Characteristics of Parents of Successful Kids
No one wants to invest 18+ years of their love, life and money into parenting a typical child for them to not be able to have some success in life. Former reputable university studies found that there were 13 characteristics of parents that were common amongst highly successful children. Read in this article 8 traits and principles that if you incorporate into your new-year resolutions, and practise them, will produce success for yourself and your children for this year and the years to come. I will not be telling you how you should define the ultimate vision of what success looks like for your child, that’s their choice. I highlight some invaluable habit and keys that can lead your son or daughter on a good path. At the end of this post you will also find a bonus pdf download with additional secrets, solutions, and tools that I would typically only share with my parent coaching clients. If, you are interested may read the full article of the 13 characteristics published by Rachel Gillett and Drake Baer, Business Insider, (May, 2017).
What Can Parents Do To Raise Successful Kids?
1. They hold kids responsible for their chores … discipline
Yes I understand the whining and the draining repetitive reminders we have to endure as parents to get some of our kids to do chores. You may be lucky to have that fun-loving kid who considers 10 minutes at the sink to be equivalent to doing 10 months of time in prison, “what crime have I done mom that you would draw me away from my game to do the dishes?”. However, chores teach kids the valuable lesson of discipline and responsibility. Work is to be done because work is to be done. Work is a part of contributing to the whole family. It creates a sense of positive identity (“this is my job”) and service and importance (“Others are depending on me to do this, I am important”).
“Kids raised on chores go on to become employees who collaborate well with their co-workers, are more empathetic, … and are able to take on tasks independently”, states Julie Lythcott-Haims, former Dean at Stanford University.
I have found as a counsellor for a number of families that if parents make the effort to institute the discipline of chores in their families from an early age, there is significantly less of a struggle later on in adolescence. But, if you must engage in the struggle with your tween or teen, begin this weekend, it will be harder but it’s not too late. (Bring in back-up enforcers – grandparents)
2) They teach their kids social skills early and continually
Research indicate that a child’s capacity to get along well with others well in kindergarten is a good indicator of that child’s success 20 years later, becoming college graduate and employed. The converse finding is that low social skills at a young age indicated criminal activity, addiction, unemployment and poverty. Wait, don’t panic, if your kid is beyond kindergarten and struggling, there is hope, social skills can be learnt. You can help him/her at home looking frequently for “teachable moments” and optimising them. You can also get help from a school counsellor, the child and youth worker, or a therapist. Supports are available to help in the school, and in the community (e.g., support and skills groups for kids, individual and family counselling).
This is so important I am going to share with you 4 social skills that you can begin to work on at home this year. There are a lot of possibilities but you want to start with only a limited few as goals. You or with your child’s class teacher may be able to find what’s personalised for your unique child.
- Emotional Language
- How to identify and label different states of mind and feelings in self and in others
- Share and Take Turns
- Kids must learn to share and take turns with others during play and or work. “What do I do while I wait for my turn?”
- Manage their own strong emotions
- Emotions ( such as- anger, fear, jealousy, frustration), and impulses (“I feel like and want to hit, but I won’t”).
Ask self “what can I do when I’m not getting along with others?”
3) They Believe In and Have High Expectations Of Their Children
Every child was created with potential. Parents who can see and help their child see the potential within them (sometimes buried deep) will help that child achieve their best. Believing in your child isn’t a mystical concept, it translates in the words you speak to them, the way you challenge and encourage them, and the resources you invest in them. Communicating high expectations is not perfectionism (which is my personal thorn of the flesh) but it is holding them accountable for performing at their best level. The most important benefit of believing in your child is their internalisation of that value and they learn to believe in themselves too. This develops in the context of attachment parenting. A child who from his soul believes in themselves is unstoppable.
Watch the video of Oprah describing the huge contribution the belief in herself, and positive self-image made to her achievements (Find the link in the download at the end).
4) Agreeable Relationships Between Parents or Co-Parents
Coparenting is a lifelong commitment that extends beyond the boundaries of the marital union. Every couple has conflict, many couples have strong conflict about their different parenting styles and opposing family values and beliefs.But, when conflict becomes hostile, the children are negatively impacted. Hostility between parents has a negative impact on kids whether their parents are living together, separated, or divorced. In fact, conflict isn’t just hostile, the undercurrent of passive-aggression and quiet contempt is equally disturbing for children (of divorce). Children become highly stressed (higher cortisol levels) in these environments and this blocks their capacity to learn, to cope well, to perform at school or sports, or maintain their own peer relationships.
Mothers and fathers who learn to work together as partners in parenting, raise children who are more happy, well adjusted, and are higher achievers. (By the way, partnering as parents involves skills and structures that can be learnt. There are many parenting classes or parenting after separation programs in your community to help.) #bestinterest
5) They have a positive, caring relationship with their kids.
