Much has been written about parenting. Countless parenting styles have been discussed on television and in magazines. They may work for some, and they may not for others. But when it’s science saying what you can do to raise successful kids, the chances of getting positive results is much higher, no doubt.
What can moms and dads do to bring up high achievers? Below, we list a few things that science says have been proven effective.
1. Have dinner as a whole family.
The Family Dinner Project, a nonprofit organization operating out of Harvard University, says children who eat with their families five days a week show lower levels of substance abuse, obesity, depression, and teen pregnancy. The kids also have higher self-esteem and grade-point averages, plus wider vocabularies.
2. Work outside the home.
Researchers at Harvard Business School found that when mothers work outside their homes and have a thriving career, their daughters are more likely to be employed themselves, have supervisory roles, and earn more money than their peers whose moms did not have jobs.
3. Let them do chores around the house.
Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of How to Raise an Adult and the former dean of freshman at Stanford University, mentioned in her 2015 TED Talk a Harvard Grant Study that found that the participants who achieved the greatest professional success were the ones who did chores as a kid.
4. Read to them.
Researchers at the New York University School of Medicine found that babies whose parents read to them from early infancy develop better literacy, language, and reading skills before they even start elementary school. The study also found that kids who develop a liking for books as kids grow into adults who read for fun.
5. Allow them to fail.
According to Dr. Stephanie O’Leary, a clinical psychologist specializing in neuropsychology and author of “Parenting in the Real World: The Rules Have Changed,” failure is good for children. Failures teach children to cope and provides them with life experiences that allow them to relate to their peers in a genuine way. Challenges and failures also instill in children the value of hard work and persistence, and help them to develop resilience.
6. Encourage them to travel and explore.
The Student and Youth Travel Association (SYTA) surveyed 1,432 U.S. teachers who credit international travel with affecting students in positive ways, such as increased tolerance of other cultures and ethnicities, increased independence, self-esteem, and confidence, more intellectual curiosity, and better adaptability and sensitivity.
7. Delay gratification.
The famous Marshmallow Experiment of 1972 and follow-up studies found that children who were able to resist the temptation to eat the marshmallow in exchange for better rewards grew up to be adults with better social skills, higher test scores, and lower risk of substance abuse. The also had lower chances of being obese, were better equipped to deal with stress, and were more successful.
8. Enforce no-screen time everyday.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that children below 18 months should have no screen time at all, other than video chatting. Researchers have found that the brains of little kids can be permanently altered when they spend too much time using gadgets like smartphones and tablets. The child’s ability to focus, speak, and socialize can be negatively affected.
9. Stop telling them they can be anything they want to be.
A survey of 400 teenagers conducted by market research agency C+R Research says that young Americans aren’t interested in doing work that will need to be done in the years to come, like jobs in healthcare and construction trades. They instead dream of being musicians, video game designers, and musicians – even though these jobs only comprise one percent of American occupations. Making children believe that they may choose any career they want can disappoint them in the future if they fail to get the jobs they desire.
What do you think of these tips, moms and dads? Do you agree?
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