As parents, a major part of our job is to cultivate our tiny humans into prosperous and happy people before they venture off into adulthood. And while certain basics are common sense, some parenting practices may go overlooked.
Every little thing we do molds our children into who they eventually become. If we water them and encourage their growth, intelligence, and a positive mindset, they have unlimited possibilities when they reach adulthood. Not only that, but these practices will also make them far happier and encourage them to thrive in the now.
Here are 12 parenting practices that pay off when kids are older.
1. Allow your child to take the lead, sometimes.
While you cannot always allow your child to take the lead, there are times when you can. A 2021 study carried out by Standford University showed that children with parents who gave them instruction on how to do things, rather than stepping in and doing something themselves, had better emotional regulation skills later on.
2. Be supportive.
It may sound simple, but by simply being supportive of your child’s passions and talents, you are doing them a major favor. For example, if you notice they are talented in art and enjoy it, help them to foster that interest. Show support for them, and encourage them to go as far as they can with their skill.
3. Give them a routine.
While it may seem like common sense, not all parents follow a routine. When you implement a routine, your children know what to expect and they get used to living in a state of flow. Not only does it help to alleviate stress, but it also ensures that later on in life, they will be used to having a structured routine.
4. Encourage them to read.
Reading is so important. Not only does it give them an imaginative and intellectual hobby, but it also encourages them to broaden their horizons. Additionally, reading helps them develop language, social skills and so much more!
5. Make them do chores.
Children who don’t know how to wash dishes, cook, or clean, will always be dependent on someone else to do these things for them. Former Stanford Dean Julie Lythcott-Haims explains that kids who do chores end up being better coworkers and also have higher levels of empathy.
6. Teach them social skills.
Research has found major links between social skills in children beginning in kindergarten and lifelong success. In a 20-year study, researchers followed a group of kids throughout their lives, and those who had the best social skills had the best outcomes.
7. Teach them math as soon as possible.
Kids that learn math early in life have a major advantage. Not only with math, but also with problem-solving in general. In turn, they are far more successful in life.
8. Tend to your stress.
I cannot say this enough- if you are a stressed-out parent, your child is going to realize this, and they will be stressed as well. If you are heading towards burnout, tend to your stress. Your kids will thank you for it later.
9. Value their efforts.
While it may be second nature to scold your child when they don’t get the results they want, or to congratulate them on something that comes easy, parenting experts say not to. Instead, when they work hard to accomplish something, but fall short, point out how much effort they put in.
10. Teach them how to learn from failure.
Teaching your child that failure is the end is a bad idea. Rather than punishing them or scolding them for failing, show them how to use failure as a learning curve, so they can continue working towards their intended outcome.
11. Show them healthy eating habits.
Kids are like sponges. They see everything we do, hear everything we say, and they absorb that information. When you fail to teach them healthy eating habits, they are likely going to end up with a myriad of issues, including nutrient deficiencies and problematic eating habits.
12. They are authoritative.
There are four types of parenting styles: neglectful, authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive. Authoritarian parents are harsher, and hold their kids to extreme standards. They are less empathetic and more discipline-driven. Permissive parents let their kids do pretty much what they want, while neglectful parents are, well neglectful.
According to studies, authoritative parenting is the best style and is a style of parenting in which the parent directs their child rationally and with empathy. See the difference?