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5 Ways to Prepare Your Kids to Lead Happy, Successful Lives

March 1, 2018



1. Become a happier and less stressed person yourself.

Research has proven adults thrive in business when they are happy and less stressed. The same is true for parenting. Carolyn and Philip Cowan, psychologists at the University of California, have found happy parents are more likely to have happy children. According to the husband-and-wife psychologists, "The children do not fare well if the adults aren't taking care of themselves and their relationships."

Research from Bowling Green State University sociologist Kei Nomaguchi found that "Mothers' stress, especially when mothers are stressed because of the juggling with work and trying to find time with kids, that may actually be affecting their kids poorly."

Emotions are contagious. If you’re miserable and stressed, your children are going to catch those feelings like a cold.



2. Make them do chores.

Whether it was mowing the grass, taking out the trash, washing dishes, walking the dog or folding laundry. It teaches the value of hard work and collaborating to get things done -- one of us kids washed the dishes, another dried. Most importantly, it teaches responsibility. During a TED Talks Live Event, Lythcott-Haims, former dean of freshmen at Stanford University and author of "How to Raise an Adult," said "If kids aren't doing the dishes, it means someone else is doing that for them. And so they're absolved of not only the work, but of learning that work has to be done and that each one of us must contribute for the betterment of the whole," she said.


3. Make your kids read daily and learn math at early age.
During his five years studying the behaviors and habits of self-made millionaires, best-selling author Thomas Curley found that, “Sixty three percent of those self-made millionaires were required by their parents to read two or more books a month.”

The parents insisted their kid read biographies, history, nonfiction, literary classics or hobby books, and they quizzed them about what they had read. Curley believes not encouraging your children to read daily is “failing your kids.”

Besides encouraging your children to read, teach them math skills starting young.

"We find the single most important factor in predicting later academic achievement is that children begin school with a mastery of early math and literacy concepts," said Northwestern University researcher Greg Duncan. "Mastery of early math skills predicts not only future math achievement, it also predicts future reading achievement just as reliably as early literacy mastery of vocabulary, letters and phonetics predicts later reading success."



4. Set high expectations.
Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics discovered that parent’s expectations predict their child’s success in school.

“The big surprise was what a strong role parents’ long-term goals for their children played in predicting their math and reading abilities,” said Neal Halfon, M.D., M.P.H., the study’s senior author and director of the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families, and Communities.

“Parents who saw college in their child’s future seemed to manage their child toward that goal irrespective of their income and other assets,” he said.




5. Teach them to be “gritty.”
Angela Duckworth, the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and Founder and CEO of Character Lab, defines grit “as passion and perseverance for especially long-term goals.”

Throughout her research, Duckworth found a correlation between grit and rank in the US National Spelling Bee, educational attainment, grade-point average in Ivy League undergrads and retention of West Point cadets.

Teach grit by trying to “cultivate something which grabs their attention initially, but that they become familiar with enough, knowledgeable enough that they wake up the next day and the next day and the next year, and they’re still interested in this thing,” Duckworth said.

After that, encourage your kids to keep practicing and connect a purpose to their hard work.



6. Encourage entrepreneurship.
Based on his research, Bill Murphy Jr. found that a majority of successful entrepreneurs were encouraged to act like entrepreneurs at an early age through.

Personally observing an entrepreneur while growing up.
Being encouraged to start their own business as a kid - even if it was just mowing lawns.
Learn to collect money. Teach them how to invoice clients on their own.
Being motivated because of necessity, such as being poor or experiencing a setback.
Being challenged by their parents to think of creative ways to make money.



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