I’ve given writing this piece a lot of thought, really. Children, as we say, are literally ‘raised’ - like you would imagine raising crops or cattle. If you come to think of it, raising kids and a cow actually have a lot in common - Choices, a lot of them.
There are a plethora of things parents do to push their children ahead of the race and while there isn’t a recipe for raising smart and successful children, science says there are certain factors that determine success. Now you may think - well, my definition of success may not be the same as yours. Fair enough! We have myriads of aspirations for our children and there’s not one uniform definition of success. But, what’s common in the aspirations that parents have for their kids is the pursuit of excellence. Excellence is a habit and needs to be practiced. So, we have put together a great compendium of researched-backed advice for you. Here are seven things that almost every parent can do for their kids every single day, to give them an edge:
1) Let your kids do chores: Allow your kids to help you with chores - taking the garbage out, mowing lawns, doing the dishes .Them not doing the chores means someone else is doing it for them and this absolves them of not only the work but also the learning, sense of accomplishment and collaborative attitude.
2) Teach them social skills: Kids with good social skills are more likely to be successful. Good social skills mean they are co-operative, empathetic, team players and highly liked by their peers. It also improves their emotional quotient and makes resilient adults. The key to making your child a social being is building their communication skills and making them confident orators.
3) Show them work ethic and achievement: The most effective way to get your child to behave a certain way would be to model the behavior yourself. You need to show solid work ethics, respect for work and desire to achieve for your child to imbibe the same. A Harvard Business School study shows that kids who grew up with working moms went to school longer and earned more money - almost 23% more compared to their peers who were raised by stay-at-home mothers.
4) Let them practice decision making: Believe it or not, making good decisions requires practice. Give your children the liberty to choose for themselves (of course, except for when it’s a health or safety concern!). Autonomy allows a child to develop self-esteem, self-trust and confidence. When kids are allowed to make decisions by themselves, they feel motivated and responsible. Try this out with your children and you’ll be astonished at how much more responsible and mature they are than you actually think.
5) Set high expectations: A parent’s expectation from their child predicts their success in school! For example, a study at UCLA found out that children whose parents expected them to make it through college were more likely to actually graduate. Basically, your child believes what you think of them.
6) Teach them to try and not to worry about failing: Instilling a growth mindset is extremely important to set children up for success. You want them to see failure (which happens to all of us) as a chance to learn and grow and not as an ending. Don’t appear stressed or bothered when they fail at a task, instead encourage them to do better next time. Remember, they do what you do.
7) Get them excited about math early on: Turns out, teaching kids math at an early age not only develops their numerical abilities but also aids their reading skills! It lays the foundation for their cognitive development. They may or may not continue to be interested in math later on but it plays a great foundational role.
Scientifically, those are the most important pointers which if followed regularly from a young age, lay the foundation for future success. But the bottom line remains that parenting is a concoction which tastes different for everybody. Let’s keep our focus right on raising happy, healthy kids first!