Bright Side

8 Parenting Rules From a Famous Psychologist That You Can Use to Raise a Happy and Wealthy Child

Marina Mellia is a psychology professor and author of best-selling books about the psychology of success and conscious parenting. She’s also the chief psychologist of successful billionaires, many of whom ask her for advice about parenting. Marina has a unique opinion about raising children. Contrary to many of our parenting tendencies, she claims that it’s pointless to try and make something of a child and it’s impossible to program a child for success. As parents, all we can do is try to raise a happy person that will know how to make a living for themselves. How? By giving the right directions. This is where we need to learn her tricks.

We at Bright Side first wanted to find out how a person can look this stunning at the age of 72, but then we decided to focus on psychology and talk about the parenting mistakes that prevent children from becoming wealthy.

Parenting mistake № 1: Programming for success

Very often, parents ignore an important aspect of communication — the signals we send to our children with our words and actions. These signals program the children for many years to come. Here are a few examples of the stereotypes in people’s minds and the feelings that impact their future.

  • “Don’t be healthy!” A woman was offered a promotion, she got ill and didn’t show up for work, so a different person got the position. It turned out that in her childhood, her parents gave her too much work to do. When she was in elementary school, she had a little sister and all the parents’ attention switched to her. She, as the older sister, often had to look after the little one and she soon realized that the only way to be the center of her parents’ attention was to get ill. When she grew up, she continued to hide in illness, being afraid of responsibility.
  • “Don’t make mistakes!” A man was a good student, but his career wasn’t very successful: he spent 7 years doing the same job. It turned out that when he was a child, he was never praised for his successes, but was always criticized for the failures. He tried to avoid mistakes by all means possible, so he did everything slowly and never expressed himself fully.
  • Don’t feel.” A woman often gets herself into unpleasant situations: she found bad jobs and she met bad men. It turned out that in her childhood, her parents taught her to not trust her gut. Some parents don’t value kids’ emotional reactions. Whatever children say about their feelings is denied and laughed at. As a result, kids become adults who don’t trust their own feelings and emotions.

Parenting mistake № 2: Destructive phrases

In fact, providing for our children is our responsibility. Whether you do it or not is your choice, but you can’t demand any special gratitude for that from your kids. Forget phrases like, “We’ve done so much for you and you...”.

Take responsibility for how much you do for your kid. More than other families? Great. Just accept the fact that you do it because you want to. The thing is, gratitude and respect for parents don’t depend on the level of income of a certain family.

Parenting mistake № 3: Trying to raise the best student or a champion

There are 2 dangerous strategies when it comes to raising a neurotic person:

  • Champions, who obsess and become neurotic about their focus, are raised in families where the parents have achieved certain successes and they want their children to do the same. Or a family where a mother or a father dreamed about something, but couldn’t achieve it and want their children to do it for them. Future champions spend their days training and studying, and they don’t have enough time to live. The pressure on them is immense and they believe they will be happy only when they reach their goal.
  • Raising a perfect student is a more popular strategy, but it’s no less dangerous. Nowadays, parents start teaching their kids everything at a very early age. It’s not the right thing to do, because you overload children’s brains. By doing so, we don’t let our children make mistakes, we tell them to be the best and this usually doesn’t end well.

Don’t impose strict schedules on your children. They will only help you raise an unhappy person with a bleak childhood. Give your children some free time where they can do nothing at all. Doing nothing is just as important as studying. This is the time to watch the sky, dance, and live. This is how creativity is born.

Parenting mistake № 4: Bribery

Today, some parents pay their children for every good grade they get, or for cleaning their room and other things like that. This is wrong. Bribery is not the best way to raise children. By paying them for their successes, we push children toward not valuing their actual successes. A family is not a market, it’s a relationship based on love and care.

  • Give them pocket money. This is how you show them you trust them with their financial decisions. It’s an element of personal freedom.
  • It has to be a certain amount on a certain day. Choose a day when you give your children money and an exact amount they can count on.
  • Let the children decide what they will spend their money on. Parents can guide their children, but the final decision has to be in the hands of the child. Yes, they might make a mistake but it’s their experience and their new knowledge.

Parenting mistake № 5: Pressure through “words of wisdom”

Sometimes parents say something like, “Money doesn’t grow on trees” or “When I was your age, I already...” We’ve heard this from our parents and we tell this to our children. By making our children believe that money is very hard to earn and that it’s a great responsibility, you make children develop the irrational fear of losing money.

These phrases we say don’t have anything to do with real life. Discuss every single situation individually. If you can’t buy something, discuss what you can do to save enough for the purchase.

Parenting mistake № 6: Being friends with your children

A mother says that her son calls her by her name because they are friends. Being friends with children is a new trend. A family is a system with a hierarchy, where everyone plays their role. Parents — care, buy clothes, and love. Children — obey their parents, make mistakes, and check where the limits are. Only by being “above” can parents do their job well. In trying to make friends, they become peers and lose control.

  • Set the limits, loud and clear. This is how children understand what they can do and what they can’t.
  • Learn to say no.
  • Set rules that neither children, nor you can ever break. If you give children too much freedom, they’ll grow up to not have confidence. It is very important to be confident and feel safe while growing up.

Parenting mistake № 7: No agreement about money in the family

What is a child supposed to understand if their parents can’t agree about money? And when the father is the saver and then criticizes the mother for an expensive purchase, children get really confused.

  • The older family members need to agree with each other about how much they can spend on certain things. Your opinions should at least be the same about the most basic questions. There should be no secrets. You either ban something together or allow something together.
  • Don’t send mixed signals. Remember, if you say something like, “They wanted to show off — that’s why they had the party” or “Buying such an expensive car is insane,” the children will think you are dishonest. They will think, “Didn’t you want a party like that, mom?” Children can feel jealousy. Be an example for your kids and don’t teach them to be jealous of other people’s success.

Parenting mistake № 8: Not teaching kids to dream

When limited by very strict rules, children quickly get used to external control. First, they listen to others in kindergarten, then in different classes and in school. You should teach them to take initiative and tell them it’s important to not live according to someone else’s expectations, but instead to do what they want. When we tell them things using terms like “you have to” or “you need to,” we kill their motivation and all their creativity.

Teach them to dream and to not follow orders. They should be able to understand what they want and they need your support.

Which of these mistakes did you make? Share your experience in the comment section below!