How to Define “A Successful Child”?

I think most of parents including me want to raise healthy, happy and successful children.

How to define “a successful child”? Different person may have different definition. I come up the following list, I hope you, the reader to add your definition.

  1. empathic, kind, polite and friendly
  2. cooperated, responsible, to think and act morally
  3. has a joyful attitude, compassionate, and to love family and life
  4. curious, confident, ambitious, determinable, patient and persistent
  5. can adjust himself or herself psychologically, namely he or she has the capability towards self-control, self-reliance and mental toughness
  6. work hard to achieve the ambitious goal
  7. Have the ability to achieve their goal.

Review of Parenting Styles

We want to be better parents, so we need know what our current parenting style is in order to help us identify those areas to improve.

What is a Parenting Style?

A parenting style is defined as a systematic pattern of child rearing. Research on parenting styles started at 1930s and so far the most influential research is done by Diana Baumrind. In her research she identified four main parenting styles in child development which are authoritative, authoritarian, permissive and neglectful styles.

Diana Baumrind’s Four Parenting Styles

Baumrind identified a set of characteristics which she believed defined competence for children in North American society, and then she examined parents’ child rearing beliefs and practices to determine the parenting styles that were associated with those outcomes.

Authoritative Parenting

Authoritative parents are demanding and responsive. They provide both the discipline and self-esteem needs of their children. They set clear, reasonable standards for responsible behavior that are consistent with children’s developing abilities. They give more positive encouragement at the right places, while they also set firm limits in their enforcement. They are warm, reasonable and responsive to a child’s needs. They are supportive of a child’s individuality and encourage growing independence as well.

Research has shown that children who have authoritative parents are usually competent. These kids are more self-controlled, self-reliant and happy. They usually have high self-esteem, are well-liked by their peers and perform better in school.

Authoritarian Parenting

Authoritarian parents are demanding but not responsive. These parents place high values on following rules, and tend to overemphasize the discipline side of the equation. They discourage give-and-take between parents and children, and do not take their child’s needs into consideration. They are intimidators requiring obedience.

Research has shown that children who have authoritarian parents tend to be more anxious, withdrawn and discontented. These children usually have poor self-esteem and are not doing well at school.

Permissive Parenting

Permissive parents also called indulgent parents overemphasize the self-esteem side of the equation, and they are responsive but not demanding. These parents are warm, supportive and tolerant of the child’s impulses, while they set few rules or limits on what their children do. They also make few demands on the child for good behavior, do not use much punishment, and avoid exerting their authority. They seem to believe that children should grow up without any anger, tears or frustrations.

Research has shown that children who have permissive parents tend to be more immature, demanding and dependent. They often have unrealistic self-esteem, and blame others for their problems and misfortunes.

Neglectful Parenting

Neglecting parents are neither demanding nor responsive, primarily because they are disengaged.

Baumrind’s research indicates that among the four parenting styles, authoritative parenting is the most effective one in leading to healthy, happy and successful children, because of parents’ high expectations and support for mature behavior.

Difference between Authoritative and Authoritarian Parents

Another interesting recent research on parenting styles discusses the difference between authoritative and authoritarian parents. In addition to differing on responsiveness and demandingness, the parenting styles also differ in a third dimension: psychological control, which refers to using parenting practices such as guilt induction, withdrawal of love, or shaming to force the psychological and emotional development of the child inappropriately. One key difference between authoritarian and authoritative parenting is on psychological control. Both authoritarian and authoritative parents place high demands on their children expecting them to behave appropriately and obey parental rules. However, authoritarian parents also expect their children to accept their values, goals, and judgments without questioning. In contrast, authoritative parents are more open to discuss with their children. Therefore, although both authoritative and authoritarian parents have equal extent on behavioral control, authoritative parents tend to have less extent while authoritarian parents tend to have more extent on psychological control.

Understanding Your Child: Personality Type

Each person has different personality. To know your child’s personality type helps you as a parent do a better job on parenting your child.

