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Parenting help and advice: how to raise children to be successful

Updated on June 6, 2011


Help children become successful

Parenting help and advice: how to raise children to be successful

If you're a parent like me, you will probably want what is best for your children. I can't speak for other parents, but personally, I want to see my child grow up to be happy, good and successful. Success, however, can mean different things to different people. The "success" I am referring to here is not necessarily material success or wealth, but the fulfillment one feels when he or she accomplishes something. I want my daughter to be able to carve out a path for herself in the future and be able to achieve the goals or dreams she sets for herself.

So, how can a parent help a child become successful? Here are some tips and advice to help raise your children to at least have a head start on the road to future success.

Smart and successful kids

1) Scold your children for bad behavior.

"The thing that impresses me most about America is the way parents obey their children." ~Edward,Duke of Windsor, Look, 5 March 1957

Bad and unacceptable behavior needs to bediscouraged. It appears that many parents today, out of guilt or overcompensation, try too much to be a friend to their children rather than be a parent. That is not what a child needs. If your child misbehaves, don't be afraid to scold and discipline him or her. Sit your child down, look him or her in the eye, and use a serious tone of voice and facial expression. Explain in short, simple sentences that you do not approve of such misbehavior. There are other ways to discipline and each family has its own way of dealing with misbehavior. The point here is that, no matter which form of discipline you use, be serious and consistent about it.

2) Praise your children for good behavior.

If you want your children to improve, let them overhear the nice things you say about them to others. ~Haim Ginott

Just as bad behavior needs to be discouraged, good behavior should be encouraged and acknowledged. Don't just say, "good girl" or "well done," however. The key is to be specific. Say instead, "You are such a good girl to help your friend up when she fell down" or "You are getting much better at writing your name. The "G" in your name looks beautiful!" I don't think pointless praises are effective, though. So, be sure to actually praise your children for something that is well deserved. More effectively, do what is suggested in the quotes at the top.

How to raise successful kids

3) Put it in words

"For me, words are a form of action, capable of influencing change. Their articulation represents a complete, lived experience."
- Ingrid Bengis

For children who are old enough to write and set their own goals and objectives, have them verbalize those goals and write them down on paper.  Words are powerful and have meanings.  Doing so allows for a couple of things.  First, if you can write it down, it probably means that you have a somewhat clear picture in your mind what exactly it is you would like to achieve.  Knowing what it is you want is a good first step towards reaching that goal.  Secondly, writing something down reaffirms and reinforces your plans and helps you with motivation. 

4) Practice

"Practice is everything. This is often misquoted as Practice makes perfect." Periander

If you have a goal you want to attain, the important thing is to keep on practicing and working towards it.  There is a theory that to become really good at something, aim for at least 10,000 hours of practice, which translates to practicing something 3 hours a day, everyday, for 9 years.  Keep in mind that while you may think that you are practicing hard, others are likely to be practicing harder than you. 

5) Get to know people

“How far we travel in life matters far less than those we meet along the way.”

The more people you know, the more opportunities present themselves to you. How many people met their spouses or got a job through a friend or an acquaintance? I myself met my husband through a friend (he's my friend's brother). So, go out, meet people and make friends. The social network and connections can open doors and lead to many unexpected opportunities.

6) Make mistakes.

"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." - Michael Jordan

Actually, allow your children to make lots and lots of mistakes.  Mistakes and failures allow you to learn and grow.  People tend to admire and think only about successes, but we sometimes forget about the numerous failures that precede a success.  Some of the world's most successful people like Thomas Edison and Henry Ford failed numerous times before they finally succeed and became who they are today. 

7) Spend time with your children everyday.

"Kids spell love T-I-M-E." ~John Crudele

Children need time and attention from the parents to thrive.  Knowing that they can rely on their parents to be there for them makes children feel loved, happy and more productive.  With that comes the confidence that they can accomplish anything. 

8) Let your children have lots of experiences

"The world is your school." ~Martin H. Fischer


Take your children to see the ballet if they show an interest in it.  If your children are curious about where the milk they drink comes from, take them for a visit at a dairy farm.  Seek to let your children explore and experience various new things that interest them.  If your child is exposed to many different experiences, there is a good chance that he or she will come across something to be passionate about and will develop a talent for. 

9) Believe and have faith in your children.

"If you think you can, you’re right. If you think you can’t, you’re right." - Henry Ford

I think that a lot of times, parents make the mistake of not having enough faith in their children even when they want to or think that they do.  How many of us honestly believe that our child can become the next Tiger Woods (minus the scandals) or J.K. Rowling?  We like to think that we would always support and believe in our children's dreams, but being the "mature adults" that we are, we tend to try to stay grounded in "reality".  Believe and have faith that your child can do whatever it is he or she wants and encourage your child to believe and have faith in him or herself because in the end, the will and ability to succeed comes from within.


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    • howcurecancer profile image

      Elena@LessIsHealthy 6 years ago

      I hit the awesome button, lovely.

    • Anolinde profile image

      Anolinde 7 years ago

      Thanks, rebekahELLE. Kids do grow up fast, don't they? We really do need to cherish every moment with them :)

    • rebekahELLE profile image

      rebekahELLE 7 years ago from Tampa Bay

      beautiful hub. I 100% agree with your tips. I really like the quote you used also. I'm sure you are a wonderful parent. enjoy being a mother! they grow up so fast! :)

    • Anolinde profile image

      Anolinde 7 years ago

      Thanks for your input, DustinsMom. What you said is true. Ultimately, it's only the best that we can give.

    • DustinsMom profile image

      DustinsMom 7 years ago from USA

      All you can do is be the best parent you can be and hope for the best in your children.

    • Anolinde profile image

      Anolinde 7 years ago

      Thanks for your comments, Dobson and Suny :) It's true what you guys said. Actually, this reminds me of another parenting quote that goes something like (paraphrased), "Before I had kids, I had 6 theories about raising them and now I have 6 kids and no theories." What works for one family might not work for another. Each child is an individual and the key, I suppose, is to find what works for THAT child.

      But like you said, having a guideline and also getting educated opinions from a variety of sources can help. Or I hope it does!! :)

    • suny51 profile image

      suny51 7 years ago

      Anolinde-this will be you in helping your daughter set her goals for her future,though this depends entirely on likings of a child but guidelines help.I know this as a father of a girl,support of parents does wonders to a kid' growth.

    • Dobson profile image

      Dobson 7 years ago from Virginia

      It is so important to provide our children with an environment that will allow them to develop into happy and successful adults. What theory of thought is correct? It seems there is a different idea coming every day about the "best" way to raise our children.

      Thanks for this I agree with much you say here.