When you think about the definition of success for your kid, it can be overwhelming. Success is something we all want for our kids, but what does that mean. If you are concerned, you’ve come to the right place; we gathered expert advice and ways to teach your child what they need to know.
In archaic times, the term success was used to mean the outcome of a certain action, as Oxford Dictionaries would have it. And back then, it did not matter whether the outcome was good or bad. In modern times, success, however relative, is a pretty fixed term. Merriam-Webster says that it’s one of the top 10% searchers in its dictionary. It also says that success means achieving either respect, fame, or as some would argue wealth. But, to put it broadly, the definition of success is doing something that you set out to do. Plain and simple.
So, provided the above is true, what remains of the definition of success for your kids?
For as long as the Earth was round and humans walked upon it, we’ve wanted our children to be successful, irrespective of the fact that cave dwellers probably had no idea of the meaning of success. Do we? We might ask. But, given the fact that the success definition needs the existence of a plan, a task, something we wish, how can our kid achieve success, if, for the better part of his life, he doesn’t understand the concept?
Another aspect is that your definition of success may differ from everyone else’s. Is it financial success?
To better understand the meaning of success, let us first look at how a few people who have achieved it (some say) define the idea. Here are a few definitions of success quotes:
Three Tips for Success from Those Successful
Out of the mind-boggling amounts of success quotes found online, we’ve selected a few of the idea that they might be easily understood by, or explained to your kids. So if you’re ever under the impression that one of them needs a lesson, sit them down and try to recount one of these:
Maya Angelou: “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it”
The famous poet is said by many to have achieved success. At least, by her definition, this is exactly what she did. What’s not to like about writing poetry and being appreciated for it, and also being a leading defender of black culture, as well as of women’s rights?
If your kid ever has problems understanding the definition of success, tell him to imagine how it felt for Maya. She liked poetry; she wrote poetry, and she received acclaim for her poetry. Similarly, she liked movies, plays, and TV programs, she became an actor, director, as well as producer of all three.
Thomas Edison: “Success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration”
This may not necessarily be a success quote that will motivate your kids. But it will sure make them think. Thomas Edison, the famous inventor, used to work up to 72 hours straight. If that isn’t enough to demand respect, he also managed to patent 1,000 inventions.
If your kid ever complains about going to school, saying that he doesn’t want to, or that he doesn’t understand why he needs to, give him this quote. It will probably put his whole school going experience into a broader perspective. Either that or you will appear nagging and annoying. It’s a good chance that both might happen.
Albert Einstein: “Strive not to be of success, but rather to be of value”
This one goes well when your kid is feeling especially down. Also, it has great wisdom within. I don’t think we need further explanation on who Albert Einstein was and why he achieved success. Yet, in this quote attributed to him, lies one of the fundamental truths of being successful.
If your kid thinks that he needs to succeed, he may often forget the journey in his desire to accomplish something great. You must remind him or her that success is never the goal, but rather the outcome. It is much more important that he remains true to himself and virtuous. This way he can achieve authentic success, which as some may tell you, is the best type of success.
Three Ways to Teach Success to Your Kid
There are three significant ways to ensure that your kid understands what success actually means. If he or she ever asks you “what is the definition of success?” you can always give them one of the definitions from above, choosing one depending on their current mood. But there are some ways, a bit more subtle, by which your child may innately understand success. Financial responsibility, self-improvement, continuous growth are just some of these ways.
Never mock a child’s failures, but promote their strengths.
Every kid has strong points and weak points. Some kids are good at math, while some like English. Some aren’t good at any of those, and like biology, or science. Don’t scold them for their poor results in the disciplines they don’t like. This will hardly improve their outcomes. Make them understand that they are good at something else, but that to do that something else, they must first pass elementary level in other stuff. It’s a pretty basic concept.
If your child is about to fail, let him.
Children must understand the consequences of their actions. And who knows, maybe if they fail enough, they might even achieve success. Churchill said that success is a succession of failures, without actually ever giving up. That’s essentially what your kid needs to understand. And that is why he will understand how to walk, how to talk, or how to do anything else. It’s the social pressure around him that demands him not to fail, that pushes him towards success.
Never overpraise your child.
This bears repeating, so here we go. If your kid succeeds at something important, then he is worthy of praise. However, too much praise and he will end up failing because the validation he received was already enough for his self-esteem.
All three of these techniques work, as of recent child psychological studies. And can even when the child is still a toddler scampering about trying to learn how to sit up straight, or how to walk. No matter the age, we humans adapt and always strive for success, even if we don’t know it.