Bright Side

Scientists Identified 3 Crucial Skills That’ll Make Your Child a Winner in Life

We dream of raising our children to be successful people. We do all we can: we buy them the best toys, we spend a lot of time on different development activities, and later we make them learn a lot of information at school, raising a “computer” with a huge load of information, rather than a person. You should be good at school so you can go to a prestigious college, otherwise, how can you be successful in life? But deep inside, we feel that it’s not just about their studies. Then, what is it? The genes, fate, or maybe luck?

Bright Side reviewed the recommendations from many scientists and psychologists and found that there are 3 basic skills that will make your child successful in life.

There are probably no parents in the world that don’t want their child to be a successful, wealthy, and happy person. So, what does it take to make a child a confident, smart, and free-spirited person?

There are many scientific studies about success that prove that innate abilities, intelligence, and genes don’t play the main part in determining success. Economist James Heckman validated this theory: he proved that the IQ-level has almost no effect on financial well-being. However, determination, persistence, and the ability to collaborate with others are the decisive factors. But these skills don’t get enough attention. And it’s up to us to change this attitude. Here are the 3 main skills we need to work on now to make our children more successful in their future lives.

1. Ability to communicate with other people

Scientists from Penn State and Duke University conducted an interesting study. They watched the lives of 700 American children starting from their very early childhood up to the age of 25, in order to see the link between their social skills in childhood and their success in adult life.

It turned out that communicative children were more successful than their more reserved peers: in most cases, they finished college, got good jobs by the age of 25, and didn’t have any legal problems.

This is probably because more socially-developed children can easily communicate with others, avoid conflicts, be useful for other people, and respect their feelings. These are extremely useful skills even in childhood: children that can communicate well can find ways to play together, instead of fighting over toys.

It happens extremely often that scientists are not very successful because of how reserved they are and the more active people that don’t have the highest IQ-levels occupy higher posts and become leaders.

Obviously, it is important to not forget that success is not only about work. People consider themselves successful when they become professionals at what they do, when they create good families, and when they support relationships with friends that share their interests and feelings. It is hard to build these connections without highly-developed communication skills.

2. Determination

Famous American psychologist and writer Angela Duckworth, the author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance thinks that one of the most important things about being successful is passion and persistence about long-term goals.

Together with her research group, Duckworth spent several years watching cadets of a military academy, participants of a spelling contest, teachers, and sales managers. The point of the study was to predict who would be more successful at what they do and why. The participants, who are seemingly so different, from completely different fields, had something in common. And it's not beauty or power or a high IQ, it is what professor Duckworth called grit — their willpower.

Innate abilities and talent have almost no influence on real achievements in adult life, according to the psychologist. It's determination and perseverance that make people truly successful. Also, aside from the long-term study, there are numerous examples from real life where a determined average person achieved more than a disorganized and lazy person that could have been a genius.

3. Creative thinking

It is creative thinking that helps us find a way out of seemingly impossible situations and solve the problems life gives us. And this is already half of what we define as success.

Nobody knows what the future jobs will look like, but one thing is for sure: it will be very different from what we do today. Creative thinking will allow our children to find their ways around in the world of the future and maybe even create their own companies.

What do you do to make your child want to be successful? Is it even a necessary thing to do? Share your opinion in the comment section below.

Illustrated by Yekaterina Ragozina for Bright Side