Raising children is a rewarding and, often complex, responsibility. We all want to do our best to ensure we give our kids a platform from which to lead a successful life, but there are many different ways to describe success.
The Oxford dictionary defines success as the “accomplishment of an aim or purpose, the attainment of fame, wealth, or social status”, but most people would consider there are a few more ingredients required to live a successful life, such as friendship, happiness and good health.
See our tips below to learn what you can do to help your children achieve their goals and give them the best start.
Encourage a growth mindset, self-worth and self-respect
Kids are born with a healthy imagination and a belief that anything is possible, but many quickly fall into a mindset of believing that they don’t have control over their abilities.
This view – that your talents and abilities are beyond your control – is known as a fixed mindset.
Instead, encourage your kids to have a growth mindset – a belief that they can be good at anything if they work hard enough.
Studies have shown that the way we praise and encourage kids has a big impact on their mindset. Praising them for their ability creates a fixed mindset, while praising their effort teaches a growth mindset and fosters resilience1.
It’s also important for kids to develop their own sense of self-worth and self-esteem by understanding their value as a person – who they are, not what they do.
Kids who are happy have better academic success2, much in the same way that happy adults have been found to be more successful at work3.
While keeping your kids happy may seem like a daunting task, research shows supportive relationships play a key role4, so encourage your child’s positive friendships – and help them navigate any friendship difficulties.
Give them the gift of health
Positive lifestyles habits such as eating well and doing regular exercise are known to improve academic outcomes for kids.5
By setting an example and making a healthy lifestyle a family priority, the habits formed in childhood should hold your kids in good stead into the future.
Set them chores
Having household chores to do not only teaches kids responsibility and gives them a sense of accomplishment when completed, but research has found a link between kids who do childhood chores and success in life.6
Knowing how to do basic household tasks, such as laundry, cooking and cleaning equips young adults with the skills they need to live independently, and combined with a financial reward such as pocket money or an allowance, also reinforces the value of work.
Teach them to manage money
Knowing how to manage money is an important building block for a successful life, and one that’s heavily influenced in childhood, with research indicating that most kids form money habits by the time they’re seven years old7.
Parents play a powerful role in influencing the attitudes and habits of their kids towards money8, so it’s never too early to start with a piggy bank for small change, working up to a savings account as they get older.
Help your kids understand how banking works by getting them involved – help them deposit money, make withdrawals from an ATM and track their spending.
Potential barriers to success
While it’s ok to have some expectations about your kid’s success, it’s important that they’re realistic, as pushing your kids too hard can actually be detrimental to their success.9
And even if you don’t have kids of your own, you can still pass these tips onto your extended family and friends by sharing or liking this article.
7, 8 https://mascdn.azureedge.net/cms/the-money-advice-service-habit-formation-and-learning-in-young-children-may2013.pdf
The price of childcare may be a deterrent to working, but loss of income, super and other benefits may cost more.