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If you are going through a NY divorce, you may consider your children, and how your divorce will affect them. While a divorce may cause some distress, and require a period of adjustment, it is possible (and likely) that your children will thrive in the wake of this change, and be able to lead successful lives. Divorced parents who are working to co-parent in ways that are most successful for their children can use the 10 following tips to ensure that they’re doing everything possible to set their children up for successful futures, despite the divorce.
Instill Social Skills in Children
According to a 20 year research study, children who were taught social skills in kindergarten experienced greater levels of success in adulthood. Children who were taught healthy socio-emotional skills experienced greater success in adulthood, as measured by job success, highest level of education completed, criminal history, mental health, and substance use.
Make Children Complete Household Chores
According to TED Talk speaker Julie Lythcott-Haims, teaching children to do their own laundry, and household chores instills a sense of adult responsibility in them, and teaches them what it takes to be a part of society. Doing chores a child could be doing for himself is teaching him to rely on others to do these things, and isn’t doing him any favors, or setting the child up for success as an adult.
Achieve a Higher Education
In a study conducted by University of Michigan psychologist Sandra Tang, it was found that mothers who achieved a higher education were most likely to have children that follow suit. Teen mothers who did not have a chance to graduate high school or college were also more likely to have children who followed suit. Mothers who want to have successful children, must lead by example in attaining success for themselves first.
Have Healthy Relationships Within the Family
Dr. Robert Hughes Jr. states that parents who get along and have low-conflict (married or divorced) are setting their children up for greater success. Those who are in a high-conflict family with two married parents who fight often, or have two divorced parents who find it difficult to get along will have more difficulty succeeding academically and beyond than those from single family homes with low conflict, or two parents (married or divorced) who are able to get along well.
Have High Standards and Expectations
A national survey conducted by Neal Halfon at UCLA determined that parents whose academic standards were higher resulted in more successful children. In terms of standardized test scores, those whose parents expected them to attend college scored higher than those students whose parents didn’t expect them to attend college.
Teach Children Math Early On
In a meta analysis conducted in 2007, it was determined that students who were taught math early on achieved greater success in school, not only in math, but reading as well. Teaching such critical thinking skills to children at an early age is only setting them up for an easier journey when they enter into grade school.
Develop a Relationship With Your Children By Age 3
Research shows that children whose since divorced parents developed personal relationships with them via “sensitive parenting” during the first three years of the child’s life set them up for greater academic and social success for decades to come.
The amount of stress mothers have can play a part in a child’s future success. Research has found that it isn’t the amount of time a mother spends with the child, rather the stress-level of the mother that is a predictor for success. Furthermore, “helicopter parenting” or intense methods of parenting have a tendency to cause more damage to a child’s future success, while modeling healthy stress management works wonders.
Value Effort First
Stanford psychologist, Carol Dweck, states that children view success in one of two ways: from a “growth mindset” or from a “fixed mindset”. Those who view success from a growth lens believe that their abilities, intelligence, talents, etc. can change and develop (grow) over time. Those with a fixed mindset believe that their current level of success is a constant that cannot be changed. These mindsets are influenced by parents. Teaching children the value of working hard to achieve their dreams is key in instilling a growth mentality in children. This mindset will help motivate them to keep trying in the face of failure, or setbacks, until their goals are achieved.
Get to Work
Staying at home to raise children isn’t always in their best interest, according to a Harvard Business School study. Children whose mothers work are more successful in different ways. Daughters of working mothers are more likely to have successful careers as adults, and sons of working mothers are more likely to help out around the home than sons of mothers who do not work. This leads to success for both genders in different ways.
A higher SES (socioeconomic status) also contributed to greater success in children. Sean Reardon, a researcher at Stanford, says that the income gap in the U.S. Is only getting greater, and this makes it difficult for those children of low income homes to succeed. There are simply less opportunities for education, school supplies, after school programs, etc. Since college is often out of one’s financial abilities when living in poverty, children of low SES homes are typically not expected to attend, which also leads to lowered success rates. When preparing a child from a low SES background for success, it helps to encourage community involvement, high academic achievement, extracurricular activities, abstinence from drugs and alcohol, and faith in self to reach any goal the child sets to achieve.