All parents want to raise successful children. However, according to the experts, parents need to change their definition of success, and they will indeed accomplish raising truly successful children on an entirely different level.


Per a Pew Research study, most parents define their child’s success in terms of seeing them financially independent and happy in their careers of choice. Yet, although these goals do denote a certain level of success, they are only a small portion of what it means to be truly successful.

“When I think about the term success for my own young children, I think about wanting them to be well adjusted—people who can navigate challenges and the ups and downs of life,” Lindsey Giller, clinical psychologist at Child Mind Institute said in an interview with

She continued, “I want them to be people who can ask for help when they need it, self advocate when appropriate and needed, and be comfortable pushing themselves out of their comfort zone and have the confidence to apply all of that to future learning, innovation, and growth.”

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Aja Chavez, therapist and executive director of adolescent services at Mission Prep, a residential adolescent mental health treatment program in California, said that adolescents achieve true success when “… they can step into who they are as an individual.”

So, just how can parents reorganize their ideals of success to guide their children to an entirely different level of success for their future? Well, here are five tips to consider.

Praise your child’s actions not character.

According to Chavez, “Say something like, ‘You must be so proud of yourself!’ instead of saying, ‘I’m so proud of you!’. … you don’t want them always seeking external motivation, you want them to do things because it feels really good to do so.”

Help fine-tune their gut instincts.

You want your child to be tuned into what their brains and gut-instincts are telling them. If they can rely on what they instinctively know to be the best course of action, then they are in-tune to who they are and successful at navigating the world around them on their own. Parents, give your children the verbiage, skills, and resources to nail their own futures.

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Chores, chores, and more chores

Chores denote responsibility. Have them pitch-in and help around the house.

A 75-year longitudinal study at Harvard found that kids who do chores are more successful as adults. Chores help provide children with self-competence, prosocial behavior, and self-efficacy.

“The way we build self esteem is by doing estimable acts,” Chavez said. “Chores create a sense of community and connection and start to build in personal responsibility.”

Teach children to measure themselves against themselves.

Not all children are created equally. Do not measure your child’s milestones and achievements against any one else except your child. No two children, even siblings, are going to achieve the same, because their success is individually unique.

“For a child with anxiety, simply getting up in front of a class to give a presentation may be a moment of success,” Giller said. “So at home, parents can develop language focusing on where their kid is and treat the rest of it as white noise.”

Work on your own success.

Children emulate what they see. If you work on turning yourself into a well-rounded successful person, they will do so as well. If you put less emphasis on external “success” measures such as job, money, etc., so will they.

In the end, you all may realize that success isn’t exactly what you had it mapped out to be.

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

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