Author Topic: How to raise successful kids?  (Read 12715 times)

mozar

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How to raise successful kids?
« on: June 06, 2016, 07:46:16 PM »
The subject is touched on every now and then and I was hoping to get more insight into what people think.

What specific things did your parents/adults in your life do to set you up for success?

If all the people in your life were terrible, what do you plan to teach your kids/ young people in your life about how to be successful? Especially young children. I have a sister who is 5 (yes I'm an adult). I think about what I can do to influence her life, such as giving her legos, signing her up for coding class etc. One fantasy I have for my unborn child is to tell them when they are 3 that if they learn to read they can decide which activities we do on the weekend. That way they will be self motivated. Don't know if that's realistic or not.

Any thoughts on helping young people find success in a potentially post-job world, 20-30 years from now?

I'm more interested in thoughts about helping 0-16 year olds.

Here is the original comment that got this started:
Quote

Re: Wealth and Success during the AI and Robotics Revolution
Reply #13 on: Today at 11:47:32 AM
Quote from: mozar on Today at 10:41:12 AM
Anyways I think the question about children is a good one. I plan to raise my (unborn) children to think of themselves as members of the capital class so the question of whether middle class jobs exist is irrelevant to them.

Quote
@maizeman: I'd be interested to see a thread on this point actually. When the topic of children comes up, it had seemed to me like most are assuming their kids will have to go out into the world and, if they are interested in FIRE, earn it with the sweat of their own brows.  Anyway, it would be fascinated to discuss how to raise children with the expectation they'd never have a middle class job without ending up with entitled children who'd be firmly on the path to shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves in three generations. But I fear I'm running a bit too far off the OP's topic.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2016, 07:47:15 PM »
I learned the most by being allowed to fail, and being forced to work for anything that was worth having.

BlueHouse

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2016, 08:05:47 PM »

One fantasy I have for my unborn child is to tell them when they are 3 that if they learn to read they can decide which activities we do on the weekend. That way they will be self motivated. Don't know if that's realistic or not.

I did read by age three, and it wasn't because I was motivated by bribes. It was because my parents read to me every single day. We looked forward to story time.
Possibly the most helpful thing though was when the older kids came home from school, we played school I their basements. Everything the older kids learned, they would come home and teach to the younger kids in the neighborhood. The kids up the street from me had a giant blackboard and pupil desks in their basement. They loved to pretend to be teachers.
By the time I could speak, I was pointing out the letters in the books as my mom was reading them to me. I knew the planets and how to read and add before I started kindergarten.
So if you can find a way to make it fun, then do it, but offering a prize if they learn how to read seems like a way to discourage learning to me! 

gooki

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2016, 10:08:03 PM »
I learned the most by being allowed to fail.

This.

I failed to spend my money wisely as a kid.
I failed to get good grades in the subjects that i now have a career in.
I lost plenty of games of football and running races.
I broke my bike.
I broke windows on our house.
I fell out of a few trees.
I failed University.

PhysicianOnFIRE

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2016, 10:43:53 PM »
Read to them constantly when they're young.

Teach them to read when they're 3 or 4. Have them read to you constantly.

Next, teach them numbers. Not just + and - but how to think in terms of numbers.

That's as far as we've gotten. Both boys are in a gifted and talented school-within-a-school program for the top 5% in the district. Our 5-year old is skipping kindergarten to join the gifted first graders.

Next is to teach them how to code. Code.org will be our friend.

When they're old enough to get it, they will be introduced to my blog. When they're old enough to read R-rated material, they'll be introduced to even better FIRE blogs.

mxt0133

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2016, 11:45:27 PM »
One of the things we focus on is to recognize and encourage effort vs results.  One of the main reasons we homeschool/unschool is to de-emphasize grades or results.  You either know something or you don't.  If you don't that's OK, if you keep trying you might get it.  Hopefully this teaches them to not shy away from trying to do something that they are not naturally good at. 

+1 on letting them fail.  Which for me means to mostly get out of their way once they have the fundamentals down.  If they want to play video games all day, I can't really stop them.  Sure I can take it way, forbid it, and make them do something else but if they are not interested in it, it's like pushing on a string. 

As they get older I hope to develop/exercise their social and emotional intelligence.  The hard skills are essential, however there is only one of you which doesn't really scale well to build wealth.  Now if you can influence and convince other people to do things for you well then, the sky's the limit.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2016, 12:39:26 AM by mxt0133 »

tobitonic

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2016, 12:13:49 AM »
For us, success has much more to do with their being happy, healthy, and kind individuals than the particulars of their employment. We're also hoping to fully fund their educations and allow them to live at home until established.

Fishindude

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2016, 05:44:38 AM »
Don't give them money or buy them excessive toys & luxuries.  Give them opportunities to earn money and buy their own things, they will take better care of them and appreciate them more.

You have to let them be kids and have fun too.
I don't buy in to the super parent, over achiever, shove the education & sports down their throats mentality.


ltt

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2016, 05:52:22 AM »
For us, success has much more to do with their being happy, healthy, and kind individuals than the particulars of their employment.

This.

Success can mean many things to different people.  Some want their children to have status and material items.  Some want to go around and tell their friends that their child read at 3.  Some want their children to get into a top-rated university.  Some want to make their kids independent at all costs.  While you think that your child is successful, others necessarily won't.  They'll be average--just like the majority of children in the world. 

