How do you raise successful kids?
As a neuroscientist and mom, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to raise smart and emotionally intelligent kids. One of the most important things I’ve learned is that the words we say to our kids can have a profound impact on their development.
Here are 5 phrases I never say to my kids:
1. “You’re so smart.”
Praising kids for their intelligence can actually backfire. It can lead them to believe that they’re only valuable if they’re smart, and it can make them less likely to take risks or try new things. Instead, I focus on praising my kids for their effort and their hard work.
2. “Why can’t you be more like your brother/sister?”
Comparing kids to each other is a surefire way to make them feel like they’re not good enough. Every child is different, and they should be celebrated for their own unique strengths and talents.
3. “You’re going to be in so much trouble.”
Threats of punishment can make kids feel anxious and afraid. Instead, I focus on explaining the consequences of their actions and helping them to make better choices.
4. “Just be yourself.”
This phrase can be interpreted in a few different ways. On the one hand, it can be a message of acceptance and support. On the other hand, it can also be a way of telling kids that they shouldn’t try to change or grow. I prefer to focus on helping my kids to develop their own unique personalities and identities.
5. “I’m so disappointed in you.”
Disappointment can be a powerful emotion, but it’s important to express it in a way that doesn’t damage your child’s self-esteem. Instead of saying “I’m so disappointed in you,” I try to focus on the specific behavior that I’m disappointed in, and I offer my child some constructive feedback.
I believe that the words we say to our kids can have a profound impact on their development. By avoiding these 5 phrases, we can help our kids to grow up to be smart, emotionally intelligent, and confident individuals.
Here are some additional tips for raising successful kids:
Set clear expectations and boundaries.
Kids need to know what is expected of them, and they need to know that there are consequences for their actions.
Kids need to know that they can count on you to follow through on your promises.
Be a role model.
Kids learn by watching the adults in their lives. Be sure to model the behaviors that you want to see in your kids.
Spend quality time together.
Kids need to feel loved and supported. Make time to do things together that you all enjoy.
Kids need to learn how to solve problems and make decisions on their own. Give them opportunities to practice these skills.
Raising kids is a journey. There will be ups and downs along the way. Be patient with yourself and with your kids.
Raising successful kids is not always easy, but it is definitely worth it. By following these tips, you can help your kids to reach their full potential.