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Making Achievement Habit Forming: Paving The Road To Your Child's Success

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

Most parents would agree that they would like their children to surpass them on the road to happiness, fulfillment and success. But what road your child takes may very well depend on the road YOU pave and the direction you point them in.

1. Take an active interest in your child’s interests and not necessarily the other way around. Surely it is advisable to expose your child to your hobbies, likes, and recreations, but if they show little or no enthusiasm, it’s YOUR responsibility to find out what makes them tick and be instrumental in helping them explore and pursue their passions.

2. Help your child keep his/her options open. Remember what your child thinks he/she likes, what they might wind up really liking, and what they are good at may in fact be quite different. Experts say that while it’s important to ensure that your child (children) don’t take on too much (and loose interest), it is equally as important to inspire them to try out several interests until they find one they genuinely enjoy and can enthusiastically commit to.

3. While it’s important to be your child’s cheerleader, remember that too much of a good thing can be a “bad” thing. Excessive pride can lead to prejudice, not to mention “vicious” behavior (like name calling or alienation, etc.), especially by other kids (and/or their parents) who may feel insecure and intimidated.

4. Seek out an age appropriate support system. Children, much like adults need and are encouraged by peers within their age group. Find a peer group (even if they are shy and reserved) that shares your child’s interests, meets their needs, and that will be a reinforcing positive influence for his/her growth and progress.

5. Allow your child his/her right to childhood. While honing in on your child’s gifts and abilities is strongly recommended doing so at the expense of allowing them to experience a normal, natural childhood is not. Children need time to themselves, and with their friends, to play and simply have fun. Rigid schedules are fine for some older adolescents, young adults, and of course adults, but not for youngsters who are still learning, growing, and exploring life. Find a happy medium and be flexible to accommodate your child’s needs and prevent any negative effects.

6. Help develop their individuality and social skills. Keep in mind that your child will soon be an adolescent and adult….and will have to meet and live up to certain social standards and expectations. How well he/she is prepared to meet that challenge depends on how successful you are at making the necessary preparations and let go.

Your key concerns should include his/her ability to interact appropriately with others and make friends, feel and exhibit confidence yet “humility” and the ability to learn, how well they express themselves and communicate, willingness to share, teach, accept “criticism” and “rejection”, maintain a pleasant disposition sans arrogance, be responsible and willingness to be held accountable for potential downfalls and errors, basically all the skills necessary for effectively existing in the real world. Experts stress that while your first inclination may be to shield your child from harm and reality, your duty as a parent actually mandates separation skills and exposing him/her to even adverse situations thus preparing him/her for embracing life and its ever changing challenges even when you are unable to help or are not around. Furthermore, they remind parents that an overprotective manner and nature, and lack of demands, expectations and discipline are simply a selfish gesture feeding the parents ego and sense of purpose and may potential “hamper” their ability to develop, excel, and achieve.

7. Nurture your child’s nature by creating a naturally stimulating and encouraging
Environment. It is not only imperative that your child (children) witness you and your spouse exhibiting attributes of success and accomplishment and appropriate socialization skills, but also being exposed the a loving environment in which such values can flourish. A healthy, harmonious environment needs to be created between you and your partner, and mutually acceptable boundaries must be set and followed (by all). Remember, a strong, successful, encouraging family environment with happy, productive, active parents, produces the “perfect” environment for producing (adult) children with very similar traits and qualities.

Long Island Family Life & Parenting Articles > Making Achievement Habit Forming: Paving The Road To Your Child's Success

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