Parents have the most important role to play in a child’s overall development. The way a child is raised can easily make or break his/her future. Even the most talented and intelligent kids often fail in several aspects of life, just because they were not raised properly. On the other hand, many below average kids become successful in life because they had their parents’ support and were raised optimally.
Now, there’s really no single right way to raise your children. Different parents have different parenting styles. But whatever the parenting style is, the goals are the same. Every parent more or less wants to train their child to grow into a successful person who is ready to face the world.
Yet, many parents fail miserably.
You see, wanting your kids to become something is one thing, and actually making that happen is another. The problem here is that not all parenting styles are effective in achieving their objective. What’s worse is that many parents do not realize this and persist with ineffective or detrimental parenting styles. Kids are wired to learn and respond better to certain parenting methods. For example, beating your kid will never do any good because all kids will develop negativity from this rather than the intended discipline.
So if you want your kids to be ready for life, you need to be ultra-careful to embrace the right parenting styles and avoid unhealthy parenting habits.
Remember, more than an obligation, raising a child is a HUGE responsibility since the child’s future is in the hands of the parents.
But don’t worry, because it’s not as hard as it sounds provided you do the basics right and raise your kids the right way.
To help you out, below are 11 parenting tips that will maximize your kid’s overall growth and development, to help them be more confident, live stronger and be ready to take on life as we know it. Whether you’re a mom, dad, or even a young adult who doesn’t want to make the same mistakes his/her parents did, these 9 tips are for you!
1. Never compare your kids to their friends, cousins, or other kids.
You can’t just go around telling your kids that their friend or cousin is better than them. Parents do this to motivate kids to become like other kids, but it never works that way. Your child will grow up to be low in confidence and will start becoming jealous of other people. Not to mention, you’re hurting your child’s feelings by doing so.
The sad truth is, most parents are guilty of this. What parents must understand is that every child is unique. You should train your kids to become better than themselves, not than others. Believe in their unique abilities and embrace them. The right way is to tell them about heroes and role models they can be inspired by, instead of telling them to be better than their classmates.
Supporting and believing in your child’s abilities will make him develop more self-confidence when he grows up. This way, your child will have a firm understanding of his abilities and won’t waste his time trying to be like others. Remember, self-confidence is an important ingredient for success in life.
“Never, ever try to copy anyone – because you will never be able to become that person. Worse yet, you will also lose your true self in the process.”
2. Don’t be overprotective.
Being overprotective of your kids, especially in teenage years, does more harm than good. You may think that you are instilling discipline in your child by doing so, but you’re actually limiting their potential to think for themselves.
Kids raised by overprotective parents are more likely to suffer from low self-esteem and anxiety. Also, they are less likely to become entrepreneurs since they never had the freedom to express their creativity. Many successful personalities are where they are today because their parents supported them and allowed them to spend time with their passion.
So, give your kids freedom to explore life and let them do whatever makes happy. This will develop their creativity, courage, and curiosity. Even allow them to earn money if they want to, don’t get all egoistic that they don’t need to earn money because you can provide them. The point is to make them learn from the experience. Many kids want to start earning money at a young age, through summer jobs, booths, or online jobs for example. Always encourage this.
This doesn’t mean you can let your kids do wrong things. Always remember to make sure they don’t do anything wrong. After all, as parents, your child’s conscience is in YOUR hands.
3. Expose them to the tough realities of life.
Some parents try their best to provide their kids with the most luxurious in life as possible, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But alongside this, parents should always expose their kids to the tough realities of life, so that kids can realize the value of the luxurious life they’re so privileged to get.
You may be still asking yourself, “Why the hell would I want to do that?” Well, here’s why:
- Because the more kids struggle, the stronger they get.
- Because pain and hardship teach you the value of a good trouble-free life.
- Because experience is the best teacher.
- Because when you work hard for something, it is only then you realize its true value.
- So that when you’re not there for them anymore, your kids will be able to handle anything that comes their way.
