What task in your adult life sounds scarier than actually caring for your child? Once you become a parent you have to commit yourself to giving your child the best life that you can offer them. You have to take care of them, feed them, be there for them when they need you, make them feel loved, and help prepare them for the adult world. If you are the best parent there is somtimes you can still feel like you didn’t do enough. We decided to put together some easy tips that you can employ in order to help your child reach their maximum potential. Collected below are 11 actionable tips that you can employ today to bring your children to the next level.
Invest in your child’s education.
If you want your child to reach their maximum potential then you need to make sure that you are investing in their education. Scientists can directly link education to wealth and happiness. Children who grow up ill educated end up not making the same money nor having the same level of happiness as children who grow up going to good schools. Don’t assume that the nearby public school is a perfect fit. Do the research. If a private school offers better incentives then try and make enough money to let them go there. The education you give them early on in their life will be the tools that they use to better their own life in the future. This isn’t to say that they shouldn’t go to public school, either. Selecting a school is also not the only way to invest in your child’s education. Pay for learning materials to take home as well as extra activities that your child can engage in.
Create a cycle of positive feedback.
No matter how many online classes you take, or what online college degree you accrue, there is nothing more important than your ability to be a positive presence in your child’s life. When you are positive with your child you are telling them that they are on the right track at least in some ways. This re-assurance goes a long way toward steadying anxiety, calming nerves, and creating a kid that can be confident and happy all at once. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to avoid pointing out negative things, such as your child’s misbehavior, but it does mean that you should focus on the good in their life first and foremost. In fact, spread this cycle of positivity to all aspects of your life and you are bound to see dramatic improvements.
Give your child time to be creative without purpose.
Urging your child to get in touch with their creative side can be a huge deal, especially when looking at the early years of their life. A child who isn’t afraid to think outside of the box, to get dirt under their fingernails, and to color outside of the lines is a child that will develop critical thinking and passion in exciting ways. Set aside an hour a day for your child to really embrace this unfettered creativity. Don’t give them goals or ideas. Simply tell them that they can have time to create something artistic and then help with whatever they choose. If one day your child wants to finger paint then they can do that. If another day they want to build a pillow fort then go ahead and help them with that. At the end of the day this can even be considered a way to help with ADHD treatments as you are embracing their way of thinking.
Provide your child with opportunity.
Above all else, more important than simply education or entertainment, you must give your child the chance to see what choices exist for them. You cannot expect your child to make it through the glass ceiling if you never let them see the world for what it is: a massive place full of challenges, opportunities, and potential successes. Though you may feel like you know what’s best for your kid you shouldn’t actively dissuade them from pursuing the things that they are passionate about. Instead of being a naysayer you should instead employ this simple technique: ask yourself three questions — 1) Can my child be happy pursuing this opportunity? 2) Will this opportunity help my child grow? 3) Can I help offer them this opportunity? With these answers in your pocket you can help turn your child’s world around for the better.
Begin reading to your child as soon and often as possible.
Teachers agree that incorporating reading time with your children is a great way to push them to better themselves. Reading with your child gets their creative juices flowing, it gets their imagination sparked, and it creates a yearning to learn. Read at home but don’t just focus on reciting the words. Making reading to your child an active experience. Ask questions about the characters, their motivations, and their character arc. Have your child give their thoughts on the story. Don’t settle for any answer you get. Push your child, gently of course, toward forming their own thoughts and ideas regarding the characters in the story. Pretty soon your child will begin to take reading into their own hands and after that they’ll be a well educated member of society. If you need help with the analysis portion of the stories you can always take an online English course to brush up your skills.
Look past the grading scale.
While bringing home straight A’s can be one way to measure a child’s intelligence, it is far from the only way. In fact, seeing that your child is putting in hard work can be more important than the grade that they receive on said assignment. A child can have straight A’s without fully understanding the coursework and this says more about the homework than the child’s skill level. So try to get into a habit of looking at how your child understands the concepts and information they are receiving before you look at their grades. This way you’ll see if they are good at the information or simply good at taking tests. Besides, not all kids are naturally good at every subject. Some people struggle with math or science while others excel.
Always have an open dialog with your child.
One of the most important aspects of being a parent is making sure that your child feels comfortable talking to you. Make sure that your child knows that there is always a line of dialog open for them if they ever feel the need to talk to you. If your kid is naturally more quiet then prompt them to talk with you more. At the dinner table ask about their day, their friends, and their grades. On the ride over to school you can get to know what your child is looking forward to or not looking forward to. No matter what, having a child willing to communicate with you is a great first step toward getting them to reach their greatest goals.
Listen to your child’s passions.
Passion can be a fickle thing and one that is hard to understand. Some people will fall in love with a career path that seems absolutely droll to another set of people. If your child falls in love with something that you don’t even like, don’t try to dismiss it right away. Explore this passion that your child is developing and see if there is anything to it. Allow your child to try out their passions and you’ll eventually find that they settle on something they truly love.
Allow your child to fail, but be ready to prop them back up.
Part of reaching your maximum potential is realizing that you likely will fail several times before you get there. Letting your child try, and fail, is a valuable learning experience. Once your child realizes that ‘winning’ isn’t everything or that ‘success’ isn’t the only outcome, they’ll be more well equipped to deal with it in the future. Still, if your child fails then this is your chance to be there for them and prop them back up.
Speak with your child’s teachers.
School shouldn’t be a place that your kid just vanishes to for a few hours every day. It needs to be a place that you connect with as well. Be sure to speak with your child’s teachers as regularly as it is possible. Stay plugged in to the education process and be sure to ask questions to the teacher. Being on the same side as the teacher and working together to help your kid is a great way to help them succeed in life.
Enforce both discipline and respect with your child.
No matter how kind, open, and loving you are with your child you still need to make sure that they adhere to the strict tenens of family life: love, respect, and discipline. Teach your child to respect people as well as to be disciplined when it is required. You don’t have to be strict but you do need to be firm. The outcome of a disciplined and respectful childhood is often a great life as an adult.