I heard on the radio that parents of successful kids have three things in common:
- They have high expectations;
- They teach their kids social skills;
- They require their kids to do chores.
It made me ponder what families without these three things might look like. . .
Low Expectations Parents who’d say, “It’s no surprise he can’t do math; I was horrible at it,” would not only communicate low expectations, but they’d also give their kids permission to put forth little effort. The same would be true for parents who didn’t ask about homework, especially if they knew there was a problem with getting assignments turned in on time. Parents with low expectations might also blame each other or the teacher for their child’s lack of responsibility instead of holding their child accountable.
No Social Skills Parents who don’t teach manners and etiquette would allow their children to interrupt and get their own way by whining. Their children would have a lack of consideration for others’ feelings or needs, and they’d isolate themselves at social gatherings by wearing headphones or spending time on their phones. Such children would not express gratitude, nor do they offer to help with cleaning up or carrying items.
No Chores These parents would find it easier to do it themselves than to fight chore battles. Kids have many ways of dodging responsibility: they deflect “Why am I the only one does all the work!”; they delay “In a minute!”; they deny “I never heard you ask!” Parents who back down rob their children not only of the satisfaction that comes with a job well done, but also of some important life skills.
Want successful kids? Keep your expectations high enough that your child has to rise to the challenge. Teach and model proper behavior and common courtesy. Develop a list of chores and insist they get done. Never forget that you aren’t raising a child–you’re raising an adult!