Habits of successful children
The ultimate goal of every parent is to see their children excel in life and succeed in whatever they decide to become. We all strive to make that goal better than yesterday and to handle life’s challenges with grace and ingenuity, so it’s only natural that we want the same for our children.
Of course, the approach we use will vary depending on the type of personality our child has. But there are several habits that every parent can adopt, regardless of the personality of his children.
Scientists have long focused on what makes a child successful later in life and have come to the conclusion that parental habits play a huge role in how their children learn to approach life.
So, here are seven habits that parents of successful children have:
1. Read to them
Aside from the fact that there’s nothing sweeter than reading to your little one, research has shown that reading to your child from a young age gives them a ” long-lasting literacy boost .”
Also, your children will begin to associate reading with the warm emotions they experienced when you read to them, and because of that, they will love reading when they are older. And reading for pleasure has lifelong benefits, such as increased intellectual progress, a richer vocabulary, better spelling, and even better ability to solve math problems.
2. Work outside the home
If you thought your kids needed you every minute of the day, you might be surprised to learn that they’re actually better off when you go to work. This especially applies to stay-at-home mothers, who with this approach leave their children with the impression that women are forced to do housework and neglect their ambitions.
Researchers at the Harvard Business School have found that children who were raised by working mothers had a different approach to life than those who were raised by stay-at-home mothers.
Girls become women who are more likely to seek work and earn higher wages, while boys become men who contribute to household chores and devote more attention to family members.
3. Limit screen time
Longer exposure to screen time has devastating results on a child’s still-developing brain. Spending too much time in front of screens has been found to impede a child’s ability to focus, interrupt their attention, and hinder their vocabulary and social skills.
The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) has established some recommendations on how much screen time is healthy for your child, depending on their age:
- Under 18 months: use of the screen is not allowed, except for video conferences.
- From 18 to 24 months: Parents can introduce high-quality digital media and watch it together with their children “ to help them understand what they are seeing ”.
- 2 to 5 years: limit use to 1 hour a day; only high-quality digital media; watch it together ” to help them understand what they see and apply it to the world around them .”
- Ages 6 and older: « Set consistent limits on screen time and don’t let it take the place of essential health behaviors like adequate sleep and physical activity. «
You can create screen-free zones, like bedrooms, and set screen-free times, where you can socialize and discuss things that are of family and individual importance.
4. Making them do housework
In her 2015 TED talk, Julie Lythcott-Haims talks about how the successful adult participants in the Harvard Grant Study were the ones doing homework as children. Teaching your child to take responsibility for everyday tasks from a young age is important.
5. Delay gratification
The idea that your child should be instantly rewarded for every little thing they do is something they will take for granted in life and something that will affect them negatively. Teaching your children to be patient and persistent in what they do will help them a lot in life.
A good example of what delayed gratification does to an individual’s potential for success is the famous cloud experiment. In it, the children received a cloud with the instruction that if they did not eat it while the researcher was away, they would receive another.
The children who managed to resist temptation later became people who achieved better results in their education, improved their social skills and had a lower incidence of substance abuse.
The idea behind delayed gratification is that not everything you do should always show instant results. Therefore, teach your children to acquire constructive habits that they must fulfill every day to achieve a greater goal.
6. Let them fail
The only failure is the one where we decide to do nothing because we are afraid of failure. In other words, only effort brings success, regardless of the primary result. And many parents don’t see that protecting their children from failure has fatal effects on their future success.
Letting your child fail has benefits for your children on many levels. Dr. Stephanie O’Leary, author of ” Modern Education: The Rules Have Changed ,” explains that ” the willingness to see your child struggle communicates that you believe he or she is capable and can handle any outcome, even a negative one. ” «.
Letting your children fail will help them learn to deal with such situations and really experience what it means to be challenged. The feeling of challenge will teach them to work hard and strive to improve things to avoid future failures. Teach your children that the effort is more important than the result.
7. Encourage them to travel
The Student and Youth Travel Association (SYTA) has conducted a survey looking at the effects that travel has on students across the United States.
What they found was that the trips impacted the students on many vital aspects of their personality, such as:
- A greater willingness to know, learn and explore more
- Greater independence, self-esteem and confidence
- Increased intellectual curiosity
- better self expression
- Greater tolerance and respect
- Better cooperation/collaboration
- Better adaptability and sensitivity
- Increased tolerance towards other cultures and ethnicities
The benefits come regardless of whether the trip was domestic or international, with a difference in increased cultural tolerance and a greater boost in all aspects when the trip is international.