If you still choose to continue pampering your kids, know that you are hindering their growth. And any parent who loves their kids would not want to hinder their child’s growth.
Here are some examples of lifestyle changes you can bring about starting today, to expose your kids to the tough realities of life, so that they don’t grow up to become wimps!
- Even if you have a car, let them use public transport to experience the struggle.
- Even if you have servants, let them do their own household chores – it teaches responsibility.
- If your kid tells you to buy him something he WANTS but doesn’t need, let him earn it and buy it himself once in a while.
- If your child has fears, help him overcome them by letting him face those fears, instead of running from them.
4. Train your kids to not care about what other people think of them.
Don’t let your kids spend their life trying to please their friends, relatives, or society. Teach them to do things for themselves and for the betterment of others, but not for getting the approval of others. This way, your child will grow into becoming an authentic human being who knows his/her purpose in life and will be unaffected by toxic environments.
This may be particularly difficult to develop in teenage years. Almost everything teens do nowadays is to look cool or to fit-in. They want the approval of others. So, it is up to the parents to really explain and guide their kids that they have to learn how to think for themselves and do what they have to do according to what is right for them, without being influenced by other people.
Philosophically speaking, everyone is better off not caring about what others think of them.
If you live a genuine and authentic life without caring a tiny bit about what others think of you, you will be a much happier person.
Sadly, most people nowadays are trapped in a vicious cycle where they just live their life to create an image of themselves to the world, instead of living their life with true purpose. The remainder of people who aren’t trapped in this vicious cycle, I’ve found, usually end up becoming prominent and successful personalities.
5. Ensure that regular exercise or sports are part of their life.
In this modern day and age, our lifestyle has become sedentary to a level that is already detrimental to our health. To compensate, it is imperative to embrace exercise and sports as a regular part of our lives in order to stay fit and healthy, because life is better that way.
Let your kids develop a habit of exercising starting an early age. Not only will exercising make them grow stronger mentally and physically, it will make them disciplined and teach them how to develop other habits as well. Sports, specifically, will also develop your child’s ability to work with teams and to cooperate with others.
Exercise is essential for a good quality of life. Yet, it is taken for granted. Regular exercise helps you think sharper and stay more active. If you want to live life the right way, then exercising is definitely the smart thing to do – many people don’t understand this simple concept.
Accordingly, one of the best things you can do to prepare your teen for the real world is training them to exercise regularly. So if you haven’t already, teach your kids the importance of exercise and help them develop a lifelong habit of staying active – you’ll see, they will surely go a long way!
6. Show them the right path when they lose their way or when they start doing wrong things.
Kids don’t have a firm understanding of what is right or wrong because they lack the experience and wisdom. But as parents, you have tons of experience and wisdom. So it’s your duty to enforce the right things to your kids and show them the right path whenever they start losing their way.
In teenage years, kids can get off track pretty frequently. It’s only natural. So each time they get off track, you need to show them the right path and explain to them why that’s the right path, instead of getting irritated or angry over their mistakes.
You can think of it this way:
Kids, especially teenagers, do not yet have their own fully developed maturity systems. So, you need to serve as their maturity system, consistently reminding them of what is right or wrong.
Eventually, the child will observe, adapt and learn to become a mature individual. This way, your child will get used to doing what is right, and will hopefully continue doing the right things when he/she is older.
7. Allow your child to develop his/her passion freely.
If you want kids to be happy when they’re all grown up, you need to allow them to chase their passion from an early age. Especially around the age of 15 or 16 upwards, kids already tend to have their own views and aspirations in life. It is the parents’ duty to guide their kids and encourage them at this point to chase their dreams and live their passion.
If you don’t give them the chance to develop their passion when they’re young, they won’t be able to do what they love when they’re grown up. And if they don’t do what they love, they won’t be happy nor will they be successful.
Let your kids do what THEY love doing, not what YOU (as parents) want them to do.
So NEVER force your kid to become someone he/she doesn’t want to become. For example,
- If your kid’s weak at math, don’t force him to become an engineer.
