BEST STARTS FOR KIDS

What are The Two Best Pieces of Parenting Advice Ever?

Out of everything I wish parents knew, and acted upon, these two best pieces of parenting advice would be it.

 

Many parents think of the things they'd like to do either for, (or with their kids,) but years pass and kids move on... And sometimes the opportunity is lost.

Imagine if you could change just two things early in your child's life, that would make the biggest positive difference to his/her chance of overall life success.

There are two best pieces of advice, which I've learned, make the biggest difference to a child's chances of life success. They are:

1. Beginning with the end in mind: knowing what you want to achieve, and ensuring your behaviour is consistent with your goals

2. Providing a quality language and learning environment from birth.

1. Beginning with the end in mind

Simply put, that means the many qualities you ideally want your child to possess as an adult.

 

Perhaps something easier to consider is, you likely know the things you don't want your child to be... For example: You mightn't want your child to grow up to be morbidly obese, drug dependent or in gaol. So you'd look for the opposite qualities to these: healthy, resilient and honest.

​By having the concept of what's important and continually providing scaffolding experiences that are consistent, you have a much greater chance of achieving success, than if you expect it to happen by itself.

 

What qualities do you want to nurture in your children?

Why begin with the end in mind?

What surprised us was, because we started early and knew the qualities we wanted our children to possess, it resulted in them becoming responsible adults who had much greater life choices.

(One is a doctor who graduated with Distinction, the other an engineer who received multiple merit-based scholarships,  completing a double degree with honours. Both are now full-time employed and are continuing to study.

(Even though our family had some major life-changing health issues to deal with along the way.)

 

One really simple consideration could be: It's likely your child will spend between eleven and thirteen years in some form of school setting (prior to any vocational or university training.)

 

Therefore doesn't it make sense to ensure they've got the skills to succeed there.

'Stacking it' by spending time early on makes sense. Your child can start school feeling like they're good at learning. And they're more likely to enjoy it and be good at it, as a result.

 

But for those who start behind, they compare themselves to others. They can feel they're not good at learning, and can develop a negative attitude as a result. Then it's often remediation later when they're struggling, and have a negative attitude.

Something to consider is: Are you more likely to act out if you're succeeding or if you're not succeeding?

Why would it be different for your child?

 

In addition to teaching my own children, I've taught thousands of other children over my multi-award winning career.

 

I've met four year olds who growled to communicate, through to others who were capable of conversing about complex concepts like space, and at four had an extensive vocabulary and general knowledge.

 

The difference in their learning potential on commencing school,  was already significant.

This can be a really interesting conversation to have with a partner because you'll likely have differing weightings to the same qualities.

 

But at this point, if both parents make a commitment to make your child's success a priority, and work together to achieve it, your child's chances of life success are much greater.

To provide examples, in our case, the qualities we wanted for our children was for them to be: healthy, happy, kind, tolerant, responsible, intelligent, capable, resilient, independent adults. We ideally wanted them to go to University, have quality friendships and quality relationships in their life.

 

And while the qualities already listed seemed extensive, many other qualities were also similarly important to us. e.g: honesty, loyalty, patience, compassion, being a nice person, etc. You may have even more.

Having goals in mind helped guide our parenting style to ensure they were consistent.

 

As two simple examples: We valued health and education so we provided healthy meals, the opportunity for exercise and we modeled being healthy ourselves. We actively supported education and we also talked about the importance of goal setting and the habits which underpin them.

And like most parents, as our children grew, we wanted to help them achieve what they wanted.

 

One wanted to be a doctor, (or vet,) the other a 'building scientist' (an engineer,) so we provided learning opportunities around their interests.

Something to consider is, while genetics has created your child's brain, it's the the wiring up that makes the greatest difference to their learning ability.

 

The more neural pathways created in the brain during early childhood, the better foundation for lifelong learning. There are simply more pathways available through the brain to both store, and retrieve, information.

 

Therefore, the second thing that makes the biggest positive difference to a child's chance of life success is to:

 

2. Provide a quality language and learning environment from birth because:

  • The earlier your child has a good vocabulary and can comprehend what's being said to them (and around them,) the earlier they can learn new concepts independently.

  • The more they learn, the more capable learners they become. Their brain is continually building neural pathways and connections. The number of these, is based upon the amount of stimulation they receive.

 

Please refer below to 'quality language and learning environment from birth strategies.'

Or go to 'What Successful Families Do Differently:' Step by Step

 

'Treat a child as though he is already the person he is capable of becoming.'

Haim Ginott

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Best parenting takes time. The best parenting advice ever is simple: Do your best, don't give up and love your children, no matter what. But there are two pieces of advice that if parents knew early in their child's life, could greatly increase their children's chances of life success. So what are the two best pieces of parenting advice ever?

by Multi-Award Winning Educator. Early Learning Expert. Author. Illustrator.

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