In general it’s assumed that parents want their children to be successful. Sure, there’s something to be said for preventing your kids from getting up themselves by ensuring they fail at everything, but for the most part we like to encourage our offspring towards the direction of achievement. The eternal question is: how? How does a parent maximise the chances of their child meeting with success? Hard-working researchers have the answer!
1. Make Mum Happy
First, make Mum happy. An analysis of data from the Millennium Cohort study, a longitudinal survey conducted at the University of London, from which they gathered information regarding 13,000 U.K. couples, reveals that the happiness of a child’s mother is strongly linked to good mental health – babies with happy mums grew up into well-adjusted teens.
2. Explaining the Importance of Persistence
Second, role-model persistence. Boffins from the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachussetts Institute of Technology found that children were more persistent and persevered more with difficult tasks – a crucial component of a successful life – when their parents could be seen to do the same, and to stress the importance of persistence. So you’ll get nowhere kicking back with midday beers and giving up on cryptic crosswords and then expecting your kids to bother with much.
3. Engaging with Learning
Third, engage with learning. An English study found that letting the education system take care of your kid’s learning is no way to build a high achiever: the most successful people grew up with parents who read to them, listened to them read, helped them learn letters and numbers, and generally got active with participating in the learning process. Parents who accompanied kids on school excursions were also correlated with success, so getting stuck in is clearly a plus.
4. Encourage Music Lessons
Fourth, nurture the inner musician. The Universities of Georgia and Alabama discovered that learning is enhanced, outcomes improved, and children generally made better at pretty much everything, when they take music lessons. So parents who guide their littlies into the world of music are investing cannily in future success.
5. Assist Kits to Avoid Distraction
Lastly, teach the kids to avoid distraction. Stanford psychology expert Nir Eyal says that being “indistractable” is key to success, and parents need to be proactive in developing indistractiblity in their spawn. This is not done by banning distractions, but for example, by explaining to a child why limiting time on the dreaded iPad or phone is important, and then allowing them to make their own decisions about how much distractions they’ll allow. Empowering, you see?
So there you go. Five ways to make your kid a winner. Now get busy producing those captains of industry, please.