Helping your Children Succeed in Life

Kevin Gardner

Suggest Opportunities for Travel

Gap years give your child an opportunity to discover themselves. These are typically taken the year between graduating from high school and starting college. It is like an informal study abroad. Your child can choose a new country to explore. They might do this through a youth service organization like volunteering or mission work. If they decide to strike out on their own it's important to help them be cautious in an unfamiliar environment. It's possible to stay safe and enjoy yourself at the same time. Learning opportunities through a gap year are incredibly rich because they aren't structured like a classroom. Your child can learn the local language and experience a new culture firsthand. A gap year is an excellent resume boost as well as a refreshing escape.

Check in Regularly

Parenting is all about supporting your children. That involves picking up on potential warning signs. Mood swings, weight loss, and substance abuse are often indicative of larger issues. Remind your children that you're there for them. Create a safe space so they feel comfortable sharing concerns with you. Making family time a priority could help with this. Have meals together regularly and choose fun activities that everyone enjoys. This models healthy relationship attitudes that they'll carry with them. If your child is particularly struggling you can also let them know that they can seek professional help if they need it.

Foster Sociability

People skills are an under-utilized "soft skill." This is actually a key sign of emotional intelligence. People who can move comfortably within a variety of social groups collaborate more effectively within and between departments at work. Teaching sociability in your children can start when they are very young. A play date is a perfect example. Work together to develop some activities that they can do with their friends. Remind them about personal space and greeting others. Older children can also benefit from this positive reinforcement. Smoothly deflect gossipy conversation. Encourage them to try different activities so they know how rich their identity can be. Your children will learn to see that in others too.

Teach Them to Learn from Failure

Life will not always be easy. That doesn't mean that you should automatically throw your child into uncomfortable situations. Try to create a learning moment when mistakes do arise. Don't point the mistakes out in a negative way or spend an inordinate amount of time dwelling on it. Instead, talk about your own mistakes and make a gentle comparison. Your children will become more self aware over time. This is preventative care so they don't develop bad habits. Your children will learn how to create coping mechanisms with your guidance and bounce back more quickly.

Set Standards

You don't settle and neither should your children. High expectations from parents could contribute to greater success academically. Your children will work harder on their assignments and develop intellectual curiosity. Temper this by being realistic. Low self-esteem often results from being overly ambitious. Help your child set manageable goals and cheer them on. That satisfaction ends up being a reward for both of you. As your child's confidence increases, so too will their ability to meet and master new achievements.

It is exciting to see these principles in action and witness the excellent results. You should be proud of yourself for raising such strong children.