This is such a huge subject, and one that brings together many aspects of a child’s life. There is of course no magic formula, where if you do x, y and z, that your child is guaranteed a fantastic future with a high paid job by the time they’re 25. But there are a few things that I have seen from personal experience that can really help children as they’re growing up, and I would like to share a few of those with you today.
Boost their self-confidence
I believe that this is one of the key points to success. Self-confidence (please note that I don’t mean over-confidence or vanity) is something we may want to reinforce in our children from the youngest age.
We need to show our kids that they don’t need to hide and fear the world, but that they can and should stand on their own two feet, decide what they want and go for it.
Physical strength and proper nutrition
A healthy and happy individual is a successful individual. When were constantly ill and taking sick leave 12 times a year, that’s not going to look good on our records.
Make sure to keep your child physically active and eating a good diet. This is a point that I strongly care about, which is why I recently created a charity called Sleijster4Children. The foundation focuses on bringing P.E. (physical education) to children in less fortunate communities in Central and South America and I hope that by introducing more children to sports, they will develop some vital skills that would be useful to them later on in life, such as being a team player and playing fair.
Be a good role model
It’s all good to tell your child to clean up after themselves, to play nice and do sports, but if you’re not doing these things yourself – why should the child listen to you? You’ve got to teach them by example, and you’re the most important person in their lives, so they will pick up on a lot of your habits, bad and good.
Encourage communication and expressing emotions
I don’t believe in telling your child to keep quiet and just “move on” from whatever they’re feeling. No need to dwell in a depression for days of course, but I think it’s important to acknowledge your child’s emotional state and encourage them to communicate what they want and how they feel.
Develop social skills
We live in a social world and we are constantly communicating with people from all kinds of cultural, social, economic and religious backgrounds. It’s important to encourage your child to be social with other kids, to play nice with everyone and not be too shy when it comes to meeting new people.
Sports is a great way to help kids develop this skill, as it brings people together in a fun and social way, with a common interest to help spark a conversation.
Make sure that they are happy and have a positive mental attitude
Above all, I’m sure most parents would agree that we just want to see our kids happy. Having a positive and fun outlook on life is sure to give your child a bright future, no matter what they choose to do.