As parents we all want our child to do well at school, have a great job when their older and keep out of trouble on the way.
There is no recipe that anyone can give to raise a successful child, but psychology research has identified some factors that predict success.
And guess what, much of their success comes down to you as their parent.
Here are just 15 of those pointers that psychologist have identified. I'm sure that you as parents can think of lots more.
Children doing chores - "If kids aren't doing the dishes, it means
someone else is doing that for them," Julie Lythcott-Haims, former dean of freshmen at Stanford University and author of "How to Raise an Adult" said during a TED Talks Liveevent. "And so they're absolved of not only the work, but of learning that work has to be done and that each one of us must contribute for the betterment of the whole," she said. " -
No, that doesn't mean doing all the housework, and of course it has to be age related - taking all of that into consideration - just how does it help? Children that help around the home learn how to work with others and learn how to do things independently. These are both great skills for the future workplace. They come to realise that everyone has responsibilities
and those include being part of a team at home.
Teaching Children Social Skills -
A 20-year study showed that 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.
Social skills is one of the most important things we can teach our children and this starts at a young age. Getting on with others and seeing things from their point of view, can help develop leadership skills or an ability to work with others.
Limit the Conflict in the home
It is far more important that children grow up in a home without conflict among their peers
and siblings than that their parents are together. Some parents stay together for the sake of their children. This might sound like a great idea, but it is not always what's best for the child. It is much better for the child to have a good relationship which each parent, even if they do not live in the same house. And second, a study of children born into poverty reported that "children who received 'sensitive caregiving' in their first three years" of life did better in school, and then had "healthier relationships and greater academic attainment in their 30s," Gillett and Baer wrote.
Help them understand the work ethic and achievement.
Model good behaviour yourself. We might not all like the jobs we do (and not on a Monday morning), but show your child how important that job is and the benefits of working hard for something you want in life. And if you believe, as I do, that staying at home and looking after your family is a worthwhile job then convey that to your child. All jobs should be valued and we should all try our best at them and try to improve, no matter what the job is.
Teach them to try and try again.
Let you children know it's OK to keep on trying. Nobody can get things right the first time all
of the time. Teach your children to have a growth mindset versus a fixed or scarcity mindset. Short version: For your kids, you want a growth mindset. You want them to view failure, which happens to all of us, as a chance to learn and grow--not as an ending. Teach them it's good to make mistakes, because without mistakes we just don't learn.
Teach them that learning can be fun
Even if you didn't have such a great time at school yourself and somehow began to think that learning just wasn't for you, don't pass that onto your child. We should all be learning something new every day. It's what keeps us young. Show your children that you don't know everything, but you want to find out more.
Get them excited about maths
Yes, I know, there are a lot of people out there who are scared of maths. The
key to learning maths is to understand the numbers and what they do before you more onto more complex stuff. So many people struggle with maths because they don't understand the basics. If you are one of those people who say 'I'm just not good at maths', don't pass that on. Instead, making maths learning fun. You never know, on the way you might learn some new things yourself. A good understanding of maths helps with everything!
Develop a good relationship with your children
A 2014 study of 243 people born into poverty found that children who received "sensitive caregiving" in their first three years not only did better in academic tests in childhood, but had healthier relationships and greater academic attainment in their 30s. You don't have to have all the money in the world to form good relationships with your child. You just have to know and understand their need.
Don't try to be your child's friend, they do not want that from you. What they want is someone that they can feel safe with and someone that will be there when they need them.
What does that mean? Well it doesn't mean give your child everything they want, when they want it. Your not trying to raise a spoilt child. What it does mean is responding to your child's signals promptly and appropriately and provide a secure base for your child to explore the world.
Read to your child
Some children learn to read early, some have more problems learning to read.
Encourage them to read by letting them see you read. Make reading fun and show how much pleasure can be had from a good piece of writing.
Remember, not all children can read easily, but even if they are reading, its always nice to have a bedtime story read to you.
Encourage Special Skills
Every child has unique gifts and talents. EVERY CHILD. These special attributes can show up in a traditional school setting, but there are plenty of children who shine after the final bell has rung for the day. "Do not underestimate the power of unstructured play," says Stiffelman. Playing catch in the yard, dancing in the living room, and chasing after lightning bugs provide opportunities for intellectual, physical, and personal development. Stiffelman also suggests finding a hobby or two for yourself. "Allowing your child to see you trying something new may inspire her to do the same."
Applaud and Praise Efforts
Research conducted by Carol Dweck, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at Stanford University and a leading researcher in the field of achievement and success, discovered that a person's mind-set can influence behaviour. When it comes to parenting, she suggests praising your child for his hard work instead of just tellin him/her that they are "smart" or "talented."
Encourage your child to take on challenges even if they might at first fail. It is the effort that counts.
Respect Different Learning Styles
Just because you need complete silence while typing an e-mail or balancing your books doesn't mean your child needs a noise-free environment when doing his homework. Harvard researcher Howard Gardner established eight kinds of intelligences, or ways kids learn best, some that include musical, logical-mathematical, linguistic, and interpersonal traits. The trick is to pay attention to how your child learns best so you can identify her specific learning style. For example, if your school-age child is visual, consider using flash cards when she's trying to memorise multiplication tables. If your child falls into the interpersonal intelligence category (that is, he has people smarts), help him improve his vocabulary by connecting descriptive words to people like friends, relatives, and historical figures.
Eat Dinner Together
It's great to sit down together at dinner time. You can ask each other about the day. Discussing your day and talking about learning at school encourages your child and let's them know that they are important to you. A study conducted by Columbia University showed that children who eat at least five meals a week with their families are more likely to achieve higher grades in school and are less likely to develop an eating disorder. It can also be a lot of fun and a way to de-stress.
Establishing a bedtime -- and keeping to it every single night -- can be highly effective Try turning off the computer and TV at least 30 minutes beforehand. In 2005 researchers at Tel Aviv University found that missing just one hour of sleep can be enough to reduce a child's cognitive abilities by almost two years the following day.
Hugs, Hugs and more Hugs
Giving your child a number of hugs throughout the day will help ease any tension she may be feeling. "There's nothing like the human touch to give a child a sense of security," says Heim.
Studies of neglected children have shown that kids who don't receive affection can suffer from chronic stress, which can disturb the parts of the brain involved in focusing, learning, and memory. A study in the American Journal of Public Health, published in 2005, reports that touching another person gently has the power to alleviate symptoms -- emotional, behavioural, and physical -- related to stress. Not only will hugging your little one improve her ability to concentrate, it will also have benefits for you. Who doesn't like a hug.