An unspoken part of parenting is teaching your child how to become a successful adult. But with all the pregnancy and baby books on the market, is there a manual for teaching your child how to be successful? Here’s a quick list to get you started:
Lead by example
1. Finish what you start. Whether its college, a certification or a single class, show your kids through your own actions that achieving anything in life requires dedication and hard work.
2. High achievements. Aim for accolades in your own life, and celebrate the high achievements and mini-milestones that got you there. Post perfect scores and aced reviews on the refrigerator – yours and his!
3. Be passionate. Find a passion and put your heart and soul into it. Even if it’s not your source of income, showing your daughter that having enthusiasm for something is a major element of happiness and personal success. It will encourage her to be well-rounded and internally motivated.
4. Tackle challenges. When you come up against a roadblock, show your child you have the skills, knowledge and strength to overcome any obstacle. You don’t take “no” for an answer, and “I can’t” never escapes your lips.
5. Push yourself. Challenge yourself to a new task to show your son you are always learning, and not everything is easy for you. If you’ve mastered a skill by the time your daughter can watch and mimic you, they won’t see the struggle and hard work from the beginning, only your expertise and success in the end. Help them build the bridge and make the connection between starting out shaky and ending up strong.
Help them on their path
6. Positive support. Support them in their quest for success. This doesn’t mean jumping on every bandwagon they hitch a ride on, but let them know you are rooting for their happiness and success, in whatever form it comes in.
7. Goal setting. Help them set daily, short-term and long-term goals for their life, work, relationships and hobbies. Having goals and achieving them builds self-esteem and shows your son what he can accomplish when he puts his mind to it.
8. Reality check. Give your kids the skinny on what to expect in the real world. This means more than just salaries and work hours for their chosen profession. Let them know what can go right and wrong in work environments, how to resolve conflicts and have productive arguments with co-workers, friends and partners, and how to keep their mental and emotional health in check.
9. Weighing motivations. Make sure your child is hitting the right balance of internal and external motivations in life. Your daughter may love helping people as a nurse, but may not get the recognition, salary or work/life balance she deserves in that role. If she becomes a doctor, she will be in school far longer, but will be able to do much more with her career.
10. Excellence and expertise. Encourage your child to become an invaluable member of at least one industry. When they achieve excellence and expertise in a field, so long as that field is in demand, they will be in demand; and there’s nothing like job security. Help them research stable and increasing career fields in industries with growth and longevity.
Succeeding in life is about more than money management, but having a stable foundation and ability to live as she desires will help your child feel like a productive member of society. Always encourage kindness, compassion and healthy relationships with others, as well as hard work in and out of the home.
Georgia D. Lee is a University of Miami Alumna who seeks to empower, inspire, enrich and educate anyone with an open mind, heart and spirit through her most treasured medium – black and white!