Define success on your terms. Take time to consider the qualities you hope your children have when they leave the nest. Resist parent peer pressure, be informed and trust your gut.
Maintain play time, down time and family time. Avoid over-scheduling. Young children need ample time for their most important job: unstructured play. Kids of all ages need restorative time to reflect and dream. And families need time together.
Love your children unconditionally. Make sure your children know that they are loved for who they are, not only for how well they perform. Value the uniqueness of each child.
Discipline and set limits. There are two sides to parenting: warmth and discipline. This is how children learn important skills like self-control and frustration tolerance.
Allow kids space to develop on their own and make mistakes. Encourage appropriate risk-taking and allow kids to make mistakes – and learn from them. Self-direction and risk-taking breed resilience, creative thinking and long-term success.
Build responsibility at home and in the community. Have children help in age-appropriate ways with chores around the house. As they get older, encourage children to be active participants in their community, and set an example by being involved yourself.
Unplug. Set limits on the amount of time your children watch TV, play screen-based games, instant message, and use the computer recreationally. Children need ample time to interact with real people, without technology, and to be in the natural world.
Ease performance pressure. “How did you do on the test? Have you done your homework?” The subtle message to kids is that performance and results matter most. Instead, emphasize the importance of effort, hard work, resilience, and intellectual curiosity by asking open-ended, non-judgmental questions such as, “How did the day go?”
Debunk college myths. Make sure your children understand that there are many different paths to success after high school. Help your child find the “right fit.”