“Action is the fundamental key to success.” – Pablo Picasso
Until ‘we’ WORK for it, achieving something will always seem like a distant dream. ‘We’ here can be adults, teens or really even toddlers! When our kids are growing up, we motivate them to excel in various fields, drop them off for multiple skill-based classes and genuinely want them to build & maintain healthy habits. While we believe we are doing our best to ‘set them up for success’, what we forget is the fact that success doesn’t just come from attaining skills that can be useful in the outside world but by helping them to become more independent, confident & responsible in whatever they desire to do in everyday life.
So how do you really set them up for success? Although, the approach, for obvious reasons, remains different - here are some ways you could ease into it!
1. Setting up a prepared environment
It is important to provide toddlers & pre-schoolers an environment where they do not feel dependent on their parents. Their toy room/ bedroom should be managed in a way where they have the things they need (clothes, toys, jug of water, napkins) closer to them at their eye level. This way they’re more likely to absorb things you have introduced & come up with ideas of their own to keep themselves busy.
2. Providing self-correcting materials
Kids should be given a chance to correct their own mistakes. This can be as simple as providing mop to clean up the water they spilled or fixing a toy they broke (if possible, ofcourse). It boosts their self-confidence and makes them realize that failure isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and definitely not something to shy away from.
3. Providing age-appropriate materials
In order to boost a child’s self-esteem and confidence, it is important to respect their capabilities. When a child has an activity/ game that makes more sense to them compared to a more complex activity/game which needs an adult helping them out, they’re more likely to TRY and EXPERIMENT thus leading to an innovative mindset.
4. Involving in daily chores
It’s important to let them know that nothing in life comes easy. Hard (and smart) work are required in all phases of life. It instills in them a sense of appreciation for what they do and have, and a feeling of responsibility to do good and be good.
5. Working on their social skills
Socially competent children who cooperate with their peers, are helpful to others and understand their feelings are more likely to hold people’s attention. Being social helps them build their communication skills and boosts confidence which are all important qualities when a person is out there into the world. These qualities help invite opportunities and tap them at the right time.
6. Applying behavioural control rather than psychological control
Psychological control means trying to control a child’s emotional state or beliefs. Acts like imposing decisions on children, invading their privacy, guilting them into doing what they want (that parents don’t approve of), are all examples of psychological control. Exercising this control tends to affect the mental well-being of children in the long run. It is important that parents focus on behavioural control instead by setting limits on behaviour that could be harmful for children. For example, setting curfews, assigning chores and expecting homework to be completed & responsibilities to be fulfilled on time. Needless to say that a caring attitude goes hand in hand with the behavioural control.
7. Letting them make their decisions
Making all decisions for children can eliminate their desire to take the lead & make decisions. As they grow older, they are likely to be afraid of taking lead roles in their profession and also tend to give away the power & control of any relationship that they are a part of. It is important that parents let kids take small decisions from the beginning like deciding their everyday clothes, their friends to play with, their study & play timings after exercising the required boundaries.
8. Teaching self-control
Self-control is an important trait that very few of us are able to master. Kids cannot be expected to exercise self-control all the time but its important to teach them how & when to control their impulses. This helps them to grow into more stable & successful human beings in future.
All of this teaches both parents & kids multiple small life lessons that boil down to one thing, we set them up for success, young!