How to Raise Truly Successful Children
Successful kids are super intelligent, good at studies, and get good grades. And also earn trophies in sports and get admitted to the world’s best universities and go on to secure high-paying jobs.
Is it True Success?
While this fairytale concept sounds good to the ear, a child’s true success is dictated by internal abilities more than external measurements. If you believe in this preconceived notion too, it's time to look past these external measures and help them develop and polish their inner abilities to achieve genuine success now and as future adults.
You might ask, How is that possible when success is attributed to grades, achievements, and the kind of job you do? Well, it boils down to the role parents and teachers play in a child’s development. As homeschooling parents, you play both roles as a parent and educator and the quality of these two relationships will influence key development factors when a child is growing up.
To help children achieve true success now and later in life, they must be confident in their inner abilities and satisfied within. Here’s how homeschooling parents can play a vital role in positive youth development and make children's lives more meaningful:
1. Self-Exploration & Curiosity
Curiosity is the strong, inner desire to learn about something. It is one of the foundations of learning and a vital part of a child's education in homeschooling. Instead of forcing them to learn about something they don’t want to, let the children explore and learn about things that pique their interest.
One way to enhance this inner ability is to understand what they are curious about, have conversations about it, ask questions about it, and let them find the answers to it. This will stimulate their brain and help them achieve higher-level abilities like problem-solving, and decision making.
This will not only improve the parent-children relationship but also improve their relationships with others in long term.
2. Mistakes and Failure are Part of Life
The notion that failure negatively impacts success, is an old one and damaging too.
One of the fundamentals of a growth mindset is to stay positive even if you fail. Tell your child that it's completely okay to make mistakes. Encourage them to find other solutions to the problem and praise them for their efforts even if they don’t succeed.
This inner ability will boost your child’s self-confidence and teach them the importance of hard work and perseverance.
3. Encourage Children to do Chores
“If they’re not doing the dishes, it means someone is doing it for them. And so they're absolved of not only the work but of learning that work has to be done and that each one of us must contribute for the betterment of the whole.”
Former Dean of freshmen at Stanford University, Julie Lythcott-Haims talks about how to raise successful kids and the importance of doing chores, in a Ted Talks live event.
Now it's okay to do things for your child out of love but as parents and educators, you are responsible for shaping their future too. Encouragement to perform daily chores will help children understand the concept of teamwork, as they contribute to daily activities and help family members at home.
Don’t force them to do it though, instead, create an environment where they feel like doing chores themselves. One way is to do it in front of them and tell them why you are doing it. You’ll see that kids’ curious little minds will make them follow in your footsteps.
Once they get into the habit, try assigning tasks to them and reward them on completion.
4. Teach them to Think Before They Speak
Enhancing children's social skills is one of the best things we can do as parents. This important trait helps them communicate with others in a way that creates positive relationships.
When children are aware of the fact that the words they use can negatively or positively impact relationships, they will be more cautious of what they say and how they say it. Try teaching them the basics like saying “Thank you”, when someone helps them or listen actively when the other person is talking to you. You will see a positive change in your child’s behavior and they will also learn how to respect others.
5. Teach them Integrity
This is perhaps the most important personality trait and almost all positive behaviors stem from this. It is a key ingredient of leadership as well.
Develop family values like respect, inclusivity, and acknowledgment and encourage them to stick with these values no matter what. Teach them to be truthful not only to others but to themselves too. Teach them to choose courage over comfort, right way over fast & easy ones, and practice their values instead of professing them.
One way to help them achieve that is by reading them meaningful stories...
Try to incorporate these lessons into your daily routine and reward your children for demonstrating these values. In time, you and your child will come to know that life is so much more than good grades and trophies.