Parents who are hyper-focused on doing everything “right” tend to create a country full of kids who are stressed-out, burned-out, and depressed. According to psychologist and author Madeline Levine, “Our current version of success is a failure.”
But as parents push kids to succeed — and try too hard to shield them from failure –their kids are soaking up the stress and increasingly unable to do anything without their parents’ input. The result: A generation of kids and young adults who are afraid of failure, who engage in dangerous behavior in order to cope with stress they don’t understand, or who don’t know how to navigate life without their parents’ guidance.
The solution? Levine says that parents who want to raise kids who can really succeed in life should focus on teaching them these life skills:
- Resourcefulness. Making them search for a solution slightly outside of their comfort zone can help kids learn how to make the most out of the situations in which they find themselves.
- Enthusiasm. Instead of pushing your kids toward your own goals, observe their interests and remember that their aspirations don’t have to be the same as yours.
- Creativity. The skills they learn from creative pursuits can help them learn how to think outside of the box, solve problems, and succeed in non-academic settings.
- A strong work ethic. Make sure that the work your child is expected to do is reasonable and be sure to show them that you can embrace hard work as well.
- Self-efficacy. “Don’t project your own anxiety as your child moves forward,” Levine writes. Doing so prevents kids from pushing past existing boundaries and trying new things, and robs them of their ability to solve problems on their own.
Levine writes, “Ultimately, it is only our children themselves who pass judgment on their success, or lack thereof, in their lives.”
Do you push your child too much to succeed? How do you teach your kid to be independent and successful? Share your own parenting tips with us!
Image: Project Appleseed