parents of successful kids mom and child

Top 7 Secrets of Parents of Successful Kids

7) Parents of successful kids make their kids do chores

“If kids aren’t doing the dishes, it means someone else is doing that for them,” Julie Lythcott-Haims, former dean at Stanford University and author of “How to Raise an Adult” said during a TED Talks Live event.  Having someone else do their chores absolves them of not just doing the work but also of learning the concept that work has to be done to see change.  The  “Harvard Grant Study,” the longest longitudinal study ever conducted demonstrated professional success in life comes from having done chores as a kid.  And the earlier they start the better.  Kids who do chores are more likely to be better collaborators with their colleagues. They tend to empathize more and become independent self-starters and leaders.


parents of successful kids boy doing dishes


6) They teach their kids math early on

A 2007 meta-analysis of 35,000 preschoolers across the US, Canada, and England found that developing math skills early predicts not only future math success but also future reading achievement.  Early math skills have the greatest predictive power for later achievement.  Getting your kids comfortable with interpreting information from numbers and calculations is a key life skill for successful leaders in all professional fields.


parents of successful kids boy reading math


5) They give their kids more room to fail

Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck discovered that children (and adults) think about success in one of two ways.  A “fixed mindset” assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are “fixed”.  Therefore striving for success and avoiding failure at all costs become a way of maintaining a sense of being smart or skilled.  Alternatively, a “growth mindset,” thrives on effort. It sees failure not as evidence of un-intelligence but as a springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities.  Foster a growth mindset for your child.  Allow them lots of opportunities to fail safely.  They will learn that failure is a stepping stone to success not a stumbling block.  See “Top 7 tips to teach your child how to manage failure”.


parents of successful kids girl with camera


4) Parents of successful kids teach tenacity and “grit”

Grit is defined as a “tendency to sustain interest in and effort toward very long-term goals.” Kids with grit achieve high educational attainment, grade-point average in Ivy League undergrads, retention in West Point cadets, and rank in the US National Spelling Bee according to University of Pennsylvania psychologist Angela Duckworth.  Grit or persistence are key attributes for some of the world’s most successful leaders.  Mental toughness and a “can do” attitude are critical for children to have firmly in place well before reaching adulthood.


parents of successful kids girl studying with dad


3) They have high expectations

Having high but realistic expectations for kids plays a key role in their ability to achieve success.  Kids whose parents expect them to go to college or start a business or excel in a sport are more likely to meet these goals than others. In setting these goals, it is important that the parent evaluates the natural gifts of the child and sets realistic goals.  E.g. If your child is not athletically inclined, it would be frustrating for them if you pushed them into contact sports.  Additionally, if you find your child is gifted in math compared to their peers, set the bar higher for them.  The key is to cultivate and grow their natural gifts by setting attainable goals and milestones.


parents of successful kids teenage girl


2) Parents of successful kids teach their kids social skills

A 20-year study done at Duke university that followed 700 kids from kindergarten to 25 years of age. It found a significant correlation between their social skills as kindergarteners and their success as adults 20 years later.  The socially competent children who could cooperate with their peers without prompting, be helpful to others, understand their feelings and resolve problems on their own were far more likely to earn a college degree and have a full-time job by age 25 than those with limited social skills.  Those with limited social skills also had a higher chance of getting arrested, binge drinking, and applying for public housing.  Ensure your kids go to preschool and kindergarten so that they learn these social skills early.   Engaging in team sports like soccer or volleyball are also great avenues for kids to cultivate their social skills and learn teamwork.

parents of successful kids teenage girls friends

1) They develop a secure relationship with their kid

A 2014 study of 243 people born into poverty found that children who received “sensitive care giving” parenting in their first three years did better on academic tests in childhood. They also had healthier relationships and greater academic attainment in their 30s.  Kids of families who parent with empathy are more likely to be secure, confident and have a strong sense of self. Have honest conversations with your child. Share challenges you’ve experienced growing up.  When your child sees you have faced some of the same challenges, it will give them hope and security.

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