It's easy to forget what true success is when faced with the daily trials of parenting. It's helpful to take a step back from time to time in order to consider what success is, and how we can help our children get there. Here are the top 5 ways you can help your child succeed in life:
1. Help her develop a hobby. In the days of computer games and internet connectivity, hobbies may seem outdated. However, having a hobby is useful for several reasons.
One, a child can become the "expert" in whatever they choose. This can be a real boost to self-esteem, especially for a child who might have challenges in other areas. Second, by constantly rearranging, adding to, and exploring her area of interest, she is practicing the fundamental habits of scientific investigation.
2. Let him make mistakes. Often parents find it difficult to stand by and let their children suffer the pain and disappointment mistakes bring. In reality, mistakes are simply learning opportunities. Teach your child to look at mistakes as a chance to find out "the right way to do things."
True, they can sometimes be embarrassing, humiliating, or worse, but they also give us a chance to grow and be a better person than we were. Better yet, you can model the correct behavior when you find yourself in the midst of a mistake. Instead of self-accusations, blaming, or predicting doom, you can explain to your child that you made a mistake. Your child can then listen as you work out a solution to the problem out aloud.
3. Help your child perform an act of kindness for others on a regular basis. Helping others is a sure way of teaching your child to give back in return for all that he has been given. Teach your child to recognize all the good that he has- and everyone has at least one good thing in their lives-allowing him to take the focus off of what he is entitled to.
Doing so will make him feel more powerful, and he will start to realize how he is able to change the world around him for the better. And by the way, acts of kindness should be anything but random. Randomness implies you are doing it "just because," and not for any specific reason; it denigrates that act to a whim or a fancy. Performing acts of kindness is not about you feeling good enough to help another person: it is about helping another person because they need it.
4. Celebrate small successes. There is no such thing as instant success. We may hear about someone seemingly "making it big" overnight, but of course that's because the TV cameras don't record all the hours that person spent working hard to get where they are now.
Explain to your child that they are like soldiers on a battlefield. Soldiers don't try and capture the whole country at once; instead they focus on conquering one section at a time. This is what a "battlefront" is. Show pride in the fact that your child has managed to win a little bit of the battle, and express your confidence in him being able to conquer the next step.