Every parent wants their children to be successful. And I am no exception. I want my daughter to be very successful in her life. Maybe this is because I had my own dreams and ambitions which I could not fulfil. But I am also conscious of the fact that I do not want my child to bear the burden of my unfulfilled ambitions and I try not becoming a pushy parent. Every few days we hear about young people committing suicides due to performance pressure and the parents are also not aware of their condition. And this makes me more and more cautious.
Are Good Grades Equivalent to Success?
However, when her Grade 2 results came in and she didn’t score too well in terms of grades, I was in a dilemma about me being too liberal in my parenting approach. The questions that popped up in my mind were when she understands the concepts why is it that her grades do not reflect her performance. When I know that she has mastered the concepts, are grades in that particular school test a benchmark of her performance? I also wondered whether she is putting in enough efforts to perform well in the school tests or is she still very young to understand the concept of performing well in a particular test on a particular day.
My Learnings To Raise Successful Kids
That’s when I heard TedX Talk by Julie Lythcott-Haims former Dean of Freshmen at Stanford. In her talk, she mentions that by loading kids with high expectations and by micromanaging their lives at every turn, parents are not actually helping them. She asks parents to stop defining their children’s success via grades and test scores. Instead, she says, they should only focus on providing unconditional love to the child.
After listening to this talk, I resolved that I will not focus too much on grades at this stage of her schooling years and rather concentrate on building qualities which will help her live a happy and successful life. Most importantly I would want her to be an independent person where she would be able to take her own decisions and face life challenges head-on and not depend on her parents.
Here is what I would imbibe in my child to make her successful.
Develop social skills:
Studies suggest that people, who are helpful to others, respect other’s feelings, understand them and resolve problems on their own are more successful than those who have limited social skills. I would teach my daughter these social skills so that she can be a better person.
Involve her in daily chores:
Nowadays we are so used to providing for every need of the child that we forget the importance of involving the child in daily chores. I remember that as a child, I was supposed to lay the table for dinner, fold the clothes, arrange my own wardrobe and even do the dishes in absence of house help. Similarly, I will involve my daughter too in chores so that she knows that it will help her life easier and better.
Teach to make efforts and accept failure:
We need not pressurise the child to always be at the top of the class or be a winner. But we definitely need to teach them to put in their best efforts, to accept failures but not be complacent also. They need to learn to fall and get up by themselves and keep making efforts to achieve their dreams.
Teach a sport:
Sports teach discipline, teamwork, perseverance, accountability, responsibility. It teaches a child to take instructions from others and develops listening skills. It keeps the body fit which helps keep the mind fit. I strongly advocate involving a child in one sport of his choice. I have done it and have seen these qualities develop in my daughter. It also teaches a child the importance of practice and we all know that “Practice makes a man perfect!”
We need to teach our children to build better relationships with their peers. We all know the importance of healthy relationships in personal and professional life. However, sometimes in a process of imbibing good qualities, we tend to compare them with their peers. But we forget that if we praise that particular child a lot and make a comparison then our child will be unable to develop a healthy relationship with that child. So it’s better that we try and teach them to build good relationships and they will imbibe the good qualities from their peers themselves.
I hope this article is helpful to all the readers. Do visit the link of the talk. Please share your feedback on the same. If you have anything more to add to the article, surely let me know and I will be happy to learn from your experiences and make the necessary changes in the post.
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