In today’s hyperactive world, parents feel they have to constantly push their children to do well. Extra tuition, extra classes, you name it.
But children actually make their own way in the world. In fact, most of what contributes to your children’s future success comes from their genes, and the way they interact with the world outside your house.
For example, even babies already have their own completely unique personalities, as every parent knows. And children learn far more new words from their friends in the playground than from you.
Of course there are still lots of ways in which you can make a big difference to their lives. Teaching them your values, for example. Or how to make good choices. But the most effective way to ensure their success is by devoting more time to your partner. Because your children will be more successful if you and your spouse are happy. While devoting your entire lives to your children makes them demanding and difficult.
Modern relationships often fail because parents focus too much on the children. So instead, focus on making sure yours is an example on which your children can build their lives. When children see that their parents are happy together, it inspires them to learn the skills that will ensure they turn out well. And to have good relationships of their own.
Of course children need lots of attention and encouragement. But it is also important for them to see their parents doing things together just because they love one another. You do not have to do anything special. They will know that you have a good relationship from seeing you being affectionate together, teasing, touching, and just having a quiet drink together.
We have become so obsessed with achievement that we have forgotten how important it is for children to see that their parents love one another. Modern life also makes us reluctant to let our children build relationships with other children and adults. Or take risks. Both of which limit their development.
And anxious parents, who quite obviously think that their children cannot be trusted, create neurotic children who have no faith in themselves, or ability to do anything.
Above all, one of the best ways of getting your child to do something is by personal example. Whether you are showing them your values by how you interact with others, or your interests by what you do. So it is no accident that people who enjoy a lot of sports, for example, find that their children need little persuasion to take part themselves.
Your children are bound to be the centre of your world. But leave plenty of time for you and your spouse to be happy together. Because despite what all those online ‘super-mums’ say, that is what produces the most successful children.