DeltaBond

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2016, 06:03:14 AM »
Negative reinforcement and psychological abuse helped me be independent and never have to ask my parents for anything ever.  Minus the cost of four years of therapy, I feel that is what helped me be successful.  I'm not being sarcastic or joking, this is the truth of my life... its hard to say what will help each child.  If I had a different personality, I'm not sure the outcome of my childhood would have been a good one. 

Likewise, my niece and nephew grew up from a loving home with a hard working dad only to be nare do wells that just expect the riches of the world to come to them.  You can lead a horse to water...

Freedomin5

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2016, 06:33:17 AM »
If anything, I want to help them develop good character. I want to teach them that learning is fun, and I don't want them to be afraid of failure. Not only being allowed to fail, but teaching them how to pick themselves up when they fail, learn from the failure, and move forward.

GuitarStv

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2016, 07:11:35 AM »
What's your definition of success?

Is it mastery of an instrument/sport/art?  Is it making a huge paycheck?  Is it being very powerful?  Is it leading a fulfilling life and being generally happy?  They all have different answers.

acroy

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2016, 08:22:51 AM »
From Heinlein (many clever things has he said)
"Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy."

True 'success' is being a good person. The rest is details.

Our job as parents is to teach them to be good people. Set and enforce reasonable expectations, educate them in morality, the value of good actions, the value of hard work - doing more than the minimum.

Life is an incredible gift. Impressing the Offspring with respect and awe of their own existence is my goal. You treat well what you value.

mozar

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2016, 08:25:18 AM »
For me a successful person is someone who can live on their own, pay their own bills, and have stable mental health.
I worry that my sister is falling behind already as she is almost 6 and can't read. I had a lot of privilege growing up (private school, sleep away camp, horseback riding lessons) and she's not going to have those things. Those things exposed me to wealthy kids who had agency and were empowered. I don't know how I would've found my way eventually if I hadn't been exposed to people like that.  I'm afraid she's going to grow up to be average and that's just not going to cut it in a post job era.
My dad is putting her in dance camp all summer. Sometimes I just want to shake him!
I thought that telling a 3 year old they can pick activities if they learn to read would be empowerment, not a bribe. I still have a lot to learn about parenting obviously! And thanks for the specific examples so far.

Ceridwen

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2016, 08:31:10 AM »
I have no desire to teach my children to read early.  What is the motivation for that (beyond bragging rights?). We are teaching our children to love books and ask interesting questions.  Reading will come in time.  My son is 4 and is starting to recognize words in books, but it is entirely self-directed. 

Beriberi

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2016, 09:23:14 AM »
Early reading is correlated with decreased school attainment and overall increased life-problems (suicide, alcohol abuse, divorce).

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2713445/  (yeah, there are a ton of limitations and caveats on this data, but you can't find better).

 I don't pressure my kids to read at all.  The Scandinavians, who tend to have much higher overall academic achievement don't start their kids reading untill 7.

Having said that, we've done some lessons at home because the kids were interested.  My 7 year is reading fluently just this year, my 5 year old can sound out a few words. My 3 year old doesn't know the names of letters, but he is a really good climber. I'm totally happy with that.  And my oldest tested into the district 98th %ile gifted program at 5 (despite poor reading skills - because that is not what gifted programs test for), and I anticipate that the other two will as well.

mm1970

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2016, 09:27:39 AM »
Read to them constantly when they're young.

Teach them to read when they're 3 or 4. Have them read to you constantly.

Next, teach them numbers. Not just + and - but how to think in terms of numbers.

That's as far as we've gotten. Both boys are in a gifted and talented school-within-a-school program for the top 5% in the district. Our 5-year old is skipping kindergarten to join the gifted first graders.

Next is to teach them how to code. Code.org will be our friend.

When they're old enough to get it, they will be introduced to my blog. When they're old enough to read R-rated material, they'll be introduced to even better FIRE blogs.
Eh, neither of my boys were that into reading at that age.  Big boy learned in 1st grade (age 6).  Little guy is 3.  Both of them are really into numbers and math though.

Gifted kids can be ... different.  My older son is gifted, and we've opted to keep him in our current school, as opposed to the "magnet" program (at a different school, done by lottery in the district, a classroom of *all* GATE kids). 

Allowing them to fail is a good thing.

mozar

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2016, 10:08:13 AM »
How do you teach a 3 year old to think in terms of numbers?

I'm aware of the research in early reading. The research I've seen has been on head start programs for poor kids where they get instructional fatigue because educators are trying to make up for poor home situations. So it could be correlation not causation.
 
My dad reads to her but I don't think he's doing enough. There is no danger of her parents being helicopter parents, or pushing her too hard.

PhysicianOnFIRE

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2016, 11:44:47 AM »

StarBright

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2016, 12:36:46 PM »
I'm not huge on teaching kids math and reading early BUT I do have a programming recommendation for young kids: A board game called Robot Turtles.

My SIL  never met an educational toy she didn't love so she buys our children lots of toddler  and pre-k math and programming stuff. I tend to regift a lot of it (she continues to purchase it even though I've asked her not to) but she bought the game and My four year old loves playing it.  I don't think it hurts so I'll put the recommendation out there because it seems like something a lot of you might be interested in.




Beriberi

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2016, 02:17:08 PM »

I'm aware of the research in early reading. The research I've seen has been on head start programs for poor kids where they get instructional fatigue because educators are trying to make up for poor home situations. So it could be correlation not causation.


