Written by Salina Jivani
No one ever said parenting was easy. But it’s certainly the one thing we all strive to be better at. And then there’s the tricky question: how do you become an outstanding parent and pave the pathway to greatness for your own kids?
Do you have to go to parenting classes?
Read every parenting book you can get your hands on?
Sit through a lifetime of webinars and seminars?
Luckily, it’s a lot simpler than that. Thanks to the internet, info sharing is now easier than ever before, which means that at our very fingertips, we have access to a wealth of research and studies on the topic of smart parenting.
And thanks to this decades’ worth of research, data scientists have learned that parents of kids who grow up to be successful, accomplished adults actually do share a lot in common with one another. Here we share five of their similar attributes in hopes that we can learn from these parents and steal some of their best practices to benefit the future and hopefully imminent success of our own progeny.
Have high expectations
We’ve all heard how important it is to set goals. And that’s true for you—but also for your children. Parents of successful kids understood this early on and implemented goals in their own homes.
To help your kids reach and exceed their potential as little humans, it’s important you create and hold them to expectations from childhood. This could be as simple as counting on them to practice good behavior in pre-school to accepting only As and Bs on their elementary school report cards. By setting expectations, you’re aiming high and teaching your kids that they, too, should push themselves to elevated standards and goals. Doing this will spark within them a desire to grow, achieve and foster self-confidence in themselves—all traits that will come in very handy in the future. And once they get in the habit of anticipating expectation, they’ll start to set the same caliber of standards for themselves, always tackling tasks with ambition and optimism.
Plus, when you set sturdy objectives for your kids, such as vocalizing your desire for them to attend college, you’ll inherently help and push them toward those expectations, increasing their chances of success.
Fact: According to studies conducted throughout the decades, 57% of kids who performed the worst on standardized tests belonged to parents who expected them to attend college while an astonishing 96% of kids who had the highest scores on the same tests had parents who wished for them to attend college.
Promote social skills
Kids who grew to excel were taught social skills early on by their parents. In fact, children who possess social etiquette are proven to be more intelligent and successful overall—both as children and adults. Studies prove that kids who are taught manners are more empathetic, polite, helpful, easy to work with, compassionate and understanding than those kids who aren’t. Therefore, years down the road, they’re also the more sought after employees and team members than those kids who aren’t as socially well versed. So make time to teach your kids manners, show them to be polite and ask them to respect those around them. These small seeds of behavior planted in them young will set the course for positive future outcomes.
Fact: Kids who weren’t nearly as socially inclined were proven to get into a lot more trouble with the law and had increased chances of drinking, getting arrested and seeking public housing as adults.
Are well educated
Parents of successful children were well educated themselves. And because they attained a higher degree of education, they were better caregivers and role models for their children. How can you learn from these parents? By setting an example for your kids by first refining and bettering yourself. Practice what you preach. After all, your children will absorb from your actions a lot more than they will from your words. And the same goes with your educational standards. If you’re pushing your kids to do their best and wish for them to attain a higher level of education, you should attempt to do the same and you’ll automatically set a precedent.
Fact: How educated a parent is by the time their child is eight years old greatly influences how educated and career inclined that child will be himself approximately 40 years later.
Foster a strong relationship with their child
Kids who were most successful in their lives had parents who established a loving, nurturing relationship with them.
Creating a positive relationship with your child can be challenging, particularly as they grow older, but planting the seeds for a great relationship can’t start early enough. Raising your kids in the right environment and giving them a sense of comfort, love and trust early on will go a long way toward their future successes, and continue to bring them returns even later on in life as they themselves become parents.
Fact: Research proves that kids whose parents paid more attention to their needs, created a safe and trusting environment for them and heeded their feelings, particularly in the first three years, performed better on tests, fostered healthier relationships with people and had greater academic accomplishments in their 30s.
Have low stress levels
Successful parents shared a calm, low-stress demeanor. A lot of what your child will soak in will come directly from you. The way you behave, the way you speak, the words you choose, sooner or later will be reflected in your child—who will remind of a tiny mirror image of yourself. So be mindful of how you are around your children, particularly when they’re young.
Fact: Kids who are raised in an environment where parents are highly stressed, often absorb the same feelings and emotions their parents experience.
Take a look at all of the above and you’ll notice a pattern: your kids will be who they see. In essence, you. So nurture them well, hold them in high regard and in the process of it all, don’t forget to be a great role model yourself. We all want our children to be better versions of us, but for that to be a reality, you have to create the right environment and practice your own rules. After all, your kids are going to be one of life’s greatest and most hefty investments—and ones that will continue to reward you well into the future.