How to Raise a Successful Child in the Formative Teen Years

Every parent wants their teenager to be successful, and once you’ve mastered the parenting basics we’ve previously discussed, it’s time to focus on how to raise successful children. Today we’re going to share some of our top tips for raising successful teens. These tips can be applied to your parenting techniques at any time in the formative teen years, and it’s never too late to make a change to your child’s future.

Keep high expectations for your teenagers

If you aren’t familiar with the book, Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells Us About Raising Successful Children, we highly recommend giving it a read to learn more about this topic. While being a parent is a tough job at times, by keeping your expectations high for your child, you are more likely to avoid some of the common issues that teenagers face in their lives.

Studies show that teenagers whose parents were regularly sharing their expectations of their children were more likely to go to college and were less likely to be unemployed or become pregnant during their teenage years. While your teens may roll their eyes at you when you are sharing your ideas about successful children, it’s likely to result in great things further down the line. Of course, you don’t have to be nagging your teenager 24 hours a day to see this benefit, but regular reminders will do the job.

Think about how you praise your high school student

When it comes to praising your teen, always focus on their efforts as opposed to their natural abilities. By telling them that they’ve worked hard to achieve something, you’ll encourage them to build their growth mindset in the future. Teens who are praised for their natural intelligence or athleticism are much less likely to study or train, and this will lead to them becoming lazier later on in life. Remind your teen that there is always something that they can work on and improve in their life, which is one of the best ways to raise successful children.

Reduce sitting down time

So many teens today spend all their free time sitting down, either playing video games or talking to their friends on social media. Even at school, they have to spend the whole day sitting down, but science suggests we should be focusing on spending time playing and enjoying the outdoor world. In fact, research shows that children and teenagers who spent more time being active were more likely to make improvements to other aspects of their lives, such as math and reading. Nature also offers so many benefits to your family’s mental health, which is why the next time it’s sunny outside, make sure you head out for a walk or run as a family. When considering how to raise successful children, it’s all about leading by example, and if you show that you love keeping active yourself, your teens will be more likely to follow in your footsteps.

Add chores to their daily routine

We covered this topic in our parenting basics, but chores are one of the most important tools to help you raise successful children. Studies show that the most essential things in our lives are love and a work ethic. While love is something we can also show to our teens on a daily basis, developing a strong work ethic during their formative teenage years can also be encouraged. One of the easiest ways to encourage children of all ages to take more responsibility in their lives is with chores. Even when they are too young to get a part-time job, this teaches them the importance of a strong work ethic.

Make your teen take part in a wide variety of chores if you are looking to raise successful children. Add more chores to challenge your child as they get older, even if they are then able to take on a part-time job. Chores could include walking the dog, doing the dishes after dinner, or tidying their bedroom. Your teens will likely moan at times about doing chores, but it’s a critical part of their development. They’ll also be fully prepared for the independence that’s required to succeed in college and adult life, where no one will be around to clean up after them each day.

Inspire your teens to keep reading

As a parent, we highly encourage you to keep learning about parenting at any stage of your life by reading books such as Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells Us About Raising Successful Children. However, on top of that, you’ll want to think about encouraging your child to keep reading in their teenage years. Research shows that in order for reading to be a worthwhile and effective activity, you need to try and stay engaged with the subject matter. Encourage your teen to try reading new books to keep things fresh, instead of just returning to their favorites over and over again.

Ask your teen questions about the books they are reading and try to get them to engage further with the subject matter. If you see they are enjoying one book, introduce them to other titles that they might like in the same genre. As they get older, ensure they are still reading regularly before bed, and encourage them to read different genres. This will ensure they are still enjoying reading even as they head into their teenage years.

Encourage your teen to be more independent

During the formative teen years, independence is something that needs to be instilled in any child. When wondering how to raise successful children, you need them to be able to think for themselves and not be swayed by other people. This will help them with decision-making in the future, which is critical for success in any job. They’ll also do much better when they head off to college and are left to fend for themselves for the first time in their life.

Share good study habits

When your teen has to study at home, encourage them to work in a smart and effective manner. Put their phone in another room while they are working and help them to set up a desk that will give them the space they need to work and concentrate. These will be skills that will make successful children stand out at college, as they’ll be used to independently studying without distractions.

When working to raise successful children, there will always be various hurdles to overcome. However, by following these tips for how to raise successful children from an early age, you can help to encourage your teen to be the best they can be throughout their teenage years and beyond. Science suggests that the earlier these habits are instilled in our children, the more likely they will be to stay with them until later in their life and throughout their working career. A good work ethic is one of the best things you can teach your teen, and you’ll find that you’ll raise a more independent and successful child when they are able to work alone.


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