Ummm.. I don't think you read the link. These were upper-class white kids from the 1920s, and they tracked them until death. So, it really has nothing to do with Head Start.

Sure, you can argue that our kids don't have a lot in common with kids 100 years ago, but it is the only way you can get data that tracks people through the whole life cycle.

Anyway, to answer the original question, I think success has to do with perseverance, enthusiasm, grit.  As humans, I hope my kids are empathetic, imaginative, kind.  Those are the things we are mostly working on. 

Yankuba

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2016, 02:36:09 PM »
c2f

StarBright

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2016, 02:48:29 PM »
For me a successful person is someone who can live on their own, pay their own bills, and have stable mental health.
I worry that my sister is falling behind already as she is almost 6 and can't read. I had a lot of privilege growing up (private school, sleep away camp, horseback riding lessons) and she's not going to have those things. Those things exposed me to wealthy kids who had agency and were empowered. I don't know how I would've found my way eventually if I hadn't been exposed to people like that.  I'm afraid she's going to grow up to be average and that's just not going to cut it in a post job era.
My dad is putting her in dance camp all summer. Sometimes I just want to shake him!
I thought that telling a 3 year old they can pick activities if they learn to read would be empowerment, not a bribe. I still have a lot to learn about parenting obviously! And thanks for the specific examples so far.

mozar it is wonderful that you are worried about your sister and a testament to what a good sibling you are! But if dance is what your 6 year old sister loves then dance camp can be a perfect place for her at this age. In our hyper competitive adult environments it can be hard to remember that kids this age need to be learning peer communication, problem solving skills, "stick-to-it-ness", how to follow directions and work within a group. It is  also developmentally great for kids to have lots of time to use their bodies (think of it like your horse back riding).  Young children (even at that age) are still learning primarily from play. Your dad could be doing a very good thing for her!

Zikoris

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2016, 02:50:37 PM »
I learned most of my really useful skills and abilities after I left home, but my parents did do a few things that I think helped:

1. Taught me and my sister to read early, age 4. We also had a house full of books, so our literacy was way higher than normal throughout our entire childhood.

2. Modeled doing shit yourself rather than paying people to do it. Cooking (we very rarely ate out), cleaning, repair work, and maintaining the lawns/garden/mini-orchard. As a result, my first instinct is always to do something myself, which has probably saved me a boatload of money over the years, and makes me seem superhuman to people like my boyfriend who had a very different upbringing.

3. Didn't buy me much outside of birthdays and Christmas, suggesting I get a job if I wanted something. I did, and worked throughout my teens. That made the transition to adulthood WAY easier, because I went into it with good references, work experience, and savings.

4. Gave me a tremendous amount of autonomy to basically do whatever I wanted. That one could definitely backfire depending on the kid, but it worked for me. I learned how to manage my own time and entertain myself a lot better than many peers who had their lives scheduled for them.

garion

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2016, 02:50:50 PM »
Praise effort, not achievement. Give them books. Be the positive mentor/believe in them. Talk about big topics with them and let them form their own opinions. Get them outside to explore nature as often as possible. 

stoaX

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #25 on: June 07, 2016, 03:12:12 PM »
I learned the most by being allowed to fail.

This.

I failed to spend my money wisely as a kid.
I failed to get good grades in the subjects that i now have a career in.
I lost plenty of games of football and running races.
I broke my bike.
I broke windows on our house.
I fell out of a few trees.
I failed University.

+1!

The only thing I can add is do your best but don't blame yourself if and when they fail and have different opinions and lifestyles than you.  Kids have a way of pleasing and disappointing you in the most unexpected ways!

shelivesthedream

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #26 on: June 07, 2016, 04:33:09 PM »
How to raise a competent adult:

1. Don't force academia but read to them every single day.
2. Allow them to be interested in what they're interested in, be it coding or interpretive dance.
3. Give them autonomy and responsibilities from a very early age. Be it chores or a clothing allowance, give the responsibility and then step back.
4. Allow natural consequences to happen (excepting serious injury and death).
5. Tell them how proud you are of how hard they try.
6. Involve them in basic life activities like cooking, shopping and DIY.
7. Allowance. Theirs to spend as they will.
8. Cross your fingers and hope it all works out!

stoaX

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #27 on: June 07, 2016, 05:43:41 PM »

8. Cross your fingers and hope it all works out!

Best advice yet....

mozar

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #28 on: June 07, 2016, 08:21:27 PM »
Quote
I'm not huge on teaching kids math and reading early BUT I do have a programming recommendation for young kids: A board game called Robot Turtles.
I'm going to get it.
Quote
In our hyper competitive adult environments it can be hard to remember that kids this age need to be learning peer communication, problem solving skills, "stick-to-it-ness", how to follow directions and work within a group. It is  also developmentally great for kids to have lots of time to use their bodies (think of it like your horse back riding).  Young children (even at that age) are still learning primarily from play. Your dad could be doing a very good thing for her!
I don't disagree. But I want her to do other things in the summer too. I don't want her to fall behind her peers. I'm worried about the "summer slide:" http://www.npr.org/2013/08/04/208946952/for-some-kids-an-idle-summer-makes-an-idle-mind

Quote
Ummm.. I don't think you read the link. These were upper-class white kids from the 1920s, and they tracked them until death. So, it really has nothing to do with Head Start.
You said there were lots of caveats so I didn't read it. For my sister I can't do anything about it, but I would definitely encourage early reading in my own kids. I don't think it's a race, I just think that reading is basically one of the best things ever. But I would back off if they told me too.

