Every parent would agree with that. Not only that, but they would also be receptive to any suggestion that helps them make their child succeed. So when I saw the title of this article “Science says parents of successful kids have these 9 things in common”, I read every word of it.
I am not sure I entirely agree with all the nine points. If some of the studies were to be repeated in India, I think the suggestions might be somewhat different. However it made me wonder “How do most parents define a ‘successful kid’?”
- A successful kid does well in school?
- A successful kid works hard?
- A successful kid gets into IIT/IIM or an IT company and goes abroad?
- A successful kid works in Google, Facebook, Microsoft or Apple?
- A successful kid becomes a doctor/engineer?
What is success? The dictionary defines it as “the accomplishment of an aim or a purpose”
So who is successful? Some one who has accomplished a desired aim or a purpose is considered successful.
What is the role of a parent in making a child successful? Providing good education is a default answer. I would think that the big role a parent can play is that of an enabler, a guide, and a sounding board.
I know parents whose children have taken up unusual careers and have become successful. One child had a dream of becoming an actor. Today she is an acclaimed actor in the Hindi Film world. In another case a successful software engineer working in one of India’s largest software companies, opted out. He became a pravachana karta and is doing very well. I met a young boy some time ago. He wants to be an international football team manager. In all these cases the parents have listened to the kid, helped the child prepare himself to achieve his aim and did not stand in the way.
Imagine this situation. Your child comes to you and says “I want to climb the Everest.” Which of the following would your response be?
- “Stop dreaming, start studying. You have your exams next week”
- “Very few have succeeded in it. Didn’t you read the news about accidents while climbing to reach the Everest?”
- “Let us see. We will talk about it when the time comes”
- You gift the child an outstanding book on Everest and the biographies of people who conquered the Everest.
How the parents define success and measure their own lives will have a major impact on the child. Often, if success is not defined by outcomes but consistent attitude and values, that would make a big difference.