Top 5 Resources For Raising Successful Children

Women staring in to space contemplating the Top 5 resources for raising successful children

Disclaimer: Please note that this article is not providing any medical advice and I am not a medical professional.

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I want to tell you how my children are perfect! No seriously, they really are.

What?! How?! you exclaim?!

Here’s how:

The only way that my children are perfect, is that they are perfect for me, just as yours are perfect for you.

Essentially no human being is perfect, which is truly the most wondrous thing. Who wants to be perfect, how incredibly boring!

And like every.single.mother in the world, I sometimes struggle with the best way to raise my children, what choices do I need to make, how do I want them to be when they are older.

So far, touch wood, they are turning out OK I think (and hope). Sweet, engaging, slightly mischievous, strongly opinionated about doing good and making a difference in the world and generally fine.

They are also sloths and consume enough food to feed a small army and produce so so much laundry!

But there were times when I just wanted to cry and times I was so worried I wasn’t doing a good job and ALL.THE.GUILT! So much of that. Always.

So everything you are feeling, let me reassure you, that is all normal.

But we all need help.

I always like to think of this analogy in life, we would NEVER consider a high profile athlete or team of not having a coach, wouldn’t that be so weird right?

So why are we any different when it comes to raising kids? Honestly, we need to accept all the “coaching” that we can when it comes to raising our own children.

I have found the following resources to be so helpful and I really hope they are helpful to you too.

These are my top 5 resources for raising successful children.

Each one, be it a book, a saying, a Youtube video, etc has made a profound difference in the way that I have raised my children. They have provided incredible advice and practical ways to help, both in terms of behavior and also self-esteem (which is so important right?)

First of all the books that helped me through some moments when I really needed some practical advice, and not always in the form of specific child-raising books.

All the books will be listed below and linked so you can click on them and read more if you would like to:

Please note that this post may contain Affiliate Links. Please refer to my Disclaimer for details.

1. Are we doing enough for our children?

One of the things I think we fret about the most is “are we doing enough for our children”, right schools, right after school activities, right friends, right social environments, all the “right” things.

Well, Malcolm Gladwell’s book “David and Goliath” will set you straight on a whole load of those questions.

Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, or suffer from a disability, or lose a parent, or attend a mediocre school, or experience any number of other apparent setbacks.

For example, one of the chapters is entitled “YOU WOULDN’T WISH DYSLEXIA ON YOUR CHILD, OR WOULD YOU?”

Right!! What!! No way!! He makes the point that whilst it is extremely difficult in a learning environment, there is an extraordinarily high number of successful entrepreneurs who are dyslexic.

Why?

Because they wanted to succeed in spite of their handicap and because they knew the realities of struggle, which is what 9/10’s of setting up your own business actually is.

The takeaway from a child raising perspective:

Life is not always easy.

There are going to be handicaps and hurdles along the way and our children are going to experience those, but we don’t always have to see them as negative experiences, they will only serve to make your children stronger and actually more capable.

On a personal note, I used to worry so much that I had somehow negatively influenced my children’s lives because they had seen me go through treatment for cancer.

They were constantly yelling “you’ve forgotten your wig” as I raced out the door 🙂 And of course, I felt guilty that I had got sick and somehow that was all my fault.

In the end, it really only served to make my kids WAY more compassionate, empathetic, brave, strong, not care too much about what other people thought of them and of me (my mom is wearing a wig, so what) , committed to making a difference in the world (my daughter says she would like to be a Geneticist) etc

The “bad things” are not always the “bad things” long term. The book will really make this so clear for you.

Check out the book —>>> HERE

2. Mindset: you can train yourself to change it.

Carol Dweck is a Stanford University psychologist and she writes about the power of our mindset.

This is possibly one of the most powerful and influential books that I have ever read and you can apply it to absolutely every aspect of your life, this is not just for children.

Dweck explains it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success – but whether we approach our goals with a fixed or growth mindset. She makes clear why praising our children’s intelligence and ability doesn’t foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment but may actually jeopardize success.

Mindset, and a growth mindset is tied into a love of learning and the development of resilience.

Check out the book —>>> HERE

The takeaway from a child raising perspective:

This really changed the way that I “parented”. It made a lot of sense to praise the process and not always the result. Success is a long term boil, and it comes with lots of hard work and dedication but always accompanied by a desire to succeed.

We need to prepare our children not just for school, but also for life.

Children who are praised constantly for their intelligence or their “skill” will slowly develop an aversion to doing anything difficult as they become afraid to fail.

Praising the process, allowing for a “growth” mindset will enable your child to both succeed and fail, both integral parts of life.

Safeguarding children against depression and building lifelong resilience.

Can you see that there is clearly a theme going on here!

People freak out when they see celebrities. I would freak out if I met Martin Seligman.