Since John Bowlby first reveal his theory of attachment we know that children who are raised by attentive, responsive caregivers develop a positive worldview of themselves and others and this is a building blocks for success in childhood and on into adulthood. (This is my sweet, passion spot, I can write on and on, this is why I do parent coaching).
Children who have a good healthy relationship with their parents just do better, at basically,.. almost,… EVERYTHING.Tania Bryan -Help for Families Canada.
All your investment in providing your child with music lessons to learn to play the piano, tennis and hockey coaching, private in-home tutoring in math and the sciences, all sorts of technology and learning devices, together they do not give you the return on investment, as spending quality time with your kids, and becoming a calm, confident, caring parent. #attachment
6) They Are Less Stressed
I hinted at this before. Children mirror the emotions of their caregivers, and significant people around them. If you are stressed out, hypervigilant, and irritable children internalise these states and act them out. Yes, sometimes kids act out what you are holding inside. The solution is, as a parent, learn to manage your personal stress with self-care and positive coping strategies, and your kids will learn to do the same and, thus be able to thrive. #self-care #stressmanagement
7) They have a growth mindset – valuing learning over avoiding failure
Carol Dweck, was the first to propose the idea of a growth mindset. It is the belief that one’s success is not based on fixed, unchangeable innate traits (intelligence or attractiveness, talents, etc.) but characteristics or skills that can be learnt, and developed with time and effort. This is powerful in parenting because children learn from their moms and dads that failure or limitations are only obstacles to overcome or detours and not dead-end or cliff (#growthmindset #failforward). Listen to Carol Dweck explain it herself at a TED Talk .
8. They teach “grit” or perseverance
Grit, is defined as “a tendency to sustain interest in and effort toward very long-term goals” stated by psychologist, Angela Duckworth (as cited by Gillet & Baer, 2017).
Let’s break this down.
- A “tendency” is a lifestyle habit of being. Grit doesn’t develop as a one-time occurrence. It builds in repetition.
- “to sustain interest in and effort” To sustain something is to keep it going in spite of the resistances to stop it. To sustain interest and effort is to keep motivated and committed the application of energy and work. (I believe in faith but even the Bible teaches that faith without work is futile). Motivation can be internally sourced or it can be inspired by others.
- Toward – speaks to direction, having a focus. Effort is not just spewed aimlessly. Effort and interest is intentional.
- Very long term-goals – Having goals speaks to having vision, having a dream. The capacity to imagine and visualise things that are not as if you they are. To build an imaginary bridge from the future into the present. It involves delayed gratification because the dream they imagine is not available in the instant. A long term goal is one you have to wait and work for a long-time.
To overcome the urge to quit, in the face of the many, many, many obstacles life is sure to present itself to child, they should have some practise under your positive guidance with the trait of grit.
Struggles of Special Needs Kids On The Road To Success
Not all children are equal. I am not going into the fixed mindset and contradicting myself, but I must in honour of some of the kids I counsel, recognise that some kids struggle more than others. I’m not meaning to limit and pigeon-hole them, but by bringing these struggles out into the open, I hope to encourage parents who are struggling with them in silence to know that there is a space to talk about these challenges. So,… along the journey of parenting, here are some of the challenges some of you might experience.
Coming Up In Follow-Up Blog Post Are Solutions to Some of These Parenting Challenges
- Regarding Chores with the Uncooperative, Irresponsible Child
- Regarding Social skills for ADHD child
- Regarding Believing In The Unmotivated Child
- Regarding limited stress and the chronically stressed or Anxious Child
- Regarding Perfectionism in children and fostering a growth-mindset to embrace failure
Opportunity for More Personalised Parenting Support
If you are living with any of these issues, FOLLOW this BLOG as the next post will address some of these issues. In fact, if you comment now below and tell me what’s personal to you, I promise to focus in on the issues most relevant to my readers and subscribers.
Thanks & Get Your Free Download
Download your pdf guide “Download – What Any Parent Can Do To Raise Successful Children- Help Families Canada” it includes the list of characteristics mentioned in this post plus, additional solutions, tools and resources that may help you in this journey.
Help for Families Canada provides individual & family counselling to children, parents, and families. We help parents face the struggles they silently endure, but now, not alone. Parents receive support in how to set firm boundaries and responsibilities with their kids, how to master the chaos of out of control feelings, how to motivate and encourage their unmotivated and their driven kids, and how to take care of themselves so they can succeed along with their kids. Co-Parenting Classes help parents unite around the mutual vision of raising successful kids. Often time, with play therapy techniques such as storytelling and gameplaying, kids learn the skills and mindsets they need to maximise their potential to succeed. Find out more about our Counselling Services in Edmonton. You can schedule online for a FREE session.