At Adventurers, we want our children to be able to go into the world, with the confidence needed to pursue their goals and the resilience needed>>Read More
3 Things to Help Your Child Be More Successful
At Adventurers, we want our children to be able to go into the world, with the confidence needed to pursue their goals and the resilience needed to persist until they succeed.
But… what can you do to help support your child at home to become as successful as possible?
1. Develop their language skills
Would you like to know the single biggest thing that you can do to improve your child’s future wealth and happiness? Well, read on…
From birth, a child’s heart and lungs function in the same was as they will for the rest of their lives. But the brain is different: its development depends on what it encounters after birth. Well – improve their language skills.
Research has found that it is incredibly important to start talking to and interacting with children as soon as they’re born. These differences appear early – as soon as nine months!
Research has found that children who have grown up in a rich language environment with lots of talk and interaction, have better vocabularies, become stronger readers and do better in school. Importantly, they also have better social skills and can regulate their own emotions, which means they are better able to achieve their potential.
While science tells us how important it is to interact with children, we often overestimate the amount that we speak. That’s why at Adventurers, we’re the only childcare centre in Australia to have partnered with LENA to provide professional development for our educators. That way, our educators (and you) know that they’re doing everything they can to make sure your child is ready to thrive.
2. Praise correctly
Everyone likes positive encouragement, but Stanford researcher Carol Dweck has found that there are two main ways parents praise, and these impact the mindset that children have. One is where we praise their abilities, and the other is where we praise the effort that a child puts into a task. For example:
- Innate ability (fixed mindset): You did a great job! You are SO smart!
- Ability (growth mindset): Great job! You must have worked so hard to figure that out!
Carol Dweck has found that praising for ability has a much more positive impact on how children perceive themselves and abilities. When children are praised for their ability, they see difficult tasks as challenges that can be overcome by doing things that are within your control. Like learning more or trying harder.
However, when children are praised for their innate ability, it leads more to a desire to looks smart. They see intelligence as something that you either have or you don’t. This has the unfortunate effect of inadvertently encouraging children to avoid challenges (because if you can’t do something, then you’re not smart) and see effort as fruitless (either you can do something, or you can’t).
Children who were praised for their innate ability tended to reach higher levels of achievement whereas children who were praised for their innate ability tended to plateau early and achieve less than their full potential.
For more strategies on how to praise, have a look at our post: showing kids praise and appreciation.
3. Teach your child to manage their emotions
The ability to manage our emotions helps children develop and navigate friendships, resolve conflict and work with peers. In turn, this helps children be more successful and also be happier, thanks to having strong social connections.
Research on emotional intelligence by John Gottman demonstrates that children who can manage their emotions can sooth themselves when they are upset. This in turn means that those children experience negative emotions for shorter periods.
Research has found that emotional intelligence stems from the parent-child bond. It’s important for parents to and caregivers to pay close attention and respond to the emotions expressed by their children. Parents can also:
- Model emotional self-regulation for their own children
- Show empathy for their children
- Explain to your child that all feelings are acceptable, but not all behaviours (for example, you can feel angry at someone, but it’s not acceptable to hit them)
- Coach children about their emotions
Last, don’t forget to be patient and have fun – parenting is a marathon not a sprint, and it’s a journey you want to enjoy!