Goldielocks

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #29 on: June 07, 2016, 08:38:56 PM »
All great posts..

First, you need to define 'SUCCESS'....


......just saying.....

AMandM

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #30 on: June 07, 2016, 09:30:46 PM »
For me a successful person is someone who can live on their own, pay their own bills, and have stable mental health.
I have three kids who are successful by your definition, and four younger ones who seem to be on the path to that kind of success, so I feel qualified to make some comments.

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I worry that my sister is falling behind already as she is almost 6 and can't read.
OK, here's my first comment:  Relax! 
Reading/math/coding at an early age is not a prerequisite to success as you define it.  Of course eventually learning to read is necessary, but the timing is not important.  Also, I hope you are keeping these worries entirely to yourself; pressure to perform is extremely damaging to children.

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I had a lot of privilege growing up (private school, sleep away camp, horseback riding lessons) and she's not going to have those things. Those things exposed me to wealthy kids who had agency and were empowered. I don't know how I would've found my way eventually if I hadn't been exposed to people like that.  I'm afraid she's going to grow up to be average and that's just not going to cut it in a post job era. My dad is putting her in dance camp all summer. Sometimes I just want to shake him!
I don't understand this part at all. 
(1) Why is horseback riding good and dance bad?  If anything, dance is a more useful skill.
(2) I don't think wealth is either necessary or sufficient for a sense of agency.  A child develops a sense of agency by seeing those around him act, being taught to do so himself, and having many occasions to see the results.  It starts when they're little, with putting away toys and clothes or making beds, and moves up to more complaex tasks such as cooking, gardening, financial management.  Basically you model setting goals and acting to reach them, rather than passively letting others (especially advertising) set your goals and tell you to spend money to reach them.
(3) Success as you define it is totally compatible with being average.

Quote
I thought that telling a 3 year old they can pick activities if they learn to read would be empowerment, not a bribe. I still have a lot to learn about parenting obviously! And thanks for the specific examples so far.
I sympathize!  But it's not empowering for a couple of reasons.  First of all, few if any 3yos can make decisions with a time horizon so far in the future; they haven't developed the cognitive ability yet to consider future values.
Second, when you say, "If you do X then I will give you Y," you're implying several ideas that tend to reduce, not increase, the child's sense of power:
(a) that X is not worth doing for its own sake--probably not what you want to communicate about reading, 
(b) that Y, in contrast, is desirable on its own--this eliminates the child's judgment about Y
(c) that you hold the power over whether the child gets Y--this actually reinforces your power over the child's.
Lastly, learning to read is not something the child can do at will, so offering incentives for it doesn't make sense.  It would be at best confusing and at worst infuriating.

On the general topic of incentives and empowerment, I highly recommend Alfie Kohn's book Punished by Rewards.  It was extremely helpful to me as a parent, especially a homeschooling one, in teaching my kids to judge and act independently instead of with an eye to others' approval.

In my experience, a sense of empowerment is hindered by early and frequent playing of electronic games (regardless of the device, computer, phone, DS, gaming  console).  I think that may be because they don't have a consistent ratio of action to effect.  Pushing one button may get me 100 points or 1000, kill one baddie or a whole mob of them.  In contrast, when doing things in the real world, acting on actual physical objects, I learn truths about the world that I can use as the basis for future action: that the higher I jump, the harder I fall, or that higher heat burns the pancakes, or that making even stitches gives a stronger seam.

And one last piece of advice:  don't praise kids.  Don't praise their achievements, but don't don't praise their efforts, either.  Just describe their actions and the effects thereof, and let them do the evaluating.


BigBangWeary

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #31 on: June 08, 2016, 02:29:10 AM »
Glad you started this thread.

From my own research and experience, I would say the first three basics are:

1. Read to your children and develop a love of reading (and ultimately self-discovery and inquisitiveness)
2. Spend time with your children.
3. Promote free-play (unstructured)
4. Limit screen time
5. Limit 'toys' and entertainment as it reduces their ability to create their own and develop grit.

You should look up the now defunct 'Happiness Matters Podcast' for some really useful and applicable advice on raising positive children.

Unfortunately, personality is pretty much out of our control (see The Nurturing Assumption) but directing your children to a positive peer group is also key.

I really enjoy the Econtalk podcast in terms of raising children in today's world.

StarBright

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #32 on: June 08, 2016, 07:01:20 AM »

I don't disagree. But I want her to do other things in the summer too. I don't want her to fall behind her peers. I'm worried about the "summer slide:" http://www.npr.org/2013/08/04/208946952/for-some-kids-an-idle-summer-makes-an-idle-mind


Unless your sister is in a particularly low income demo, you probably don't have to worry too much about summer slide. My understanding is the biggest slide comes in impoverished, inner city schools (like those mentioned in the NPR article) and most middle class kids actually stay the same or improve in the summer due to enrichment activities (like dance camp.) The kids that are experiencing slide are those whose parents can't afford to put them in summer camp and they get parked in front of a TV all day.

