Any caring parent wants their child to grow up and be successful. Yet this goal can seem overwhelming at times considering all the things that compete for a child’s attention.
Fortunately, child development experts are constantly searching for the best ways parents can be positive influencers on their child's success.
In today’s article we will examine three of the six most effective strategies parents can use to make their child a success in life.
In our next article we will look at strategies #4-6.
Parents: If You Want To Raise a Successful Child:
I. Develop a Loving Relationship with Your Child
Yes, this seems like a no-brainer but too many parents do poorly at making a deep level emotional connection with their child.
In a study of 214 kids born into poverty, researchers found that the children who received “sensitive caregiving” in their first three years did better academically than those who did not receive “sensitive caregiving”.
The children in the sensitive caregiving group also developed healthier social relationships with others compared to the children in the lack of sensitive caregiving group.
‘Sensitive caregiving’ means parents attend to their children’s needs, pay attention to and show affection and treat them with love.
Sensitive caregiving means parents don't ignore their kids in favor of their smartphones, Netflix, the Internet, and whatever other distractions come along.
II. Teach Your Kids Social Skills
Over 700 children in kindergarten had their social skills development tested. Twenty years later these same children were assessed for how successful they were as adults.
The children with the most developed levels of social skills in kindergarten were also the most likely to have a college degree and a fulltime job by age 25.
Most alarming, the children with the lowest social skills at age 5 had the highest chances of getting arrested, binge drinking, and applying for public housing.
What Were the Social Skills Needed For Success?
Ability to cooperate with their peers
Willingness to be helpful to others
Good at understanding feelings
Ability to resolve problems on their own
Kristin Schubert, who was associated with the study, arrived at this conclusion:
“This study shows that helping children develop social and emotional skills is one of the most important things we can do to prepare them for a healthy future. From an early age, these skills can determine whether a child goes to college or prison, and whether they end up employed or addicted.”
III. Make Your Kids Do Chores
In the book, ‘How To Raise an Adult’, author Julie Lythcott-Haims says, “If kids aren’t doing the dishes, it means someone else is doing that for them.”
Lythcott-Haims, who is former dean of freshmen at Stanford University, explains why doing chores is important for children:
“By making them do chores — taking out the garbage, doing their own laundry — they realize I have to do the work of life in order to be part of life.”
She believes “kids raised on chores go on to become employees who collaborate well with their coworkers, are more empathetic because they know firsthand what struggling looks like, and are able to take on tasks independently.”
But remember parents – chores should be age-appropriate. Don’t assign your kid a chore that is beyond their ability to complete with moderate effort.
Assigning a 5 year old the task of vacuuming the entire house is unreasonable, while having them clean their room (pick up their toys and clothes and make the bed) is a reasonable chore (depending on the child).
These 3 parenting suggestions are in complete accordance with the teachings of the Bible.
*Developing a loving relationship with our children is a reflection of God’s relationship with us, His children. The Bible says, ‘The person who does not love does not know God; because God is love’. (1 John 4:8).
*Training our children in social skills is a Biblical command. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go…” This would include how to treat and get along with others, which is what social skills are designed to do.
*Assigning chores is also Biblical. Chores teach our children the foundation for lifelong work and responsibility. 1 Timothy 5:8 says,
“But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (NASV)
Chores are children’s first ‘job’ in life and prepare them for the responsibility of taking care of themselves and their future family.
The Bottom Line
Parents, there is no greater influence in whether your children will be successful or not in life than YOU!
Consider these 3 strategies for helping your child become the best person they can.
Be sure to check next week’s article for 3 MORE great strategies the research has found you can use to make your child a success in life!
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Before You Go
I want to hear what YOU have to say! Please share your experiences by leaving a comment.
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