Parenting is one of the most challenging jobs in the world as every parent wants to see their child grow and become successful in every part of their lives. According to Howar Middle school principal, Karen Swanson, children live in a competitive world, making it crucial to keep their brains stimulated, engaged, and motivated. Karen, who is also the Centerville Community School District Coordinator for Career & Technical Education in Centerville, Iowa, has worked with children for over 30 years and understands the characteristics of successful children. She shares five easy ways you can set up your child for success.
Be a Good Example
Don’t shout at your child to stop screaming. From her experience, Karen Swanson points out that children are genius impersonators. They pick up on everything you do. Therefore, if you shout at them, they will shout back at you and other children in school. This principle applies to all parts of your life. If you want your child to learn something, lead by example. Show them, guide them and participate fully. Before you teach them good financial habits, ensure your finances are in good condition. If you want them to read more, be a reader.
Allow them to Make Mistakes
It’s tempting to help your child get things done correctly and rescue them when in trouble. From as early as six months, Karen Swanson suggests leaving your child to explore the world around them and fix their problems. For instance, if they drop their pacifier, instead of putting it back into their mouth, allow them to do it themselves. This teaches your child many essential skills, including independence, creative thinking, critical thinking, and hard work. The child also learns it’s okay to make mistakes and learn from them. They will embrace their imperfections and learn to remain optimistic when they fail.
Assign House Chores
Let your child know the value of responsibilities by performing simple house chores like making the bed, taking out the garbage, doing dishes, tidying up their room, folding laundry, watering the garden, and walking the dog. They will likely resist or hate these chores, but they will be grateful in their adult life. This will prepare them to be responsible, hardworking, and independent individuals in the future.
Encourage Your Child to Take Tasks and Complete Them
Children tend to get fascinated by something, then dislike and abandon it the next minute. According to Karen Swanson, this is normal but shouldn’t be encouraged as they can pick up the habit of abandoning complex projects halfway. When your child chooses a task or project, such as playing an instrument, participating in sports, or attending clubs, encourage them to keep going and stick with it. Every sport requires laborious exercise, and every instrument requires practice. This will teach your child to embrace resiliency and overcome challenges.
Reward Good Work
Karen Swanson advises parents to take advantage of extrinsic motivation. Rewarding work is magical when properly and moderately used. When your child improves in their academic work or does something you didn’t ask them to do, reward them. Rewarding teaches your child that working hard and being responsible is rewarding in the long term. It also encourages your child to do more on their own.