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Education and Investment
How to educate your child to succeed
All parents want their child to be happy and successful. You can start this at home by asking what does your child do well, and look to build on that. By developing positive qualities in your kids and understanding how to educate your child to succeed, you’ll see this carry them throughout school and life.
Chances are, if you’ve ever worked in an office or the corporate world, you’ve had a boss or a leader email you some sort of list detailing the qualities of highly successful people. It’s usually meant to be inspiring or motivating. You may even have rolled your eyes as it appeared in your inbox.
But there’s something to these lists.
Why? Because, for the most part, the same personality and character traits appear on all of them. And while some of these traits are inherent in certain people, others can be learned.
Which begs the question: can you, as a parent, educate your child to succeed?
In this article we explore how to educate your child to succeed by looking at what does your child do well, and give you some hints and tips on how to help your child succeed in school.
Qualities of successful people
A quick search will show you that lists of ‘desirable qualities in an employee’ are everywhere. Recruiters, employment sites, universities and more than a few corporate websites have devoted time and space to espousing the virtues of highly sought after employees.
Although it may seem a bit early to be thinking of career paths while your little one is using Bluey to navigate their world, a parent can spot these qualities in their child and help to develop them early in life.
Things such as perseverance, patience, self-control and conscientiousness play a critical role in a child’s success.
With the help of positive reinforcement at home and a positive education, you’re giving your child a great start in life. And you are learning as a parent how to educate your child to succeed in school.
Educating your child to succeed begins at home
You are your child’s first, perhaps even most important, teacher and they’re watching and learning from you all the time. Kids learn everything from you.
It gets even better when you realise one of the loveliest parts of any day, snuggling up with your child to read a bedtime story, is helping your child develop their language and literacy skills. In a recent Kidspot piece, they spoke with psychologist Collett Smart who said:
‘We know now, because we have brain imaging studies, there’s a difference in the reading and cognitive skills of kids whose parents sit with them and read. The difference has nothing to do with things like family background, their home environment or socioeconomic status, but how frequently an adult sits and reads with the child.’
The next time you wonder ‘how can I educate my child to succeed’, grab their favourite book, snuggle them into bed and read to them. It’s that easy.
How can I help my child succeed in school
There used to be a time when the only thing that mattered in school was academic performance. And it didn’t matter how this was achieved, with harsh punishments and lashings of negative feedback being the accepted way to educate children.
Thankfully, those days are gone and within the last decade or so, there’s also been a global trend towards positive education as an emerging educational model.
However, when they’re at home, there’s a few simple things any parent can do to help their child succeed in school.
Healthy diet and enough sleep – it goes without saying that a healthy diet and a regular bedtime will help a child stay fit, happy and alert.
Encourage your child – encourage them to love to learn. To stand up for and believe in themselves. Encourage them to feel proud of who they are and what they achieve.
Focus on the process, not the result – celebrate when they persevere with something, even if they didn’t achieve the desired end result. Be proud if they missed out on some study time to help someone who was upset, sad or alone. Applaud them if they say they’ll finish some homework before screen time or gaming, and they find the self-control to do exactly what they promised.
What is positive education?
The fundamental goal of positive education is to promote flourishing or positive mental health within the school community. Norrish, Williams, O’Connor, & Robinson, 2013
Positive education is about fusing traditional education with the study of happiness and wellbeing. Based on Martin Seligman’s PERMA model, it’s encouraging children to flourish through positive relationships, positive emotions, engagement and accomplishment. Alongside their academic achievements, your child will also develop their sense of wellbeing and social responsibility.
You may be thinking that this all sounds very much like the Montessori and Steiner teachings. And you’d be right, as both these models help children develop their strengths and nurture their resilience. However, Seligman advocates positive psychology which is an emerging field of study focusing on the science of happiness.
‘Positive psychology is the scientific study of what makes life most worth living’ (Peterson, 2008).
What does your child do well?
A happy child will thrive and become the best version of themselves when given a positive education. However, all children are different and it may take time for you to discover what your child does well. Every child will have different strengths. Some will be obvious, such as a lovely singing voice or being an ace at maths, while others will be less evident, such as being a team player or trustworthy.
When you recognise and celebrate a child’s strengths, they’ll thrive. They’ll feel empowered, encouraged and will want to not only build on these strengths but also develop others.
The school that your child attends can also have an impact on how they succeed throughout their education. So being able to have the flexibility to choose the education options that suit your child best without the worry of financial constraints can be important.
As your child moves through school and can see what they’re good at and where their strengths lie, they’re on the right path to being happy and successful in life.
How to educate your child to succeed can be done in lots of ways. Encouraging them to be patient and persevere, even when things are tough is a great start. Helping them to use self-control, especially when doing things they don’t really want to do is also beneficial. And perhaps most importantly of all, helping them to become a kind, caring and conscientious global citizen in this ever changing world.