9 Traits Essential To Raising Successful Children (Says Science)

How do your kids measure up?

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All the parents that I know would do anything for their children. They're their children's protectors and advocates, and would donate a kidney if they had to. Family and the success of their children is paramount to most parents.

Of course, there isn't any magical formula that guarantees your child will kill it in life. But thanks to the folks at Business Insider, here are some things that parents of successful children have in common. Parents, take note:


1. Parents who teach their children social skills

Kindergartners who share, cooperate, and are helpful are more likely to have a college degree and a job 20 years later than children who lack those social skills. Also, kids who get along well with others are less likely to have substance abuse problems and run-ins with the law.

"These are skills that probably portend their ability to do well in school, to pay attention, and to navigate their environment," said Damon. E. Jones, a research assistant professor of health and human development at Pennsylvania State University. He's the lead author of a study published in the American Journal of Public Health


2. Parents who have high expectations for their kids

"Parents who saw college in their child's future seemed to managed their child toward that goal irrespective of their income and other assets," said UCLA professor Neal Halfon in a study that appeared in the journal Pediatrics

"The big surprise was what a strong role parents' long-term goals for their children played in predicting their math and reading abilities."

3. Parents where the mother is a working mom

There are significant benefits for children who have working moms, according to research out of Harvard Business School. Daughters of working mothers grow up to earn more than their peers and are more likely to become bosses. Sons of working mothers also tended to pitch in more on household chores and childcare.


"This research doesn't say that children of employed moms are happier or better people, and it doesn't say employed moms are better," the study's lead author Kathleen L. McGinn told CNNmoney.

4. Parents who have a higher socioeconomic status

Unfortunately, it doesn't take a study for us to know that growing up in poverty severely limits a child's potential, and that the higher the income (because they can afford tutors and SAT tutorial classes), the higher the SAT scores for the kids.

5. Parents who have college degrees

Those children raised by parents who earned their graduate degrees were much more likely to go to college. Bowling Green State University psychologist Eric Dubow said that, "Parents' educational level when the child was 8 years old significantly predicted educational and occupational success for the child 40 years later."


6. Parents who teach their children math as early as possible

A study of 35, 000 Canadian, British, and American preschoolers found that developing math skills early on can predict not only future math aptitude, but also future reading achievement. 

7. Parents who have a relationship with their kids

Positive parent-child relationships provide a foundation for children's learning. With parent's sensitive, responsive, and consistent care, young children will develop the skills they need to succeed in life.

8. Parents who aren't stressed out

A parent's stress level can affect a child in many different ways, including his or her risk of mood disorders, addiction, and even ADHD. The most important thing that parents can transmit to their kids isn't their ever-present undying love — it's actually to provide them with a sense of calm and an absence of stress.


9. Parents who encourage trying over winning

Children who learn the importance of making mistakes, participating for the experience, and how effort is better than avoiding failure are better about working towards a goal, handling setbacks, and continuing on. They aren't derailed by challenges and they develop focus.

One thing seems clear: being a parent is a tough job and not one to be taken lightly.