I don't know if you are near enough to your family to visit on weekends, but if you are concerned maybe you can take your sis for a couple of hours and augment her dance summer with other fun activities. Enriching, but fun, activities could include a children's museum trip, zoo visit, planning and helping prepare food for a picnic, nature scavenger hunt, kids pottery class, trip to a bookstore to pick out any book she wants, etc. Kids are naturally curious and just being in the world and having discussions about their zillion questions is a learning opportunity for them. Not only will you feel better about her education, but she will probably treasure the time with her older sibling.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #33 on: June 08, 2016, 07:21:30 AM »
Some kids are just going to be able to read earlier than others. My two sisters and I all did very, very well in school, but one of my sisters didn't learn to read until first grade. Personally I found kindergarten and first grade immensely frustrating experiences because I could already read.

wenchsenior

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #34 on: June 08, 2016, 08:00:13 AM »
No kids of my own, but looking back I can identify the one notable mistake my parents made raising me (they generally did an excellent job at it). It left patterns of risk-aversion that I fight to this day.

They regularly praised me for achievements and for being 'smart'. As a result, it was ingrained early to protect that image of myself, and it became incredibly upsetting when I didn't understand material in school or when I failed at things. If skills and understanding didn't come quickly, I assumed I sucked and just couldn't ever do them. When I found things difficult, I became very depressed and self hating. However, when things came easily, I felt like a fraud because I hadn't made sufficient 'effort'.

Example: I was a naturally excellent swimmer and lived in our lake during the summer months. My parents figured: Great, here's the sport for her!. They got me competing from a relatively early age. I didn't hate it all the time...I had friends in the club, etc. But every time I won, I had NO sense of accomplishment because I didn't perceive myself as making special effort...my body just 'did it'. My Dad wisely kept track of my times and would show me improvements I made, which was the only time I felt any pride. But I still didn't understand HOW the training was improving me.  I wasn't really shown how stroke mechanics improved my times. Coaches steered me immediately away from my weakest stroke (breast stroke), rather than focusing on how to bring it up to par. Sometimes a race felt like crap, but I still won and was praised. Sometimes the race felt like nothing, and I won and was praised. I never really understood how anything I did made it happen. I rarely felt any sense of ownership or pride in winning.

Eventually, I grew to hate swimming. I started throwing races, which confused my team, parents, and coaches. My parents realized I was miserable and let me quit, but their attitude always was, "we don't understand why you hate this when you are so great at it!"

Don't do that. Praise the kid's effort. Focus on the process of learning, working, getting better at skills. Show them that 'slogging along' and failing is the way we all learn things and get better. Give them a sense of agency and ownership over their skills.

little_brown_dog

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #35 on: June 08, 2016, 08:51:55 AM »
My parents were awesome at balancing support, love, and acceptance, with being realistic. They allowed us to fail, come up short, etc.

When we were bullied or picked on, they talked to us about it, supported us, cried with us, and gave us advice. But they never intervened, never “saved us” from it. We had to learn that not everyone would like us, not everyone would think we were attractive, and not everyone was kind.

When we wanted to pursue unrealistic dreams like art or theater, they were huge fans and supporters in school. They came to all of our shows, concerts, and plays. They volunteered to help. But when it came time to go to college, they made it clear that we had to pick a major and a school that would help us get a job, and that we could pursue our passions on the side. They helped us explore our other interests to show us that there are many paths you can take professionally that can lead to happiness.

When we picked colleges that outstripped our college funds, they supported us when we signed for loans. They explained the terms to us and helped us file for financial aid year after year. But they did not cosign.

When we graduated from college and got jobs on our own, they were very generous and always were willing to visit. When they did visit , they would take us out to dinner, buy groceries or take us shopping, and generally treat us. But they did not pay our bills. We were responsible for our credit card payments, our loan payments, our rent, our utilities, etc.

My parents were open and honest about our strengths and our flaws. We were praised for our dedication, work ethic, good behavior, and intellects, and we were routinely complimented on our looks. But we were not given praise that we did not deserve. We were never, ever taught that we were the best or the brightest or the prettiest.

The examples go on and on. I really think my parents are one of the top reasons why I am as successful, happy, and well adjusted as I am. I still have my flaws of course, but overall I am a highly resilient and optimistic person. I have been through some really tough things, like sexual assault, miscarriage, and living with a substance abuser, but I have never struggled with depression or any serious effects.  I consider myself an optimistic realist personality type. Not much gets me down for very long, and I have a strong internal locus of control. I really think my parents' style of parenting helped build this mental resilience.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2016, 09:04:22 AM by little_brown_dog »

mm1970

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #36 on: June 08, 2016, 09:42:29 AM »
How do you teach a 3 year old to think in terms of numbers?

I'm aware of the research in early reading. The research I've seen has been on head start programs for poor kids where they get instructional fatigue because educators are trying to make up for poor home situations. So it could be correlation not causation.
 
My dad reads to her but I don't think he's doing enough. There is no danger of her parents being helicopter parents, or pushing her too hard.
I guess I don't really teach them.  They just pick it up on their own.

mm1970

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #37 on: June 08, 2016, 09:47:10 AM »
Some kids are just going to be able to read earlier than others. My two sisters and I all did very, very well in school, but one of my sisters didn't learn to read until first grade. Personally I found kindergarten and first grade immensely frustrating experiences because I could already read.
This is what I was thinking.  My son learned to read in 1st grade, about half way through, at 6 (almost 7).  It was so cool to watch it happen.  Amazing really.

Now he's finishing 4th grade and is reading at a 9th grade level.

1st grade (age 6/7) is "normal".

MrsDinero

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #38 on: June 08, 2016, 10:15:28 AM »
I think it depends on how a person defines "success".  My definition as my job as a parent is raise kids who can stand on their own two feet.  Naturally I would want them earning as much money as possible, because yes money does make life easier however, it is not my job to pick their career.

