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10 Things Parents Who’ve Raised Successful Kids Have In Common, According To Science


There is no parent who doesn’t want the best for their children. Every parent’s dream is to see their kids do well in school, be good children, and become successful adults.

And even though there is no recipe for raising children to become successful people one day, many researchers in the field of psychology has found many factors that parents do that influence their kids to strive for success.

Below are 10 things that parents who have successful kids have in common.

1. They Make Their Children Do Chores

According to Julie Lythcott-Haims, the author of “How to Raise an Adult,” if children are not doing their chores it means that their parents are doing that for them which results in them not understanding of the importance of work and contribution.

On the other hand, children who were raised to do chores have become better employees, are more compassionate, and they collaborate better with their coworkers. By making your kids do chores like doing their laundry, washing the dishes, taking out the garbage etc. they learn that they have to work to be part of life.  

2. They Teach Their Children Social Skills

One 20-year study found that children who have social skills, who are helpful to other kids, who are willing to compromise and cooperate, and who are also empathic and understanding on other people’s feelings have more chances to get a college degree and have a stable full-time job by the time they are 25 than those children who don’t have or have very limited social skills.

“This study shows that helping children develop social and emotional skills is one of the most important things we can do to prepare them for a healthy future,” said Kristin Schubert, program director at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and also a founder of the research. “From an early age, these skills can determine whether a child goes to college or prison and whether they end up employed or addicted.”

3. They Have High Expectations

One research found that the expectations the parents have for their children have a massive effect on their children’s attainment.

“Parents who saw college in their child’s future seemed to manage their child toward that goal irrespective of their income and other assets,” said Neal Halfon, a professor from the University of California at Los Angeles, in a statement.

Moreover, The Pygmalion effect also has a part in this. Namely, according to this psych finding, “what one person expects of another can come to serve as a self-fulfilling prophecy.” Or in other words, children really do live up to the expectations of their parents.  

4. They Have Healthy Relationships With Each Other

According to a study from the University of Illinois, children who are growing up in families where there are conflicts, whether divorced or not, tend to get worse in life than children whose parents get along.

Robert Hughes Jr., a professor and head of the Department of Human and Community Development at the University of Illinois and the study review author, said that kids in single-parent families with no conflicts fare better than kids in two-parent families who often argue.  

5. They’ve Attained Higher Educational Levels

In a 2014 study, Sandra Tang, a psychologist from the University of Michigan, discovered that moms who finished high school or got a college degree are more likely to raise their children to do the same.

6. They Develop A Relationship With Their Children

As reported by psychologist Lee Raby who is also a professor at the University of Minnesota, parents who are sensitive and appropriately respond to the signals of their children and make them feel secure results in their children being more successful in the future.

“This suggests that investments in early parent-child relationships may result in long-term returns that accumulate across individuals’ lives,” Raby suggests.

7. They Are Less Stressed

“Mothers’ stress, especially when mothers are stressed because of the juggling with work and trying to find time with kids, that may actually be affecting their kids poorly,” says Kei Nomaguchi, a Bowling Green State University sociologist.

Research proves that if you are around someone who is happy, the happiness will translate onto you. On the other hand, if you are around someone who is stressed, you are more likely to become stressed as well. The same is true for children.

8. They Value Effort Over Avoiding Failure

Stanford University psychologist, Carol Dweck, over decades of analysis has found that people usually think of success in two ways: One group thinks that out intelligence, creativity, and character are given from our birth and we can’t do anything to change them, while another group of people believes that we can challenge ourselves and become improve any characteristic we want.

Therefore, if children are told that they passed the test because of their intelligence, they would more likely grow up to be in the first group of people. However, if their parents tell them that they aced the test because of their effort and hard work they are more likely to have the “growth” mindset of the latter.

9. The Mums Work

A study from Harvard Business School found that children of working moms were more likely to attain a higher educational degree, have a manager position, and earn more money than children raised by stay-at-home moms.

“Role modeling is a way of signaling what’s appropriate in terms of how you behave, what you do, the activities you engage in, and what you believe,” said the study’s lead author, Harvard Business School professor Kathleen L. McGinn.

10. They Teach Their Children Maths Early On

“The paramount importance of early math skills — of beginning school with a knowledge of numbers, number order, and other rudimentary math concepts — is one of the puzzles coming out of the study,” says Greg Duncan, a Northwestern University researcher.

“Mastery of early math skills predicts not only future math achievement but, it also predicts future reading achievement.”

Mary Wright