Family & Parenting

16 Things Parents of Successful Kids Have Common According to Science

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Last Updated: Oct 25, 2016

It’s every parent’s dream to see the children succeed and do great things in life. You tell your child to finish the homework, study and teach your kid to be responsible. Children are primarily influenced by their parents, and while there’s no recipe for success, the science has identified numerous characteristics that parents of successful kids have in common. Now, you have the opportunity to implement these factors into your parenting techniques.

1. They make the kids do chores

One of the best ways to make your child learn more about responsibility and various commitments is by finding different tasks he or she can do. A study carried out by scientists at the Wellesley College in Massachusetts discovered that lack of household chores makes children less responsible. Unfortunately, children today are given trivial chores such as feeding a pet while schoolwork is their own responsibility. Furthermore, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Mississippi found that chores show the importance of contributing to society and families and develop empathy as adults. Children who do chores are more likely to be well-adjusted, have better relationship with friends, and be more successful than kids who don’t.

2. They know how to manage stress

When it comes to parenting, quality of time spent with kids beats quantity, according to a study from the Journal of Marriage and Family. In fact, helicopter approach to parenting does more harm than good, which is surprising if we take into consideration the fact that most parents assume it’s quantity of time spent with children is important. If parents are stressed, particularly mothers, when they’re with kids, it may have a negative impact on the children. Therefore, find a relaxing activity to manage stress and make sure that time spent with children is all about encouraging, learning, making memories, rather than nagging and controlling what they do or how they do it.

3. They help kids develop social skills

Help Kids Develop Social Skills

According to a study whose findings were published in the American Journal of Public Health, there’s a strong link between children’s social skills in kindergarten and their well-being in early adulthood. Additionally, children who are more likely to share or be helpful in kindergarten were also more likely to obtain higher education and hold full-time jobs two decades later. On the other hand, children with limited social skills were more likely to get arrested, develop a drinking problem, or apply for public housing.

4. They get along

Robert Hughes Jr., the professor at the University of Illinois, carried out a study which showed that children whose parents are divorced or constantly argue i.e. engage in conflict, do worse than their counterparts. Some scientific researches also show that children in non conflictual single-parent families fare better than kids from conflictual two-parent households.

5. They have high expectations

A study from the journal Pediatrics showed that expectations parents have for their kids play a significant role on their ability to succeed. The research also showed that only 57% of parents in the lowest SES (socioeconomic status) quantile expected their kids to earn a college degree while 96% of them from the highest SES quantile expected their child to attend college

6. When argument is unavoidable, they fight fair

Fight Fair

In some cases, conflict can’t be avoided and how you deal with it matters a lot. When children witness mild to the moderate argument that still involves compromise, positive emotions, and support, their self-esteem improves significantly. They also learn how to develop their social skills and emotional security which also helps them do better in school, explained E. Mark Cummings, a developmental psychologist at Notre Dame University. Kids who witness a fight and see their parents resolving it are happier. Although most parents wouldn’t fight in front of the kids, that’s not the best solution. Growing body of evidence confirms that long-term effects of parental withdrawal are more disturbing than open conflict. Why? Children perceive something is wrong, but not knowing what’s going on makes them feel stressed and helpless which affects their grades at school and relationship with parents.

7. They have higher education

Education is important, and you know what they say; it’s never too late to finish school and get a degree. According to the study published in the Journal of Research on Adolescence, mothers who finished high school or graduated from college were more likely to bring up the kids who did the same. On the other hand, researchers at the University of Michigan discovered that educational levels of parents when their child was eight years old were major predictors of educational and occupational success of the child four decades later.

8. They teach their kids math

Teach Their Kids Math
The Developmental Psychology featured results of a study which used six longitudinal datasets to discover that the strongest predictors of later achievement are school-entry math, reading, and attention skills. That said, the early math skills have the greatest predictive power of future success of a child. So, instead of waiting for a teacher to teach kids match, start working with your child before.

9. They culture a healthy relationship with kids

Children who receive sensitive care giving in the first three years of their life did better on the academic tests, had healthier relationships, and a greater educational attainment in the 30s, according to a study published in the Child Development. There’s a perfect explanation why this happens; parents who develop a healthy relationship with kids can respond to kid’s signals promptly and encourage their child to explore the world.

10. They acknowledge the importance of healthy lifestyle

Harvard Business Review explains that eating habits have a significant impact on individual’s productivity. Well-balanced diet increases energy levels improve health, and you get more things done. Diet is just one piece of the puzzle; there’s also physical activity, regular sleep pattern and other aspects of a healthy lifestyle. Bearing this in mind, parents should lead by example and encourage their kids to have a healthy way of life.

11. They give kids common names

The growing body of evidence confirms that the name you choose impacts your child well into adulthood. For example, selecting a girly-sounding name for a boy could create behavioral problems later in life while unique baby names could indicate a hardship too, Live Science reports. Furthermore, the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology featured a research which showed that companies are more likely to hire people with easy-to-pronounce and common names.

12. They value effort

Value Effort

Carol Dweck, a Stanford University psychologist, discovered that adults and children think about success in two different manners, i.e. there are two different mindsets:

  • Fixed mindset – assumption that our intelligence, character, and creative ability are static givens we are unable to change. Here, success is an only affirmation of our intelligence. They focus on avoiding failure.
  • Growth mindset – focuses on the challenge. Adults and kids with this mindset don’t avoid failure, and they don’t assume it demonstrates a lack of intelligence. For them, failure is an opportunity to learn and improve

Dweck explains that if a child is told that good grades are evidence of his/her intelligence, that creates a fixed mindset while telling kids they got good grades because of their effort, that creates growth.

13. Moms don’t work at home

According to a study carried about by researchers at the Harvard Business School, there are significant benefits for children growing up with mothers who don’t work at home. For example, daughters of working mothers completed more years of education and were more likely to get employed in supervisory roles as well as to earn a higher income than their counterparts. In fact, daughters of working mothers make 23% more than their peers who were raised by stay-at-home moms.

14. They have better socioeconomic status

One of the major factors that get in the way of kid’s potential is lower socioeconomic status, and according to some estimates, one-fifth of children in the US live in poverty. The severity of the problem is best depicted by a report from the Stanford University which showed that a gap between in achievements between higher- and lower-income families is about 30% to 40% greater in kids born in 2001 comparing to children born 25 years earlier.

15. They are authoritative


According to Diana Baumrind at the University of California, Berkeley there are three unique types of parenting styles; permissive, an authoritarian parent who controls the child, and authoritative parent who tries to use rational approach. Of course, the best type is authoritative.

16.They teach kids the “grit.”

Grit is a personality trait defined as perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Basically, the grit is all about teaching your child to visualize the future they want to create and commit towards the achievement of that goal. The University of Pennsylvania psychologist Angela Duckworth explained in her report published by the American Psychological Association that the achievement of difficult goals entails not only talent but also the sustained and focus application of talent over time.

Read Also: Activities To Do With Your Family This Weekend


The article listed 16 easy things that parents of successful things have in common, and they can serve as guidelines to give you more idea about the parenting approach you can take. Remember, it’s important to encourage your child to put more effort to achieve goals and don’t forget about selecting a few chores that will be only his/her responsibility.

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