10 ways to help your child be successful in the future

by Mandy Herold
Help your child be successful
Reading Time: 4 minutes
How can you help your child to reach their potential in their life?  Based on the Conscious Discipline approach to parenting, BYY’s expert, Connection Coach, Mandy Herold, guides us.

Hi, my name is Mandy and I’m a recovering perfectionist! I’m also a mom to two student teenagers.

I’m passionate about helping big humans understand and connect with themselves better so they can understand and connect with their small humans better.

Also read Millennial mothering

Conscious Discipline is an adult-first, child-second self-regulation programme founded by Dr Becky Bailey in 1996. The underlying idea is to be a role model for our children. Stop lecturing! Values are taught through human interactions, not through the lectures we give. So shift from ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ to ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’. Remember, adult first, child second. You can’t teach skills you don’t have. Here are 10 tips:

  • Name the feeling – Having an emotional vocabulary is a skill. If “I’m feeling frustrated” is like a foreign language coming out of your mouth, chances are you were not exposed to this growing up. Emotions are not the bad guys, they are just energy in motion and research tells us that they only actually last 90 seconds!
  • Self-regulate – This term is bandied around a lot but what does it actually mean? Self-regulation is the scientific term for resilience. It’s the cluster of skills that allows us to put a pause between the impulse and the response.

Holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl, famously said, “Between stimulus and response lies a space. In that space lie our freedom and power to choose a responseIn our response lies our growth and our happiness.”

 Self-regulation is a better predictor of long term success than early reading, mathematics or IQ. The way parents treat each other is more important for a child’s development of self-regulation than the way the parent treats the child.  How to you get a self-regulated child? By being a self-regulated adult!

  • Connect – Our brains are social organs and we learn best through making connections. Conscious Discipline says that connections are made up of 4 components: eye contact, physical touch, being present, playful situations. More time connecting will equal less time in power struggles.
  • T.I.P. Quit Taking It Personally. Teach your children that the world does not rotate around them. Life is tough and messy. Psychologist Susan David says, “Discomfort is the price of admission to a meaningful life”. Besides, people who continually assume a victim narrative are draining to be around.
  • O.P.S – Our Opportunity to Practice Skills. When we give ourselves permission to make mistakes, we give our children permission to make mistakes too. Our children are watching the way we treat ourselves and taking their lead from us. An example of this is when my child breaks a glass, I say: “It doesn’t matter, there are lots more glasses and only one of you”, yet, when I break a glass, I berate myself for being so careless/clumsy.
  • Assume positive intent – When we assume positive intent and that everyone is doing the best they can with what they have, we suspend judgement and give people the benefit of the doubt. This takes us to the higher centres of our brain and avoids us being overly defensive. You also make it easier to engage in honest and productive conversations.
  • Be assertive – Assertiveness is a sweet spot between being passive and aggressive. Teach your children to be assertive by role modelling a respectful, firm but kind voice. Not only when you feel like it, but also when you’ve been triggered and you’re dysregulated.
  • Learn, unlearn, relearn – Futurist, Alvin Toffler said that the illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn. Show your children how to unlearn by being willing to shift your fixed mindsets.
  • Stop criticising your children – When you criticise your children, they don’t stop loving you, they stop loving themselves. Shift from judging to noticing. From “good job!” (they’re not circus animals!) to “you did it”. Your ‘you’ talk becomes their ‘I’ talk. This in turn helps to change their mindset from extrinsic to an intrinsic motivation.
  • Self-compassion – You can’t drink from an empty cup (put your oxygen mask on yourself before assisting others etc.). Whatever your selfcare/self-love/self-compassion routine looks like, be kind to yourself. Whether this is yoga, running, crocheting, gardening or practicing mindfulness, completing your stress response cycle daily is the antidote to burnout. When we are burnt out, it’s difficult to engage in any conscious parenting.

Visit: Why spanking is not an effective form of discipline

10 Ways to Help Your Child Succeed In LifeConscious Discipline provides adults and children with the skills to be disciplined enough to set and achieve goals, conscious enough to know when you’re off track and connected enough to others so you’re willing to persevere.

It takes a shift in mindset from how we were raised to think about discipline as punishment, to thinking of discipline as an opportunity to teach missing skills. Parents use the tools to gain control of their emotions and upset, and in turn, download that calm to their child. Go on and try it!

Also read: Different parenting styles

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