Not all children are born alike. Each of us is born with some unique talents and capacities, but we’d all agree to this: how we’re nurtured at home and in external social settings plays a significant role in cultivating our habits. Everyday interactions right from infancy help children to learn and grow. So, It goes without saying that for your child to receive the right amount of motivation to pursue their dreams, you have a crucial role to play.
You can shape your young adult to be a responsible and compassionate citizen one day — someone equipped with the independence and ability to navigate life and win it. And, more importantly, this is regardless of what the school performance card says. So, how do you guide your child effectively and inspire them to achieve their highest potential? Here’s what you should know about conscious parenting ideas that you could use to broaden your kid’s horizons:
How Can Parents Help Their Children To Do Better In Life?
One of the greatest mistakes we make as parents is to believe that it’s solely the responsibility of teachers to mold our kids. But learning isn’t limited to classrooms — it can happen anywhere, anytime. So, before we define the steps to ensure that your child is “doing better”, it’s vital to understand that good academic performance or achievement of measurable milestones don’t necessarily translate to having raised a “good” individual you’ll be proud of. There’s more to life than just statistics or numbers. That said, here are a few ways in which you can encourage them every day:
1. Believe In Your Child
A priceless gift that you can give to your child is your belief in them. Children want to have someone they can lean on, who trusts their capabilities and encourages them to follow their hearts. It is fundamental to motivate your kids to do better in life, be happy and eventually become prosperous. As much as you would like to share your knowledge with them or give them prompt feedback, also appreciate and listen to what they have to say. This will make them feel trusted and loved (1). And over time this will help them in cultivating the confidence to make their own decisions and choices, without depending too much on others.
2. Respect Them As Individuals
Developing a healthy relationship with your child is necessary if you want to mold them into conscientious individuals. This means you give them respect if you wish to be respected. Also, allow them a certain degree of autonomy or agency to decide how to work around a particular activity. If your child feels unloved or disrespected, they are unlikely to listen to you or even follow in your footsteps, no matter how noble that is. Also, your bad behavior will most certainly be imitated and displayed by your child in some form or the other. So, try building your child’s confidence by treating them as free individuals who have the right of choice. Direct them but let them also have their say. They will be more likely to stay engaged and bond better with you.
3. Acknowledge The Baby Steps
No enormous progress happens overnight. It’s all the little efforts your child makes each day that deserves your applause. Tell them that they’ll eventually get to where they want, even if they aren’t there yet. If you congratulate them only for the gold medal or the A-grade, they will be happy, but there’s also a negative angle involved here. Your child may feel discouraged to take up challenges or participate in competitive activities for fear of failing or disappointing you. They might feel pressured to live up to a certain expectation. This kind of performance pressure diminishes the joy of learning in the long run and can impact their mental health (2). So, praise the process and everything in between before they reach their final destination. They’ll feel supported.
4. Praise Them For The Good Work
You may not wish to spoil your child with lavish praise but recognizing their good deeds or acknowledging the right actions they take upon your advice deserves your appreciation. Positive reinforcement is a great way to make your children repeat a praised behavior. But give them incentives only when it’s required. If rewards or recognition flows easily, they may start devaluing it and expect to be compensated for everything they do. So, rather than promising them a reward, teach them to do what they are supposed to do without expecting a reward. Be with them and love them unconditionally, no matter at what stage of learning they are in. In the end, they should learn the fundamentals of work early on — that is, you (‘ve) got to do what you (‘ve) got to do, irrespective of the returns or fruits of labor (3).
5. Teach Them Compassion In Addition To Competitiveness
Parents want their children to excel in the activities they pursue and often want them to do the best in it. But while pushing them to be better and better, we sometimes forget about compassion. Though life is a big race where everyone is trying to push their way forward, sometimes helping out a friend or taking out time to give someone company when needed, are also important. By helping others, we occupy a place in their heart and earn their respect. If your child goes out of his way to help a friend in learning a subject or in something else, encourage them in it. This shows that they have a deep sense of compassion and it’s a quality that is definitely worth preserving.
You can either kill your child’s dreams or motivate them to fly high. But with a bit of patience and understanding, you can guide them well and help them learn better. So, involve yourself with them whenever there’s an opportunity and frequently interact to strengthen your bond. It’s true — while technology can solve most of our current-day problems, your interactions with your kid are irreplaceable. Can you think of other ways to influence your child to do better? Do share with us in the comments below!
- Agency, autonomy and self-determination: Questioning key concepts of childhood studies
- Mental health and academic performance: a study on selection and causation effects from childhood to early adulthood
- Positive Reinforcement Through Rewards