The former dean of freshmen at Stanford University from 2002 – 2012, Julie Lythcott-Haims presents strategies to develop confident and successful children.
Be Authoritative, Not Authoritarian
There are generally 3 styles of parenting:
- Permissive parents become friends with their children but do not establish healthy boundaries that are necessary for establishing moral standards;
- Authoritarian parents rule children in an oppressive manner that breeds self-doubt in children
- Authoritative parents are the middle ground as both be-friending their children with love and affection but enforce rules and set guidelines and expectations. Children tend to develop as confident with high self-esteems,
Make Them do Their Chores
Chores instill valuable life-lessons that are absorbed by children in the sub-conscious. If something needs doing, such as washing dishes, and the children are not doing it, it means someone else is doing it for them. Chores teach children about teamwork, cooperation, and value of hard work, as well as appreciation of others’ work by shared experiences, which instills empathy.
Forget Homework Grades
The lesson for homework is not necessarily the grades that children receive on their homework assignment, but rather learning time management skills, responsibility, and organization.
Encourage Risk Taking
Children need to learn to try and fail. Learning HOW to fail and that failure is really just a step on the path to success. Children need to be comfortable taking risks, challenging themselves and learning how to fail gracefully. This is how they will feel satisfaction when accomplishing something difficult and discover talents, and instills a hard work ethic that good things must be earned which is often a bumpy road fraught with small failures along the way.
Help Your Kids Develop a Sense of Direction
Literally, teach your children how to physically navigate in this world, without depending on Google Maps. How to read signs, negotiate in traffic, and navigate through their surroundings in the safest most efficient manner. They need to develop these instincts that can be dulled by always being chaperoned.
Prepare Children for a World of Assignments and Deadlines
Similar to homework, children need to learn how to prioritize tasks, manage workloads, meet deadlines WITHOUT being reminded by their parients, which creates a dependency. This should occur by the time children reach age 18.
Teach How to Earn and Manage Money
Teaching children the value of money is also teaching them the value of their time and effort.
Julie Lythcott-Haims is the opposite of a helicopter parent. A former dean of freshmen at Stanford, from 2002 to 2012, and the author of “How to Raise an Adult,” Lythcott-Haims has seen time and again that sheltered kids don’t make for capable adults.