- If your kid has a great entrepreneurial spirit, but everyone in the family are doctors, this doesn’t mean you can force him to become a doctor.
Because life is just too short to be wasting time on doing things that don’t make you happy.
8. Support their social life.
Let them have the social life they want so that they can learn how to make friends, enjoy the company of others, and develop relationships.
This is not saying that you should let them go to every single party – that’s ridiculous, especially if you’re raising introverts. Everyone has different levels of sociability. “Supporting” their social life means making sure that their social life is a natural part of their life, and also making sure that you’re not too strict; otherwise your kids will end up becoming hesitant to join meetups or social events.
To some parents, this might come without saying. But many parents are still not supportive of their kids’ social life. Such parents make their kids feel that they’re doing something wrong by hanging out with their friends, or that they’re lucky/privileged to be allowed to do so. This line of thinking discourages kids and makes them less sociable.
Remember, in the real world, communication and social interaction play a vital role. So paying attention to your kids’ social life is important to prepare them for the real world.
9. Encourage them, don’t just advise.
You need to be encouraging your kids more than you advise them. If you just give pieces of advice to your kids on what to do all the time, they might end up having a poor self-esteem.
The problem with advising too much is that you’re just telling your child what to do, not how and why he should do it. If you encourage them, they will feel like they have a good reason to follow your advice since it’s for their self-improvement.
Otherwise, they will start feeling that they’re doing something wrong all the time. And this is exactly what leads to poor-self-esteem – which a big hindrance to success in the real world.
Remember: Leaders give you the advice, but friends give you the encouragement. As a parent, you need to be both a leader and a friend to your child.
So if your son or daughter has poor self-esteem, the reason might be that you advise him/her more than you encourage.
Just think about it. If you keep telling your kids what to do, how to act, or what to become, without proving a rationale as to why they should do it, they will just become more confused and doubtful about themselves.
10. Don’t overreact to your child’s mistakes.
This is one of the worst habits a parent can have. The worst way to deal with something is to overreact to it. Not only does overreacting worsen the situation, it pushes you away from your kids. No one likes people who overreact or blow up to make a big deal out of everything.
If you’re guilty of consistently overreacting to your child’s mistakes, you will find that your child has developed these three negative qualities:
- Fear of Failure. Because you overreact to your child’s mistakes, he/she will become conscious of not committing any mistake again. You might think this is a good thing, but it is not. Why? Because your child will lose confidence and shy away from taking risks. Fear of failure decreases chances of succeeding in life. You must have heard the saying, “Luck favors the bold.”
- Being secretive. Your child will start hiding things from you if you overreact to their mistakes. Even worse, they might start making big decisions on their own without consulting you. That’s why being approachable is a must for any parent!
- Lying. Yes, your kids will start lying to you if you keep making a big deal out of everything. This is natural because kids dislike emotional turmoil. So, they will go as far as lying to you just to hide their mistakes if they predict that you will overreact to them again.
The right way to handle your child’s mistakes is to be calm about it. Ask them why they did it and explain to them CALMLY why they shouldn’t do it again. This way, they will learn from the mistakes and failures instead of being afraid of them.
11. Be their parent, mentor, teacher, and friend – all at the same time.
A good parent’s responsibilities go far beyond than just financially supporting their kids. If all you’re doing is putting food on their plate and sending them to school, you’re doing it wrong.
It’s very important to be emotionally involved with kids. Tell them stories, teach them life lessons, listen to them like friends do, and spend quality time with them. You need to be a well-rounded parent to ensure the overall growth of your child.
So how did you fare? How many of these tips have you nailed, and how many do you still have to work on? Let us know in the comments!
Also, these are just our two cents based on experiences. Being a great parent will take more than just these 11 tips! So if you guys have any tips or advice based on concrete experience, share them in the comments! Parents all over the world would also love to hear your thoughts.
What’s the fun in getting stronger and better alone? If you found this article helpful, go ahead and share it with your loved ones. Let’s get stronger together!