15 things people who raise successful children do regularly

We all want to give our children every advantage in life.

Whatever your definition of what success is, there are vital traits and skills your child needs for their optimal development.

Research shows that people need love and a work ethic to be happy and successful. 

So, here are 15 things people who raise successful children do regularly.

1) Show them lots of affection

Sometimes we all need a hug. But kids need them all the time.

The importance of showing children lots of affection as early as possible cannot be understated.

Plenty of expressions of love help them feel accepted and build emotional security from a very young age.

Because parental affection and warmth have been proven to increase their self-esteem, boost their academic performance, and decrease the likelihood of behavioral problems.

This is something parents of successful children understand very well.

2) Give them chores

Giving kids jobs around the house is so beneficial for them in many ways. 

They learn time management, organization, and independence.

Being given a task to complete also teaches them responsibility and appreciation for what they have.

And crucially, chores provide an opportunity for children to succeed!

So don’t be afraid to allocate age-appropriate tasks as soon as possible. Your children will thank you for it.

3) Read to them

Do you have any childhood memories of someone lovingly cradling you in their arms and reading to you

I bet it made you feel special, comforted, and safe… 

So, it’s not surprising to learn that reading to kids is excellent for their mental and emotional development, as well as their entertainment. It also feeds their imagination and curiosity.

And the more animated you are, the better!

Research has found that babies and young children that are read to regularly develop better language, literacy, and reading skills.

Plus, it is a wonderful bonding opportunity for parent and child, which is another reason why it is something parents who raise successful kids do on a regular basis.

4) Let them do what they can for themselves

This basically means that no matter how long it takes for your three-year-old to put on his own t-shirt, leave him to it!

It’s tempting to help our children out when we see them struggle with a task (or even just take a long time at it). But it’s important to resist the urge to intervene!

In fact, your child’s future success could depend upon it. 

When children are encouraged and allowed to do what they can for themselves, it increases their self-belief, confidence, and self-esteem.

These are positive traits they will carry throughout their lives and crucial for a successful and happy future.

pic 02.01 family eating 15 things people who raise successful children do regularly

5) Eat with them

Eating together is an important activity for parents who want their children to thrive.

Sitting down as a family for breakfast and dinner has been found to be beneficial for kids’ communication skills, self-confidence, and security.


Because interacting with their family members helps them to appreciate other viewpoints, increases their empathy, and provides an accepting place for them to share their ideas.

It also emphasizes the importance of maintaining closeness as a family and it is a good opportunity to catch up with each other.

So, making sure everyone eats together is a wonderful way of enhancing your child’s development in many ways! 

6) Careful of screentime

Oh, the dreaded issue of screen time!

We all know (either innately or through the amount of research published) that too much screen time has negative consequences for children regardless of their age.

Spending too much time on devices impedes children’s ability for attention and focus and limits the development of their vocabulary and social skills.

Not exceeding daily screen time guidelines recommended according to your child’s age is a good place to start.

7) Teach them to delay gratification

Learning to resist immediate rewards in favor of achieving long-term goals is an important skill for any child to be successful in life. 

This was proven in a famous study in 1972 known as the marshmallow experiment.

Young children were asked if they wanted one marshmallow to eat now, or, wait for fifteen minutes and get two marshmallows.

Forty years later, follow-up studies showed that the children who resisted the temptation to eat the sweet immediately, but chose to wait it out, grew up to have better academic results and social skills, as well as lower incidences of substance abuse.

By teaching your child to delay gratification, you are also helping them to develop perseverance.

8) Let them fail

And speaking of perseverance…

No one achieves success without encountering failure. Therefore, the sooner children learn to cope with failing, the better.

Also, ease does not equal fulfillment, in fact, we’re more likely to feel fulfilled the more challenging a goal is for us to accomplish.

Children who are given opportunities to fail also learn grit and determination. They develop coping skills and resilience, things they will never learn if they always succeed.

So don’t be afraid to give your kids the gift of a bit of a struggle! It’s for their good.

9) Empower them to make decisions

Giving children age-appropriate autonomy helps them to develop self-reliance and independence from a young age.

This could mean allowing them to choose which fruit to eat with their lunch, what movie you will watch during family time, or what they want to wear.

Empowering kids to make decisions also builds confidence and self-esteem, crucial for achieving success in life.

10) Praise effort, not ability

“It was very kind of you to help that boy with his bag” 

“You showed amazing determination today – I’m so proud of you” 

Studies have shown that praising children’s intelligence or abilities deters them from learning and developing.

Whereas, complimenting them on their effort, control, patience, or grit is a motivator. 

Basically, praise things they can control, and they will continue to develop the skills required to become more successful.

pic 02.02.02 kids playing soccer 15 things people who raise successful children do regularly

11) Get them involved in sports

As well as being good for their physical and mental health, sport teaches kids self-control, discipline, and helps develop their attention span.

Team sports also foster a sense of togetherness, community, and responsibility.

These skills are invaluable to children and will help them become successful adults in their professional and personal pursuits.

So, to give your child the best chance of achieving goals, make sure sport is a part of their life.

12) Tell them the truth

Parents who want their kids to be successful don’t sugarcoat the truth.

Nor do they give blunt, age-inappropriate answers or explanations.

They are just honest enough to give their children a realistic understanding of the world.

It’s a delicate balance, but it teaches children the importance of honesty, responsibility, and respect.

13) Set high standards

This doesn’t mean putting pressure on children, far from it!

But do you ever notice how what we expect from others tends to become reality?… 

Parents of successful children understand that expecting kids to do well promotes greater achievement.

This is referred to as the Pygmalion Effect, psychological phenomenon in which high expectations lead to improved performance and low expectations lead to poor performance.

So, by setting certain standards for your children, you’re instilling confidence and giving them something to aim for.

14) Encourage their curiosity

Inspiring a child’s curiosity and feeding their imagination helps them to discover what they’re passionate about.

So, encouraging their children to ask questions, research, discuss, and investigate things is something that parents who raise successful kids are certain to do regularly.

15) Lead by example

Possibly the most important point of this article!

Children are sponges absorbing every action, word, tone, micro-aggression, and emotion of their parents.

Therefore, if you want to give your child the best chance of success, it’s crucial to lead by example

This means taking care of your health, having a good work ethic, taking responsibility, nurturing your relationships with other family members, being in control of your emotions, exercising positive conflict resolution… 

I could go on, but you get the point. 

Remember, whatever you are, your child will become. 

So do your best to be your best.

Final thoughts

It’s natural to want to make your children’s lives as easy and comfortable as possible. 

But this thwarts their development.

Achieving the right balance of love, affection, responsibility, and accountability is the key for parents whose children who achieve success in later life.

Picture of Niamh McNamara

Niamh McNamara

A freelance writer fascinated with human nature and social dynamics, Niamh read literature, history, and philosophy at university before spending time in journalism and PR. Armed with a passion for words and ideas, and a healthy appreciation of the ridiculous, she tries to make sense of it all. Connect with Niamh on X @NBMcnamara123

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