By Elizabeth Wangare
It is expected that parenting comes naturally as soon as one becomes a parent. However, the statistics on child abandonment, neglect and abuse are a clear indication that this is not the case. At a young age, children are malleable and impressionable. To be a successful parent, one must tap into their children’s potential and help them to make the most of it. Here are 6 tips one can apply to bring up successful children.
It may be tempting to lay down your expectations for your child and tell them exactly why you are disappointed in them. However, this will smash their self-esteem. It takes maturity to realize and accept that your child is an independent human being. You may guide but not dictate how things must be done. Lower or abandon your own expectations and guide your children to develop their own based on their personal abilities.
Ditch the comparisons
My first born wakes up 5 minutes to time and even if I wake him up early, the journey to the bus stop is always done in a rush. My second born likes to be early – sometimes too early. He leaves home at least an hour before class time. It’s easy to wish they are the same and they both make it to school on time. But they are not and this is our reality. It took a few years for me to understand this but once I did, my life became easier. I can only imagine the pain I caused by making my first born feel like he was not allowed his individuality. Some parents compare their children with others in school or the neighborhood. It is true that your child may never be good at some things. You need to accept this and instead choose to focus on your child’s strengths rather than their weaknesses.
Validate their experiences
Lack of validation is one of the greatest contributors to abuse in children. It doesn’t take much to believe kids when they say something strange like, “My dad touched me inappropriately.” Many parents, when confronted with such situations, tend to focus on the child as a nuisance and forget to explore the possibilities.
However, as much as it is possible to live with a personality disordered spouse for many years, it is yet possible to have an abusive partner or relative. Remember, around 90% of reported abuse is perpetrated by relatives or parents. Take your children’s side unless you have proof otherwise. Let your children know they can trust you to believe them and keep their secrets.
Motivated individuals generally exhibit higher energy and success in their endeavors. There are several ways to cultivate motivation in children. You may use rewards, but ensure you use verbal validation even when the achievement is small. Motivated individuals are likely to do much better while improving on previous mistakes.
While access to family planning choices has increased, there are still many “unwanted kids” out there. I would choose to use the term “unwanted parents” since the child had no input in their conception, but you get my drift. It is easy for kids to feel rejected and think it is justified because they were unwanted. Sometimes things are not going to be rosy and your child needs to know that they are wanted no matter what. Verbal affirmation goes a long way in building them up for success.
Involvement goes two ways. One is by being involved in your kids’ activities and learning to appreciate what they like. The other is to involve your children when making plans that concern them. Truth is, parents make mistakes and it is only fair to let your children have a say in their lives. It is heartbreaking to hear tales of people who study courses they have no interest in, up to university level. Then they are left pursuing their chosen career with no formal training simply because the parent did not consider their passion.
Parenting is a lifelong journey where we learn as we perform. I’d love to know how all you peeps out there are doing to motivate and build success in your children. Please share in the comments.
About the Author
Elizabeth Wangare is a Communication consultant, Writer, Wife and mother from Kenya. She has been freelancing since 2015, and is now a full time blog writer. She has contributed to the Huffington post and other publications. She shares her freelance writing tips on www.elizabethwangare.com. Connect with her on LinkedIn or Facebook.