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  • Writer's pictureDr. Luisa Bryce

5 effortless tips for raising smart, successful children

There are many different kinds of intelligence: book smarts, street smarts, and “emotional IQ,” just to name a few. As a parent, you obviously want your kids to have it all. Luckily, character building begins at home, so you can start prepping your children to be savvy adults from an early age. Here are a few simple ways to bolster your children’s positive attributes and lead them down the road to success:


Encourage your children to do something they’re slightly afraid of, whether it’s climbing a tree or jumping off the high dive. This type of activity requires children to control their emotions in order to focus on the task at hand. They’ll also learn to face their fears early on in life, which will cultivate success later on.


Have your children learn to play a musical instrument, juggle, or master a book of magic tricks. Grasping these types of skills takes some time and commitment, but the sense of accomplishment in doing so is HUGE. Help your child to focus on the process and commitment of learning rather than only worrying about the end result… perfection is not the goal here, perseverance is.


Play games as a family like Scrabble and chess, and don’t let your kids win all the time. These games require thought, attention to detail, and concentration- all of which are skills necessary to perform well academically. Additionally, losing at complicated brain games will teach your children how to adapt their strategy and problem solve in the future.


Teach your children about the value of money. Have them complete chores and household tasks to save up for that new game system. Provide them with real life lessons about the benefits and costs of saving versus spending. Kids who learn to delay gratification as children demonstrate increased willpower and ability to avoid peer pressure as teens.


Praise your children for their efforts throughout the task rather than waiting for the end result. For example, if your son is studying hard for a spelling test, say “Wow son,  I can really see you’re studying hard. Way to concentrate and stick to it!” Offering specific, effort-focused praise will build your children’s self-esteem, no matter what the end result of the spelling test. Avoid character-focused praise such as “good boy,” as this type of praise is more likely to foster shame if the task at hand ends poorly.

What’s your “go-to” tip for raising smart, successful kiddos? Please feel free to comment below.

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