good social skills is one of the best things we can do for them.
They Make It a Point to Play with Their Children
Children learn many things through play: how to problem solve, the right way to socially interact, how to share, the way things work, and lots of other things. Of course, they are oblivious to this and think they are just having fun. And they are. When a parent plays with a child, especially during the early stages of the child’s development, it is also good for the child’s mental health. According to the article “Science Says the Most Successful Kids Have Parents Who Do These 5 Things,” by Christina DesMarais, on the Inc. website, the hormone, oxytocin, is important to our mental health because of its involvement with social interaction, bonding, and the way we relate to others. According to the article, eye contact, empathy, and a kind touch activate its production, so the manner in which parents interact with their children effects the development of their children’s oxytocin systems. When parents play with their children, their children receive the full benefit of the hormone, which is good for their mental health.
They Allow Their Children to Fail
Just as we want to see our children be successful, we also want to protect them from many of life’s hardships. However, we shouldn’t protect them from failure. It isn’t going to help them. Research actually shows that children learn more from their failures than they do from their successes. Therefore, failing is an important part of life. When we fail, we learn what not to do, how to do it differently, how to deal with the consequences, and how to deal with the feelings that accompany failure. One of our jobs as a parent is to minimize risk, but it isn’t to eliminate it.
They Have High Expectations for Their Children
When we set high expectations for our children, they in turn respond to those expectations and work toward achieving them. There is a bit of a trick to this, however. Research shows that although setting high expectations for our children is important, we also have to make those goals realistic. By establishing goals that are possible, but that also have to be worked for, we are giving our children some of the tools they need to be successful. The setting of high expectations spans all aspects of a child’s life, including morality, academic achievement, and social responsibility.
Parenting, like many things in our modern world, has been subject to a number of fads over the years. However, scientific research tells us that when we love our children, accept who they are, allow them to experience failure, help them develop meaningful social skills, let them work things out for themselves, expect a lot from them, and spend joyful playtime with them, we allow them to grow into their full potential and live the life we hoped for them.