When it comes to raising children, parents often seek advice from a variety of sources: family members, friends, experts, books, and more. Of course, every parent wants their kids to be happy and successful, but what’s the magical secret?
Even unknowingly, parents constantly set examples for their children, often through osmosis. “As a parent, the best thing you can do to teach children success is to succeed yourself — let them see what it takes,” Tessina said. “This not only means you need to have a definition of success, but also an understanding of how to achieve it.”
No one likes to make mistakes, but it is how someone deals with them that makes all the difference. “Parents with successful kids are not afraid of making mistakes that their children can see,” Tessina said. “Watching you mess up and then watching you fix it and move on is a great life lesson for your kids and can turn every bad moment around.”
Responsibility, too, is an important part of life, and parents of successful kids know how to delegate. “Give your kids chores to do: Ask them to help you accomplish things around the house or even help you with appropriate work tasks, even if the help makes a mess,” Tessina said. “At each stage of their development, turn over a little more responsibility to your children — the point is that they learn how to do things and understand what needs to be done. Plus, make sure they know you appreciate their help,” she added.
Dr Fran Walfish, a family and relationship psychotherapist and author of “The Self-Aware Parent,” said that teaching children about follow-through is crucial. “Once committed to a decision, stick to it,” Walfish said. “Do not give in to the temptation to waffle.”
Walfish said that teaching children about money is crucial. “Some parents of successful kids come from families of modest to poor means — they know what it feels like to do without or want something you can’t afford,” she told Business Insider.
“As a result, they raise their own children to work for and value a dollar, and they do not entitle them to things,” she said. “They teach them to delay gratification by working, saving, and waiting until they have earned enough money to purchase the things they desire.”
Life is full of ups and downs, and parents who raise resilient kids show them all sides of life, including dealing with disappointment and bouncing back afterwards. “The absolute only way to build muscles for handling disappointment and dealing with rejection is to experience it, go through it, and see that you can, indeed, get to the other side and survive the pain of it,” Dr Walfish said. “Each time you do this, your tolerance muscles strengthen and you’ll have a stronger capacity to deal with life’s inevitable disappointments. And, your children will take note.”
As much as being a parent is about being serious and setting boundaries and rules, it’s also about letting loose and having fun with your kids. “Teaching your kids to balance work and play is essential,” Tessina said. “For instance, you can do this by rewarding them with ice cream or a trip to the local pool after they complete their chores. Playing with your children is as important as teaching them things, and it does turn out to teach them very good things.”
Another key denominator in raising successful kids is giving them a lot of love, support, and encouragement. “It’s much more effective to focus on what is good than what is a problem,” Tessina said. “Celebrate your kids’ achievements, help them with their struggles, and make sure they know you think they can do it and that you believe in them.”