This Is What You Need To Do To Help Your Child Become More Successful


This Is What You Need To Do To Help Your Child Become More SuccessfulGetty Images

A parent would do just about anything they can to increase the odds that their children will become successful.

However, what most parents might not know is that there's a very simple thing they can to do to make it more possible that their children be successful in life.

The secret lies in a parenting practice based on reading to and with the children. It may be a bit more time-consuming than several alternatives, but it can also be a lot of fun and raise the bond between parents and their children.

According to neuroscientists, there is a trick that can make the daily bedtime ritual far more efficient and beneficial.

So, this is what parents should do:

1) Read to your children.

Let's begin with the basics. The American Academy of Pediatrics has already recommended it since 2014: Parents should read to their kids from the earliest ages, which means even infants. While the youngest babies may not understand your words, the impact of you reading aloud to them is considered to have at least two benefits: firstly bonding over verbal exchanges between parents and kids, and secondly demonstrating how communication itself works.

Undoubtedly, the advantages of reading become even more apparent as kids grow a bit older -- and they keep on cascading. As Pamela High, Brown University professor, told the PBS NewsHour:

"The stronger their language skills are when they reach kindergarten, the more prepared they are to be able to read. The better they read, the more likely they will graduate from high school."

From then on, they will be more likely to achieve higher education, maintain positive familial relationships, and find economic security. All this begins at a young age.

2) Read with your children.

So, reading to your children is important -- but doing so is only "the bare minimum," as neuroscientist Erin Clabough states. Instead, the premium model to follow is summarized in a subtly different way: Read with your children, not just to them.

The pitfall here is that reading usually becomes a rote bedtime ritual. It is something that parents do to make their children sleeping, but that makes no difference from just sitting them in front of the tv and let them watch until they fall asleep.

As Clabough writes in Psychology Today:

"We've been sucked in by the plot, and we're dying to know what happens. But we're still on the outside, watching someone else make decisions. The real magic happens inside our own heads when we try on someone else's life."

In short, reading on the inside has to do with developing intellectual empathy. If you want to learn more, read the following step.

3) Develop intellectual empathy.

Research that David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano of The New School in New York conducted three years ago demonstrates that those who read literary fiction can develop better intellectual empathy, which means they can learn to understand the thoughts and motivations of others better.

Reading literary fiction may be a little advanced for a 4-year-old, but Clabough suggests that parents spur the same kind of development in kids by reading fiction with them in a way that encourages the little ones to put themselves in the story. Of course, it can even be a simple story.

It's critical to note that we're talking about developing intellectual empathy, and not emotional empathy, which is different.

Intellectual empathy refers to the ability to perceive objectively how others see and experience things, but from a distance. Emotional objectivity refers to the ability to actually see and also feel things the way other people do.

Both are beneficial, but to summarize, intellectual empathy may be more useful, as it helps people predict how others may react to them. It can also inspire them to come up with ideas. Contrary to emotional empathy, intellectual empathy doesn't carry with it the risk of decision paralysis or inaction.

4) Let your children choose their own adventures.

Instead of merely reading straight through a book with your kids, Clabough suggests that parents embrace dramatic pauses and interrupt the narration at appropriate moments to encourage their children to think as if they were the characters. In other words, let them sort through the story before the characters do.

As an example, Clabough refers to Are You My Mother, a classic children's book about a little bird who hatches while his mom is out foraging for food.

"What would you do, if you were the baby bird?" she suggests asking your young child. "Even for books you've read together 216 times, your child can come up with a different way the character can react, a different decision the character can make."

Certainly, this doesn't mean you have to interrupt each story every few pages and ask your kids to rewrite it. However, embracing the practice can lead to real benefits.

5) Far-off dividends.

Like a lot of parenting choices, we are talking about vectors here: small decisions now that can have ridiculously outsized results on a child's future success.

And sure enough, we aren't saying that if you don't read to your kids enough, they're destined to fail. However, the medium- and long-term advantages of reading with your kids in this manner are countless.

You are teaching your kids to become not only better readers but also more effective people, who are also intellectually empathetic.

Reference: Inc



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Thinking Humanity: This Is What You Need To Do To Help Your Child Become More Successful
This Is What You Need To Do To Help Your Child Become More Successful
A parent would do just about anything they can to increase the odds that their children will become successful.
Thinking Humanity
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