There is no one-size-fits-all formula for raising kids to be independent and successful adults. Parenting is difficult enough, and there’s a lot of pressure you might be feeling to ensure that your child has the best possible future. Fortunately, several studies have identified factors that do affect outcomes in raising a successful child into adulthood. Understanding these factors and different parenting roles can help you rear your child into adulthood in the best way possible. Below are 5 ways to help your kids lead a healthy and successful life.
1. Make Your Kids Do Chores
It’s never too early to teach your kids that responsibility is a constant in life. Involve them in housework as early as possible based on what they can contribute at different ages. The last thing you want is to impress upon them that someone else will take care of the work for them.
In fact, children raised to do chores were found to be better collaborators in the workplace and were more empathetic since they had a better understanding of difficulty and struggle. These individuals also accomplished their work more independently. By helping your child understand that doing the work of everyday life is a natural part of it, you’re more likely to raise an adult responsible for themselves and others.
2. Invest in Their Education
Children spend much of their years in school, all the way up to young adulthood, and it is a crucial part of their learning and overall success. Parents should get to know prospective schools in as much detail as possible; don’t be afraid to attend meetings at school to learn more about their curriculum, culture, and method! Learning should also continue at home, where parents are responsible for encouraging good study habits.
It’s also a good idea to start saving up for their college education as early as now. A smart way to do this is to get a Registered Education Savings Plan, or an RESP, for your child. RESPs were designed by the Canadian government to help parents invest money, save on taxes, and even obtain additional grants that can empower families to send their kids to good colleges. In this way, you can not only invest your money, but you’ll also set a good example for your kids as they learn about the value and importance of education.
3. Praise Them the Right Way
Praising children can be tricky. On the one hand, parents should reinforce good behaviors that will contribute to the child’s growth. On the other, too much or the wrong type of praise can lead to bad habits that are difficult to break.
When praising your child, focus on the objective, cultivating a growth mindset rather than a fixed one. For instance, when your daughter gets a high score on a test, praise her for her hard work and effort rather than gushing over how smart she is. This way, she’ll learn that working towards her goals can lead to success and will continue learning and solving problems with confidence.
4. Promote an Active Lifestyle
Having an active lifestyle at a young age provides many benefits for children. First, it’s a good way to keep your child busy and away from careless or dangerous activities. More importantly, it develops your child’s physical fitness, mental wellbeing, and overall health.
Any physical activity your child takes to should be encouraged — whether it’s biking, playing catch, or participating in virtual physical exercise (e.g., Just Dance, Kids’ HIIT, etc.). An active lifestyle teaches children discipline, a thirst for learning and exploring, and respect, all of which will serve them well in adulthood. Studies also have correlated happiness with physical activity in adulthood, making it all the more important for your child to learn this early on.
5. Have High Expectations
Contrary to popular belief, parents with high expectations raise children who work towards that goal and achieve a good level of success. Children who scored high on standardized tests were expected to go to college, living up to their parents’ expectations compared to peers who scored low and did not feel as great an expectation to attend tertiary school. Raising children into successful adults can seem like a daunting task for any parent. But by focusing on the right ways to help your child’s development, you can equip them with the right skills and mindset to grow into independent and healthy individuals.