10 secrets of successful parents
What does it take to be a successful parent? Here are 10 tips on how you can guide your child.
Feeling frustrated when your child is reluctant to study, or refuses to listen to you? Ever wonder why some students are so well-behaved, confident and enthusiastic to learn, while others are so indifferent, unmotivated and even ill-mannered.
While many factors play a role in shaping a ‘good kid’, we realised that ultimately it is you who make the greatest impact on how our child ultimately turns out.
As parents, we tend to link our child’s identity to their behaviours. For example, if our child doesn’t study hard enough, we tend to label him/her as a lazy person. Generalising bad behaviour into his/her identity creates a belief in the child that he/she is lazy. The more we do so, the more the child will behave according to his/her given label. Effective parents believe that their children are good and motivated individuals with positive intentions, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with them as a person. Bad behaviours are only a reflection of an ineffective strategy to get what they want. To help the child, we must accept them as a person and empower them to change their behaviours.
Acknowledge that your child has a different worldview and they speak a different lingo. The way they see the world and the way you see the world is different. You might think that you’re providing advice and guidance but they might see it as nagging. Your way of showing concern might be seen as an attempt to control their lives.
Before we can successfully influence a person to change their views and accept new suggestions, we must first understand and match their model of the world. We often find that children do not confide in us and sometimes they become openly defiant and challenge our opinions and values. If you want your child to open up and listen to you willingly, you must first build rapport and make them feel that you can be trusted. When speaking to them, you can use statements like ‘I agree that…’, ‘I understand that…’ to make them feel that their opinions are being listened to.
Reframing is the art of changing a person’s attitudes and perceptions without forcing on them. Having built a strong rapport with your child by listening to their worldview, you may then offer a different point of view which they will be more receptive if they feel like they’ve been understood. E.g. Your child might say ‘studying is a waste of time!’ Your response can be: ‘Yes! I agree that studying may seem a waste of time IF you don’t know what you are studying for. If you don’t mind being a bum and have everyone walk all over you, then there is really no point studying. If you want to have a successful life and get respect from lots of people, then studying for good grades will open doors for you.'
Many parents hold on to the paradigm that only their kid must change, and even after the child has made a major attitude change, there is every chance that they will revert back to their old behaviours and attitudes. This is because parents have not changed despite the kids changing their attitudes. Successful parents believe that they have a great influence over the way their children think and act and they take responsibility for their child’s negative attitude and behaviour. Change your attitude and start listening, focusing on achievements and strengths to give encouragement and build rapport. When your child feels respected, it builds a higher level of self-esteem and eventually take ownership in their life!
You may have been nagging at your child to study for the past 5 years and it has not been working. Don’t give in to the belief that you’re an ineffective parent. Instead, take it as feedback that the strategy of nagging doesn’t achieve the results you wanted. Successful parents know that ‘failing’ is an important part of the learning process and a stepping-stone to success. Change your strategy if it doesn’t work and eventually, you will find one that succeeds in getting through to your child.
Most parents only know one or two methods of communicating – they either talk nicely, or use the threatening tone. When either of these methods don’t work, they don’t know what else to do. Successful parenting is about being highly flexible and knowing how to change your style and approach, depending on the child and situation. The moment you are inflexible and predictable, your child will be the ones in control and this flexibility that children possess is the reason why many children (especially the younger ones) are able to manipulate their parents so well.
Children often have limiting beliefs like ‘I am just lazy’, ‘I am not smart enough’ etc. Many of such beliefs stem from the fact that they feel like they have no control over their results. They believe external factors determine their success or failure. If your child believes that Math is difficult and you keep emphasizing that Math is easy, they will feel that their thoughts and feelings are being disregarded, or worse, they might even begin to feel stupid that they’re unable to solve easy questions.Challenge their references that formed their beliefs. Their beliefs exist only because of past examples that support it and once you prove that it’s invalid, their negative belief system will weaken.
Highly effective parents always encourage their kids to have big dreams, regardless of how crazy they may be. It doesn’t matter if their dreams may sound totally off the planet. The important thing is that their goals excite and drive them to want to learn and excel. Their dreams will change as they grow older but it doesn’t matter as life goals are always work-in-progress. Helping them find their goal allows them to gain direction and purpose in life. Some of them might not know what they want, but you will realize that it happens due to their limiting self-belief. Encourage them to dream, and create a life path vision board to cover major milestones with deadlines set to it.
Telling our child directly on what they should or should not do will build a natural resistance to what we say. In order for them to be receptive, it is important that we allow them to speak their feelings and guide them to find a useful solution. We need to ask the right questions that will guide them to think of the consequences of their actions. Some useful questions would be: ‘What do you think will happen if you did that?’, ‘what else could you do instead?’ etc. Such guided questioning allows them to find their own solution and empowers them when they manage to achieve accomplishments on their own.
Do you have any secrets to being successful parents? Please leave a comment letting us know what they are...