3 factors science says will make you a great parent


Though there is no set method that guarantees your children will succeed in the future, scientific researchers have identified factors that predict success. These factors, unsurprisingly, rely on the parents.

1 - Give your children simple daily responsibilities early on


Habits are formed at an early age. Children need to be given simple tasks and responsibilities. It is important for parents to do this because responsibilities allow children to understand that they have to contribute do their share. Examples of responsibilities for children at an early age include: washing their own dishes, doing their own laundry, cleaning up their room, making their bed and many more daily chores alike.

Julie Lythcott-Haims, the author of How to Raise an Adult, states that "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”. Giving such responsibilities allows children to understand that work does not limit your life, but rather add value to it.

2 - Be an "authoritative" parent and a sensitive caregiver
 

It has been proven over and over again that investments in early parent-child relationships result in long-term returns. Such returns are accomplished by creating conversational turns with your children as a sensitive caregiver. This can happen even when your children don’t know how to speak yet. Just respond to them when they are making their cute baby sounds. Show them that you are focused on them, that they matter, and that you care. When your children tell you stories, listen and engage with the story, ask questions and tell them what you think and why. Doing so enables parents to develop close relationships with their children as a sensitive caregiver. How important is this? Well, a 2014 study on child development found that even when children are born into poverty, the children who received "sensitive caregiving" in their first three years not only performed better in academic tests in childhood, but had healthier relationships and greater academic attainment in their 30s. Parents who are sensitive caregivers should also have an authoritative approach.

According to developmental psychologist Diana Baumride, there are three kinds of parenting styles; permissive, authoritarian, and authoritative. Permissive parents are nonpunitive. Authoritarian parents try to shape and control the child based on a set standard of conduct. Whereas an authoritative parent tries to direct the child rationally, which helps the kid grown up with respect to authority but not feel strangled by it.

3 - Set high expectations and value effort over avoiding failure

Holding your children to high expectations, trusting them, and having confidence in their ability to accomplish success plays an enormous role in children being able to meet those expectations. University of California at Los Angeles professor Neal Halfon and his colleagues found this to be true. In their study, they showed that parents should expect their kids to succeed and act like they in fact will.

Another factor that affects children being able to attain success is where they think success comes from. According to studies people think of success one of two ways; through a fixed-mindset or a growth-mindset. A fixed-mindset assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static and we can't change them in any meaningful way, and success is the affirmation of those inherent factors. A growth-mindset, however, focuses on challenges and sees failure not as evidence of lack of intelligence, but as an opportunity for growth and for stretching our existing abilities. The difference between a fixed-mindset and a growth-mindset is knowing your will affects your ability. If parents teach their children that success comes from your effort not your innate abilities, children are more likely to attain their high expectations and long-term goals.

Our children’s success relies on how we set them up for success as parents. Giving them responsibilities, guiding them with sensitivity while being authoritative, and setting high expectations while valuing their efforts helps our children establish a culture of attaining success.