Everyone wants to be productive and successful. There are self-improvement books, self-improvement seminars and self-improvement institutes that all tout the ability to make any person productive and facilitate personal growth. Parents face a similar predicament except, they’re focused on making someone else productive and successful: their kids.
Googling “How to raise a productive and successful child” returns quite a few intelligent ideas. Here are the best tips we could find about raising a productive and successful child:
1) Always praise their good decisions
Go overboard with the praise if you want to. When your kid gets out of bed bright and early and walks the dog, praise them highly. In the grand scheme of tasks, that one might not deserve the most praise and it may even be their responsibility but praise received when a good decision is made acts as positive reinforcement for such behavior and forms a psychological tendency to make good decisions even in adulthood.
2) Make sure your kids do their chores
Performing chores builds the belief in children that they must do their part to reap the benefits of life. It also removes the initial barrier that children face when they’re handed a responsibility for the first time. Children that do chores tend to become adults that collaborate better with coworkers and are more independent when performing tasks.
3) Don’t help your kids with tasks that they are capable of completing on their own
Perhaps you’ve been helping them carry the trash out all these years but they’re grown up now. They can easily do it by themselves but they continue to expect you to help them because, well, you’ve always done it. It’s time to stop and let them realize that they should do the tasks that they’re fully capable of without assistance from others. They might feel slightly abandoned but they’ll get over it.
4) Raise children to focus on and strive toward long-term goals
An article in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that children that were able to keep their focus on a particular goal over long periods of time and strive towards it tended to achieve their goal. Perseverance despite the lack of immediate results increased the chance of attaining difficult and long-term goals including educational qualifications.
5) Encourage hobbies and talents
Help your kids discover their talents, if the current extra-curricular activity doesn’t seem to be their speed, try another one. Pay attention to the interests expressed by your children and let them try their hand at it, if it sticks it sticks and if it doesn’t, rinse and repeat. If your child doesn’t want to discover a hobby or talent, try out a few hobbies yourself. Watching you try something new may trigger the yearning to try something new themselves. Always expanding their abilities is a trait of the successful.
6) Place reasonable expectations on your child
The Pygmalion effect is defined as the phenomenon whereby higher expectations lead to an increase in performance. Therefore, placing reasonable expectations on your children will lead to them trying harder to live up to those expectations. Keep in mind, however, that extremely high expectations will make children feel inferior if they’re unable to achieve it and extremely low expectations will not bring the Pygmalion effect into play.
7) Ensure that your child is always honest
If your child lies to you, don’t let them get away with it. Make it clear that there are consequences for lying be it grounding or revoking their allowance and so on. If children believe they can get away with lying at home, they will learn to use lies at school and eventually form a habit of it. Not everyone is as willing to forgive dishonesty as parents are.
8) Teach social skills to your children as early as possible
A study by researchers from Duke University and Pennsylvania State University found that the social skills of kindergartners could assess their sociability and success almost 20 years later. The study revealed that kindergartners who could easily cooperate with their classmates and were very helpful to people were more likely (in adulthood) to graduate from college and be a productive member of society.
9) Identify your child’s preferred learning style and cater to it
The neighbor’s kid might be scoring higher than your child because the format the learning material is provided in fits his learning preference but not your child’s. If you’re unfamiliar with the VARK learning methodologies read up on them and provide your child with the learning material in his learning preference for better comprehension and retention of the information.
10) Do not break your child’s self-esteem
No parent goes about purposefully chipping away at their child’s self-esteem, but it’s a common accident. The comparison of children to the neighbor’s children (“Sharma Ji Ka Beta”) is so common in households that it’s now present in memes, t-shirts, posters, you name it. Each time this comparison happens it eats away at the child’s self-esteem making them believe that they are less than someone else because they’re not as good as the neighbor at academics or quizzes and so on. Low self-esteem will be a barrier to productivity and in turn to achieving success.
11) Do not tolerate disrespect from your child
Your kids may occasionally be angry with you. If they’re teenagers, they might always be angry with you. But make sure your kids are aware that while anger is acceptable, disrespect is not. Allowing disrespect without consequences will create the impression that they can get away with disrespect anywhere and with anyone. Disrespectful people are never successful and they could even end up in dangerous situations due to it.
12) Don’t bend to your child’s will because you’re tired of being the bad guy
It can get tiring to always be the bad guy in your kid’s eyes because you refuse to let them do all the crazy stuff that their friend’s parents allow. But, as every parent knows and is tired of stating, your kid will thank you for it someday. So stick with it and take every decision keeping in mind what’s best for your kid and someday your kids will see all the terrible decisions you saved them from.
If you’ve got other tips we should include in this list, drop them in the comments below and if you found this post useful give it a share!