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Helping your child find their own success

Find tips to assist your child to find their own success.

Child studying at home

While there are many ways to be successful, each of us needs to find our own version of success. As a parent, it’s important to avoid pushing your child to fit a narrow definition of success. Success lies in helping your teenager pursue those things they enjoy as well as encouraging them to do the things they need to do to like going to school. Here are some ideas to help you put your child on the path to success, whatever that looks like for them.

It’s more about effort than IQ

Many kids hold beliefs about their intelligence. You might have heard your child say, ‘I’m not smart enough’ or ‘I just can’t do that subject’. But research from Stanford University has found that if young people believe their intellectual abilities are not fixed but can be developed, they are more likely to improve their performance at school. Encourage your child to see their brain as a muscle that grows stronger and smarter when it learns. Talk to them about how their brain is constantly developing and that no matter how hard they might find school, every time they make an effort to learn, they are developing their brain. Encouraging this mindset will help your child become more confident in their own ability and see that their success is something they have some control over.

It’s a process

Success is usually not a one-time sensation you feel when you achieve a one-time goal. Instead, it’s generally an ongoing sense of accomplishment that can help propel you to continue a process of learning. By understanding that success is more about the process than the destination, your teenager is more likely to stick at their learning. Encourage them to enjoy the feeling of success that can be found in the process of working towards their goals. Celebrate the little wins along the way so they can experience what success feels like and have their mind opened to what is possible for them.

It takes resilience

Being an adult, you may already appreciate how failure can help you learn. But it’s worth reminding your child that how they deal with disappointments and failure can help them succeed. Encourage your child to see a poor exam result or loss in a sporting competition as something of value they can learn from. Talk to them about how such an experience can help them understand what does and doesn’t work and is an opportunity to try a new approach next time. Explain to them that life is full of ups and downs and it’s how they respond to difficulties and disappointments that will ultimately set them up to succeed.

It needs a spark

Encouraging your child’s spark – that thing they love to do or enjoy learning about – can help them find success in life. Their spark can give your child’s life meaning and a goal to strive for. It can also build their confidence, help them to learn, and give them skills and strength to help them succeed in life. Listen to the way your child talks about the world around them. When you hear them excited about something, talk to them about it and see what you can do to help them nurture their spark in a positive way and help them find success doing something they really enjoy.

It’s personal

Success means different things to different people. Encourage your child to focus on their own strengths rather than comparing themselves to others. Show them that success comes in many forms by sharing the stories of people you know who have achieved things in many different ways. With your help, your child can set realistic goals, celebrate their wins, and enjoy a taste of success as they build their confidence to be whoever they want to be in the world.

Last Updated: 22 June 2022