To say that he is an “idol” of mine is a bit of an understatement. I recently met someone who had worked with him and I was in awe!

Martin Seligman is the founder of the Positive Psychology movement which I think is so powerful and so relevant in the world right now.

We all would love to safeguard our children against depression and low self-esteem when they are young.

In Martin Seligman’s book “The Optimistic Child” he provides a roadmap on how to do this:

The Optimistic Child offers parents and teachers the tools developed in the study (The Penn Depression Prevention Project) to teach children of all ages life skills that transform helplessness into mastery and bolster genuine self-esteem. Learning the skills of optimism not only reduces the risk of depression but boosts school performance, improves physical health, and provides children with the self-reliance they need as they approach the teenage years and adulthood.

In all my workshops that I facilitate, I make the same claim over and over again.

Positivity is a learned behavior, happiness is not. Happiness is a by-product of learning to be positive.

Does that make sense to you? In other words, we need to teach or learn the skills of a positive or optimistic approach to life.

In all honesty and full disclosure, I am still struggling with this.

I have high functioning anxiety so I know what it is like to err on the side of “oh my gosh, this is the end of the world” and I have to really work, both in terms of parenting and in terms of my own life, to try and focus on the positive and not on the negative.

The takeaway from a child raising perspective:

There are so many wonderful examples in this book that can help you help either yourself or your child become a more positive person.

You can help your child challenge their pessimistic thoughts which in turn will help “immunize” them against depression.

This book is a brilliant read and I can’t recommend it enough.

Check out the book —>>> HERE

4. Don’t sweat the school stuff

Moving on from books, this Ted talk has been around for a decade now so you may very well have seen it, but if you have a kid struggling in school, watch it again.

Watching Sir Ken Robinson talk about how very creative children struggle in school literally changed the way that I perceived education.

Please watch this, know that if you are helping your child develop all the skills in points 1-3 that they are going to be OK.

That they may not be the highest performers in a school environment but that does not preclude them from success in any way.

There are most definitely multiple types of intelligence.


The takeaway from a child raising perspective:

My takeaway is that education as we know it, doesn’t always fit around our children.

Obviously they are going to have to pass whatever it is they need to pass in order to get a High School qualification, but they don’t have to be Einsteins at this point in their lives.

THIS —>>>> Wondering What Happened to Your School Valedictorian? Not much, research shows is a great article. School rewards the generalist.

Learn to help them enjoy school for what it is, to provide a general education, to learn key social skills, to find pockets of success.

5. Children, like adults, need a plan

People who are generally successful in life don’t wander around aimlessly waiting for success to strike.

Success comes with hard work and grit and determination (there’s that resilience again!).

But success comes in all different packages. What appears to be successful for one person is not necessarily success for another.

The same can be said for children.

But every.single.child needs a roadmap to their own “success”.

They need to create a plan, so they have something to look forward to, something to work towards, a focus.

Every year, at the beginning of the year we sit down as a family and we do a goal plan in the form of a mindmap.

This was something I put together for a workshop I was facilitating and it made perfect sense to put everything on one page (which is essentially what a mindmap is).

This process usually takes around 10-15 minutes and it includes:

a. What is the goal you want to achieve?

b. Why do you want to achieve it?

c. What is the first step you need to take to achieve it?

d. What is your timeframe to achieve this goal?

And you do each step for each goal.

I’ve put my workshop online FOR FREE so you can jump right in and start. I would recommend doing it first yourself and then with your kiddos/partner etc. Learning how to mindmap is also a wonderful skill, for all ages.

CLICK —>>> HERE to sign in and begin the workshop.

Once you are signed in you will have access to the full library which includes a whole lot of great printables to help you or your child organize your life!

The takeaway from a child raising perspective:

Help your children and yourself focus on what is important in your life.

Writing things down in your own handwriting has a profound effect on your sub-conscious.

Allow yourself and your child to dream big, to see the bigger picture, to radiate their thinking in a wider arc.

Final Thoughts

I really do hope that you will find these resources useful and they will have a positive impact on both your child and yourself.

I am just like you, a Mom trying her very best, having good days and not so good days, wondering if I am doing the right thing, hoping I am.

You’ve got this, you are a wonderful person if you are even reading this because it means you care and you want to make a difference.

I would love for you to comment below and let me know if you have any other resources you would love to share with the GwG community that has helped you in your parenting journey.

Elegant Hacks For Everyday Life | Lifestyle and Personal Development Blog

2 Comments

  1. Amanda Emmott
    / 6:15 pm

    Dearest Jen

    I’m loving reading your blogs and so much of this one in particular resonates with me in so many ways.
    Sending much love to you all.

    Amanda

    • Jen
      Author
      / 2:09 am

      My dearest Amanda,

      Thank you so much for reading the blog, it means the world to me. Thank you too for your incredible friendship for all these years. Much love, Jen

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