Ask yourself a question: what do you want most for your kids? I mean THE MOST. One word. For me, it’s happiness. Nothing else matters when you feel happy. Why am I mentioning it to you today? Because I’ve come across an article titled: Almost everyone who is unhappy with life is unhappy for the same reasons. Wait, what? It sounds like the reason for unhappiness is well known and if it’s well known, that means that the formula for happiness must be at hand too.
Believe in success and you will succeed
I’m sure you’ve heard this statement before. Who hasn’t… The problem is that most of us tend to think that it’s some kind of “outer space” or magical energy that ensures that you accomplish what you’ve set your mind to. In case you’re a practical person who doesn’t believe in magic, you simply have a bad luck and it doesn’t apply to you, does it? Don’t be too quick in jumping into conclusions here. The good news is that you don’t need to be a fairy from the Little Kingdom in order to benefit from this “success magic.”
There’s no fairytale
Dr. Travis Bradberry, psychologist and the award-winning coauthor of the best-selling book Emotional Intelligence 2.0, explains in his original article: “Research from LSU shows that people who believe in themselves use more metacognitive functions than those who don’t.” They even use more of their brain capacity. So there’s no magic involved in the above mentioned success statement. If you believe that you will succeed, you’ll be looking for a way that leads to the success. All your brain power is focused on your goal, your motivation is higher, you work harder and you’re able to think of many more solutions to the problems you encounter along the way. All of it together will make the difference and you WILL succeed at the end (because you won’t give up trying until you do).
How does it relate to our children?
Our own expectations affect other people in an enormous way too. Often much more than we realize. There was another research conducted by Harvard professor in 1964 which suggests that if people expect someone else to succeed, that person has much higher chance to succeed too. Back in 1960’s researchers randomly selected pupils from primary school and told their teachers that those kids were exceptionally intelligent. Those children achieved better results not only in class but in standardized IQ tests conducted some time later as well. Impressive, right?
Believe that your child will be happy and successful
Now you are standing in front of a tough task: you need to start believing that your child will be happy and successful in life. That’s really all it takes. Because we tend to treat people differently if we expect them to succeed. You don’t need to teach your children any special skills or give them artificial lessons which are meant to prepare them better for life. No. All you need to do is start believing in themselves so they can start believing in themselves too.
Accept your child the way he is
Every person in this world is different. With different qualities and strengths. You don’t get to choose your children the same way as they don’t get to choose their parents. You just need to accept them and help them grow. You don’t even need to understand them. Just accept them and respect them for who they are. Let them find their own happiness in life and believe that they will find it.
Remember: The only person you can change is YOURSELF.
Solely the fact that you believe in your children should be enough to have a right attitude towards them. Be patient. I know how frustrating it is to explain something 1000 times and they still don’t seem to get it. They’re not dumb, their time just hasn’t arrived yet.
Tell your child often:
I love you.
Good job getting this done.
I know you can do it.
Don’t worry, you’ll do better next time.
It’s ok to make mistakes.
I like that you’re curious and that you ask a lot of questions. You learn a lot this way.
I’m not telling you to spoil your child
There’s a big difference between self-confidence and self-conceit. Don’t teach your child that everything what they do is great. Give them constructive feedback. Start with your own confidence that they will be successful when they grow up. Teach them respect by respecting them and spend time with them to help them learn faster what they want to learn or what they’re interested in. Help them identify areas in which they’re good at and explain to them that they don’t need to be perfect in every way.
Being happy with what you have is a great starting point
At the beginning, you should always start with appreciating what you have. You will never be happy if you’re constantly waiting for something or someone to make you happy. Being happy with what you have will give you serenity and patience. You will be thinking more clearly and therefore you’ll be able to achieve your new goal faster.
Don’t wait around if something isn’t the way you want or if you’re not getting expected result right away. Actively seek the solution. Children are usually very good at this. They wouldn’t learn anything if they gave up after the first try (or if they wouldn’t try at all in the first place). Your job is to encourage them. You can also learn that persistence from them 🙂
Listen to the people around and try to understand them
Value other person’s opinion even if you don’t agree with it. This applies to your own children too. They don’t need to have the same opinion on everything just because they’re your kids. By listening to other people you can also get great feedback on yourself that will help you grow. Don’t expect other people to like you just because you look nice and smart. Earn their trust and respect by being honest. That includes apologizing for your mistakes, even, or better to say: especially, to your kids.