Some good advice here, and some watered down, potentially good advice. My wife and I are trying to raise our daughter to be an intelligent, confident, active woman and, while she's only in year 4 at the moment, the teachers tell us she continually surprises them (positively) in these areas.
As her primary carer, I'd like to offer a few comments on the points of the article, based on our thoughts and experiences.
#1 setting high goals doesn't just involve aiming for university (and may not involve that at all), but rather should start early on by encouraging her to get good marks in school and by continually revising whenever there's a break - make it a game to ask questions (math, english, philosophy,... things that require thought), eventually she'll get used to it and it won't even seem like school work.
#2 in dealing with pressure, a good cop/bad cop approach works well. That is, one parent is quite demanding in their requirements and sets high standards while the other parent then provides more of the support (moral and educational). Generally the primary carer works best as the good cop (me in our family) and the strong career parent works best as the 'bad' cop (my wife). Not only is this a natural arrangement, but it has the effect of providing the child support (emotional and educational) while still encouraging them to reach for the highest standards
#3 I can see the intent of this point, but I disagree. Honesty is the best policy. Certainly, understand what your child is capable of, but don't undersell her abilities and don't give her the easy way out - because any child will take that road if offered. Aim them for the top and above all, don't give false praise - they will grow up with an inflated sense of self-esteem and and unrealistic expectations of what they deserve. False praise and overprotectiveness was the road that got us to the mess that universities are currently in.
#4,5,6 Agree. But realise that such a work ethic and interests come laregely by example. They have to see you pushing the boundaries as well and doing other things (besides going to the pub).
#7 don't just 'allow' them to be competitive, rather, encourage them to be competetive, but fair. Also encourage them to be good winners and good losers - they don't have to like losing, but they need to accept that sometimes they will be beaten and to try harder next time.
#8 Agree. Travel and quiet sharing or discussion time in general with a combination of parents is a positive thing.
#9 Agree. Very important to gradually increase their responsibilities in the family. A sense of responsibility is one of the things that is often missed with kids growing up. They know their rights, but not their responsibilities.
#10 Agree...I think. We're very clear with our daughter that she should expect to work hard to achieve what she wants and she should not expect things or job positions just because she's female.
Posted: 14/09/2016 at 10:00