Doing Life Together

family teensWe all want our children to grow up to be happy and successful adults. And we know that parenting has much to do with that success. So what have researchers found to be key issues in raising successful kids?

  1. Kids need to develop a sense of independence. Parents, help them by encouraging them to work through their conflicts and develop peer relationships that are healthy. Don’t do for them. They need to learn how to handle problems themselves. Let them make decisions and feel the consequences. Controlling parents feed into low self-confidence, making it more likely to have children who listen to peers instead of them.
  2. Save the yelling for sports teams. Kids who are yelled at and verbally criticized have behavior problems and develop discipline problems. If you have an anger problem, get help. No one likes to be yelled at and it doesn’t help develop a secure attachment.
  3. Watch the overprotection or what is called helicopter parenting. When kids are too protected and hovered over, they become dependent on you to fix things and make life easy. This can play into entitlement later on. Allow them to fail and grow from their mistakes.
  4. Consider your parenting style. If it is authoritarian or permissive, you want to think about making some changes. Children do best with an authoritative style. Explaining to children why we do what we do, helps them learn better than telling them what to do. That is a major difference between being authoritative (explaining) and authoritarian (telling).
  5. Develop a strong emotional bond with your children. A detached, cold parent doesn’t create the security and attachment children need to thrive. If you are too busy, neglecting their emotional lives or emotionally depleted yourself, your relationship will be affected in negative ways and create insecure kids.
  6. Make them do chores. Kids who learn the value of work early on in life, carry it over to later life. They also tend to be more empathetic and better collaborators at work. It’s true, hard work doesn’t hurt anyone. In fact, it builds character and skills for later life.
  7. Develop their emotional intelligence along with their cognitive intelligence. Teach them social skills. Children who learn how to be effective in their interpersonal relationships do better in life. So focus on helping them read social cues, be aware of their emotions and how to use them in productive ways, deal with conflict and manage their relationships.
  8. Aim high. Expectations matter. If you expect them to go to college, they have a better chance of doing it. And college education does prepare them better for a successful career or job. Tell your children that you expect them to succeed. Many adults will tell you that having parents who believed in them and told them was important to their success.
  9. Manage your own stress. Kids feel the stress of their parents and tend to take it on or respond to it by becoming focused on you versus their personal development. Managing family stress helps children concentrate on learning and models how to handle such stress. It also frees them to be children and develop in a positive home.
  10. Provide spiritual training. Teach a biblical world view so they have a lens from which to organize the world and think critically about what they see. Practice the spiritual disciplines and lead them to a saving relationship with Christ. This has eternal value, but also helps them flourish in ways not possible with no spiritual anchor.
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