I want my (future adult) kids to:
- Handle their finances
- Deal with heartbreak and disappointment in a healthy manner
- Know the value of hard work
- Know that even though you work hard you might not reach your goal and that is OK
- Have self-control
- Be curious and know how to find answers
- Persevere
- Be nice to others without being a doormat
- Know how to negotiate
- Know how to fail "forward"; Learn how to get up after falling on your face a dozen times

I think reading and maths are very important but I think too much emphasis at an early age doesn't matter.   Kids who learn how to read at age 3 or 4 do not have a special halo around them in high school or college.  Although their parents will certainly tell you they do.

I think it is more important to understand what you are reading rather than just read.  For example, can you read a book that describes how to do something (without diagrams) and follow it? 

At the same time, I know some kids who didn't learn to read until they went to school at age 5 who became voracious readers who seem to just absorb and understand everything they read. 

Can you read a textbook and understand what it is trying to teach you.  I run into intelligent adults who cannot seem to understand how to learn from technical documents.  They can read the words, know what the words mean, but cannot put it all together.

I'm not sure if this book has been posted but it is a really good read.  Amazon had it in their lending library for a while, not sure if it is still there.


http://www.paultough.com/the-books/how-children-succeed/

Axecleaver

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #39 on: June 08, 2016, 01:18:22 PM »
Good advice here. I think the biggest thing I got as a kid was a love of learning. My Dad was intellectually curious and that enthusiasm was intoxicating. He would demonstrate things to me a few times and hand it over, then let me fail (over, and over, and over). He wouldn't talk to me about it until a day later, no matter how frustrating that was as a kid. This taught me that I had to figure things out on my own. I see a lot of parents crush enthusiasm with endless demonstration. They need room to experiment.

Quote
How do you teach a 3 year old to think in terms of numbers?
I have really specific advice about this which I used to teach Little Axe. There is no such thing as subtraction. Instead you teach them addition, and negative numbers. Use a number line to demonstrate it. This seems like a small conceptual difference, but it's huge in terms of getting a strong footing in math at a young age.


Capsu78

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #40 on: June 08, 2016, 01:35:12 PM »
We had a plaque in our house growing up that said "The most important thing a Father can do for his children is to love their Mother".   

I didn't understand it then,
probably considered too old fashioned now,
but we have raised some wonderful adults...and now we get to enjoy watching them raise their kids.
 

SeaEhm

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #41 on: June 08, 2016, 04:37:34 PM »


Different people have different definitions of success.  Therefore, you are talking about something that doesn't even have the same end point.  This discussion is more challenging than politics as the goal of politics is typically "a better America" and we all know how many different routes people believe on can take to get a better America.


I don't have kids so I usually get to have no say in these types of discussions with parents.

However, here is my suggestion

1) think about what success looks like to you
2) think about what success looks like to the person most opposite of you
3) think about what may they be seeing that you are not seeing in terms of success (taking on another's perspective)
4) try to really finalize what success means to you.
5) analyze your child to see if what you value as success is something that they will perceive as success
6) I am running out of motivation to write more steps because the list is too long. 

good luck!

yourusernamehere

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #42 on: June 08, 2016, 04:47:11 PM »
You may be interested in http://www.amazon.com/Grit-Passion-Perseverance-Angela-Duckworth/dp/1501111108?ie=UTF8&keywords=grit&qid=1465425834&ref_=sr_1_1&s=books&sr=1-1 (sorry for the absolutely terrible linking skills)

It's been an interesting read on grit, deliberate practice, and the like.

mozar

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #43 on: June 08, 2016, 05:06:45 PM »
Quote
I have really specific advice about this which I used to teach Little Axe. There is no such thing as subtraction. Instead you teach them addition, and negative numbers. Use a number line to demonstrate it. This seems like a small conceptual difference, but it's huge in terms of getting a strong footing in math at a young age.

Interesting!

I only get to to see my sister once a year, so I'm just spinning in my head.
My dad lives in a "normal" school district and they require that kids can read before first grade, which she starts in September. And she can't read yet. But I hear everyone's points about it.

But I haven't gone into the full story which is that she isn't living in a nurturing environment, and I worry that she'll get further and further behind. Not much I can do about it though.

@little_brown_dog if you have more examples I'd love to hear them

MrsPete

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #44 on: June 08, 2016, 05:41:22 PM »
One fantasy I have for my unborn child is to tell them when they are 3 that if they learn to read they can decide which activities we do on the weekend. That way they will be self motivated. Don't know if that's realistic or not.
Not realistic.  Three year olds aren't very good at picking activities, nor do they have much concept of time.  They're good at making the choice between two things.  Never ask a toddler what he wants to do this afternoon; instead, say "We can either go to the playground or the swimming pool after our nap.  Which do you want?"  Don't ask what the child wants for lunch; instead, ask, "Do you want a peanut butter sandwich or leftover spaghetti?"  Plus, all the motivation in the world won't make a child "ready to read" if his or her brain isn't quite ready. 

Instead, as others have said, read to the child.  At about 6 months old a child is ready to sit on a parent's lap and enjoy books together.  When you begin, don't think so much about actual reading.  Instead, point to pictures and talk about them:  Do you see a cow in this picture?  Oh, yes!  There he is.  Look, that boy's wearing a red shirt.  Can you point to red?  Just look and talk.  You'll know when it's time to begin actual reading.  Don't worry about having a big collection of books; kids love repetition. 

