The average American family spends $6,000 on early child care and education every year. Apart from the expense, you may also deal with the anxiety of dropping off the kids at daycare or the baby sitter’s home before you head to work. Whether you’re an employee or run your business, it’s tough to balance work and raising kids.
And if you’re raising your kids to be high achievers, parenting could become very stressful. How do you maintain professional accomplishments and develop successful kids?
The Balanced Parent
You want your kids to have good grades. But you also don’t them to be buried in their books. So you’re also likely to arrange after-school lessons for piano or dance. That would accomplish two things: better school history with academic and extra-curricular activities and well-rounded kids.
The key to getting that done would be to find a balance in your parenting style; some could go overboard with becoming the authoritarian, and others could become too permissive. The balanced parent would have high expectations but offer love and support. It would be a good starting point to help your children be adults who will contribute to a better world.
According to research from the University of Essex, girls with parents who articulated their high expectations were less likely to fall into traps that made them less likely to succeed. Girls with such parents were not only less likely to end up in low-wage and dead-end jobs; they were also more likely to go to college.
Although it’s not a guarantee for your kids to conquer the world, high expectations set them up for the probability of a better life.
But instead of simply stating you want your kids to, for example, get into an AP class or get into Harvard. You’ll need to demonstrate your belief in their capabilities to do so. You also have to give them the tools to accomplish what will help them succeed in life. And this means being a hands-on parent, being there when they need you, even when you’re in the middle of a big business deal or when you’re trying to build your startup.
Another thing you can do is praise your kids correctly.
There’s a difference between applauding them for their abilities (e.g., intelligence) and complimenting their efforts (e.g., studying consistently for days). According to Professor Carol Dweck of Stanford University,this approach to praise teaches kids to develop a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset.
Finally, make your kids do chores. Chores around the house allow kids to develop a work ethic early on. And kids who have this attitude are more likely to succeed in life. A Harvard study found that kids who are given responsibilities around the home improve their odds of success.
When you divide the chores among your kids, you not only help them have that pitch-in mindset. You also relieve some pressure on your shoulders because nothing could be more draining than working all day and coming home to make dinner and clean up. When you’re out of energy, you also deprive quality time with the kids.
It’s tough to be a working parent while preparing your kids for success. But the rewards will be well worth the tired days and late nights when you see your kids accomplish great things.