At the same time, emphasize crayons and artwork.  At about 18 months a child can hold a fat crayon; at about three years old he will be able to form "closed shapes" (for example, the letter O).  When you cook, bring the high chair into the kitchen and give the child paper and crayons.  Don't say, "This is beautiful!", which is vague.  Instead emphasize details:  "Look at all the yellow you used!"  At about three, start giving your child papers with hand-drawn chunky letters -- start with the letters of his or her name -- and let the child color those letters. 

About the time the child starts school, he or she will be ready to enjoy chapter books (but won't be ready to read them independently for another year or two).  Start slowly with chapter books and discuss them together.  For example, when you finish your nightly chapter, talk about what happened -- this is the beginning of analysis.  The next night, take a minute to remind yourself of "where you stopped".  When the child is able to read chapter books, take turns:  You read a chapter, the child reads a chapter -- at that stage, reading is not automatic yet, and having half the chapters read out loud "keeps the child moving". 

Let your child see you reading.  Set an example. 

Leaving the topic of reading: 

Limit screen time -- not that you can't ever use it, but don't put a TV in the kid's bedroom.  When you do allow TV, lean towards nature documentaries. 

Take nature walks and talk about what you see.  In fact, talk.  Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk.  Discuss things with your child.  Someone told me years ago that if you talk to your toddlers, they'll talk to you when they're teens -- I don't know that my two kids prove that point, but they talk to me non-stop, and their teen years were really quite problem-free.

Use your library's kids' programs.  Expanding literacy beyond your own walls is a great idea. 

Look into memberships at children's museums, zoos, and other educational places.  These are well worth the cost.

Play simple board games.  This teaches turn-taking, counting, sportsmanship.  The simplest games tend to be all luck, so the kid has a chance to win. 

This stuff is tough when the kids are small; it can be never-ending, and it can take a while to see rewards.  Keep at it.  Last year was the year I'd dreaded:  My kids were both in college.  Turned out great:  They were both on full scholarship; now the oldest has graduated and starts her new job in a couple weeks, and the youngest is moving towards those same accolades.  It all pays off.
+1 on letting them fail.  Which for me means to mostly get out of their way once they have the fundamentals down.  If they want to play video games all day, I can't really stop them.  Sure I can take it way, forbid it, and make them do something else but if they are not interested in it, it's like pushing on a string. 
I don't know that I exactly agree with the word "fail", but I certainly believe in allowing natural consequences to occur.  Examples are easy with older kids:  You put off starting your report, and now you're stressed.  No, I won't let you stay out of school or email the teacher asking for more time.  You spent all your allowance and now you don't have money to go to the movies with your friends.  Too bad; maybe next weekend.  However, natural consequences work with little kids too:  You left your book outside.  It rained, and now it's ruined.  You didn't clean up your room this morning, so now we can't go outside until it's done. 
For us, success has much more to do with their being happy, healthy, and kind individuals than the particulars of their employment. We're also hoping to fully fund their educations and allow them to live at home until established.
Not many people are happy if they're not comfortably employed, so -- yeah -- I pushed academic achievement. 
How do you teach a 3 year old to think in terms of numbers?
You talk about numbers in real-life terms to which they can relate.  I want to buy five apples -- help me count them.  While we walk to church, let's count the red cars we see.  Time to clean up; how many toys can you pick up while I count to ten?  Build me a Lego tower ten blocks high.  At first you count out loud; as the child becomes more capable, have him or her count for you.  You talk about numbers on the clock.  You ask the child how many plates you should put out for dinner.  You let him count out loud to you in the car.  One day -- hopefully about age 5-6 -- he will realize on his own that numbers "repeat". 

This may seem overly simplistic, but you have to start at the beginning. 
And one last piece of advice:  don't praise kids.  Don't praise their achievements, but don't don't praise their efforts, either.  Just describe their actions and the effects thereof, and let them do the evaluating.
Praise (don't you appreciate your achievements being noticed?), but be specific in your praise.  Don't say, "You're the prettiest little girl in the whole world!"  It's probably not true, it's not an achievement, and it's probably not what you really want to emphasize.  Instead, praise specific achievements:  "Wow!  You made 100 on your spelling test this week."  Praise improvement:  "You're really doing well in swim lessons -- you swam the whole length of the pool without stopping today."    And don't compare: "You're the second bests on your baseball team!" Kids already compare themselves too much.

And reward, but don't over-reward.  A good report card might deserve ordering pizza for dinner or a new book, but it doesn't deserve a new cell phone or a trip to Disneyworld -- and, yeah, I know parents who do this.  $100 for every A -- yeah, people really do that. 

tobitonic

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #45 on: June 08, 2016, 07:07:01 PM »
For us, success has much more to do with their being happy, healthy, and kind individuals than the particulars of their employment. We're also hoping to fully fund their educations and allow them to live at home until established.
Not many people are happy if they're not comfortably employed, so -- yeah -- I pushed academic achievement. 

It sounds like you're projecting your values onto how others should live, and attempting to make your subjective values seem objective. Unfortunately, they're still just subjective. My wife currently has an income of zero dollars a year, as she's raising our children. However, you'd be wrong if you bet on her unhappiness. That's letting aside the issues of how being "comfortably employed" varies from one individual to the next, and how valuing academic achievement isn't in any way incompatible with valuing kindness, health, and happiness in your children. So yeah. We'll stick with our values for how we raise our children, and you can stick with yours.

MrsPete

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #46 on: June 08, 2016, 07:40:17 PM »
For us, success has much more to do with their being happy, healthy, and kind individuals than the particulars of their employment. We're also hoping to fully fund their educations and allow them to live at home until established.
Not many people are happy if they're not comfortably employed, so -- yeah -- I pushed academic achievement. 

It sounds like you're projecting your values onto how others should live, and attempting to make your subjective values seem objective. Unfortunately, they're still just subjective. My wife currently has an income of zero dollars a year, as she's raising our children. However, you'd be wrong if you bet on her unhappiness. That's letting aside the issues of how being "comfortably employed" varies from one individual to the next, and how valuing academic achievement isn't in any way incompatible with valuing kindness, health, and happiness in your children. So yeah. We'll stick with our values for how we raise our children, and you can stick with yours.
Let me put it differently:  The country songs have it wrong.  When people don't have enough money to live comfortably and are worried /stressed about money, they don't tend to be happy -- that's fairly objective.  If you (general you) suddenly lost your income, were worried about making your next mortgage payment, were forced to look through your pantry to see how far you can make your boxed mac-and-cheese last, and hope that your kids don't fall sick -- I'm not saying you wouldn't be happy with your family --  but would you really be completely satisfied with your life?  Wouldn't you immediately try to rectify the situation by finding a new income stream?  I'm not saying more money = more happiness; but without enough to live comfortably, few people will be happy. 

If my kids end up being stay at home parents like your wife, fine.  But the big-picture reality is that you two are working as a team; she's doing the "home" portion of your household's needs, making it possible for you to focus on work.  In reality, she is earning -- in an indirect manner.

I totally agree that valuing academic achievement isn't incompatible with happiness and other intangibles that make life worthwhile. 

tobitonic

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #47 on: June 08, 2016, 09:42:02 PM »
For us, success has much more to do with their being happy, healthy, and kind individuals than the particulars of their employment. We're also hoping to fully fund their educations and allow them to live at home until established.
Not many people are happy if they're not comfortably employed, so -- yeah -- I pushed academic achievement. 

It sounds like you're projecting your values onto how others should live, and attempting to make your subjective values seem objective. Unfortunately, they're still just subjective. My wife currently has an income of zero dollars a year, as she's raising our children. However, you'd be wrong if you bet on her unhappiness. That's letting aside the issues of how being "comfortably employed" varies from one individual to the next, and how valuing academic achievement isn't in any way incompatible with valuing kindness, health, and happiness in your children. So yeah. We'll stick with our values for how we raise our children, and you can stick with yours.
Let me put it differently:  The country songs have it wrong.  When people don't have enough money to live comfortably and are worried /stressed about money, they don't tend to be happy -- that's fairly objective.  If you (general you) suddenly lost your income, were worried about making your next mortgage payment, were forced to look through your pantry to see how far you can make your boxed mac-and-cheese last, and hope that your kids don't fall sick -- I'm not saying you wouldn't be happy with your family --  but would you really be completely satisfied with your life?  Wouldn't you immediately try to rectify the situation by finding a new income stream?  I'm not saying more money = more happiness; but without enough to live comfortably, few people will be happy. 

If my kids end up being stay at home parents like your wife, fine.  But the big-picture reality is that you two are working as a team; she's doing the "home" portion of your household's needs, making it possible for you to focus on work.  In reality, she is earning -- in an indirect manner.

I totally agree that valuing academic achievement isn't incompatible with happiness and other intangibles that make life worthwhile.

I see what you're saying now, and do agree. My original goal was to suggest to the OP that focusing less on trying to jump his little sister through a number of STEM / literacy hoops and focusing more on being a supportive big brother would do more for her development than the things he's worried about.

More broadly, since the OP asked how to help kids be successful, I wanted to share with the OP that for us, success has very little to do with finances, power, or other markers that are frequently valued in our society. If our kids end up happy in low-income jobs, that's fine with us. Artist? Waiter? Doctor? Teacher? If they're happy, healthy, and kind to themselves and others, we're great.

We want them to know that they're more important than whatever they end up doing, or not doing, while trying to provide them with as humanstic an education as possible (hence our avoidance of the public schools). At the same time, we're naturally steering them toward post-secondary education, however that looks for them, and aim to support them through that experience financially and with lodging to the best of our abilities, as well as with lodging beyond the college years, as we're not in the belief system (though many here are) that supporting our kids in such ways will be detrimental to their "success"...because we're all using different definitions of success.

mozar

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #48 on: June 09, 2016, 10:54:04 AM »
That's exactly my point tobitonic. Your kids go to private school, have a stay at home mom, and will have college paid for. Those are huge advantages in life that are giving your kids a huge head start. Even if they have a low income job, they won't be paying off student loans. My sister will have none of those advantages. Also if I don't find a way to expose her to STEM she might not have any exposure at all, and the reason I want her to be exposed to it is so knows it's an option. Which is what we all want right? For our children to have options? It's basically Maslows hierarchy. It's easy to worry about how to teach kindness when you have all the basics covered. But my sister doesn't have the basics.

tobitonic

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Re: How to raise successful kids?
« Reply #49 on: June 09, 2016, 11:59:02 AM »
(double post)
« Last Edit: June 09, 2016, 12:03:01 PM by tobitonic »