In order to help you better understand your child’s personality type. We have done some research and summarize the following comprehensive description of personality. It can be used to rate the personalities of your children, your teenagers, and adults of any age.

Please be aware that there are no “right” or “wrong” answers, each person is different. Each personality type has some advantages and disadvantages. In order to help you understand your child’s personality type, please think and answer the questions seriously.

1. She shows her thoughts and feelings in the way she looks and acts, but does not talk much about what she thinks and how she feels.
2. She likes to keep her thoughts and feelings to herself.
3. She is a warm person and responds to other people with kindness.
4. She is considerate and thoughtful of other people.
5. She is helpful and cooperates with other people.
6. She gets along well with other people.
7. She makes good and close friendships with other people.
8. She has friendships that don’t last long.
9. She tries to blame other people for things she has done.
10. She usually pushes limits and tries to stretch the rules.
11. She is eager to please.
12. She shows concern about what’s right and what’s wrong.
13. She is proud of the things she has done and made.
14. She is open and straightforward.
15. She tries to take advantage of other people.
16. She tries to be the center of attention.
17. She is nervous and fearful.
18. She worries about things for a long time.
19. She thinks things out and reasons like a very mature person.
20. She is physically active, and enjoys playing sports, running, and exercise.
21. She has a hard time sitting still.
22. She protects people who are close to her.
23. Most authority figures (e.g., teachers, professors, work supervisors) seem to like her.
24. She gives, lends, and shares things.
25. She cries easily.
26. She holds things in. She has a hard time expressing herself.
27. She finds ways to make things happen and get things done.
28. She likes to compete.
29. She has an unusual way of thinking about things.
30. When she is under stress, she gives up and backs off.
31. She freezes up when things are stressful.
32. She is curious and exploring; she likes to learn and experience new things.
33. She is determined in what she does; she does not give up easily.
34. She is an interesting person; people notice her and remember her.
35. She can bounce back and recover after a stressful or bad experience.
36. She gives in or backs down when she has a conflict or disagreement with others.
37. She has high standards for herself. She needs to do very well in the things she does.
38. She is not very sure of herself.
39. She is well-coordinated.
40. She is careful not to get hurt.
41. She has a hard time making up her mind; she changes her mind a lot.
42. She is jealous and envious.
43. She exaggerates about things that happen to her.
44. She openly shows the way she feels.
45. She is neat and orderly in the way she dresses and acts.
46. She tends to be judgmental of the behavior of others.
47. She is obedient and does what she is told.
48. She is fast-paced; she moves and reacts to things quickly.
49. She is calm and relaxed; easy-going.
50. When she wants something, she wants it right away. She has a hard time waiting for things she wants and likes.
51. She pays attention well and can concentrate on things.
52. She plans things ahead; she thinks before she does something.
53. She has a way with words; she can express herself well with words.
54. She daydreams; she often gets lost in thought or a fantasy world.
55. She often asks authority figures for help and advice.
56. She often feels guilty.
57. She usually gets wrapped up in what she is doing.
58. She is cheerful.
59. She can be trusted.
60. She is suspicious–she doesn’t really trust other people.
61. She feels unworthy; she has a low opinion of herself.
62. She has her feelings hurt easily if she is made fun of or criticized.
63. She teases and picks on her peers.
64. She can talk about unpleasant things that have happened to her.
65. She speaks up and sticks up for herself; she goes after what she wants.
66. She tries to be independent and do things without the help of other people.
67. She is a talkative person.
68. She is aggressive.
69. She likes to be by herself.
70. She tries to copy and act like the people she admires and looks up to.
71. She is self-confident and sure of herself; she makes up her own mind on her own.
72. She is able to do many things well; she is skillful.
73. She is stubborn.
74. She is attractive.
75. She likes to dominate other people.
76. She whines or pouts often.
77. She lets little problems get to her and is easily upset.
78. She is creative.
79. She has a good imagination.
80. She is shy.
81. Her peers often pick on her; she is also often blamed for things she didn’t do.
82. She tends to be quiet.
83. She is outgoing, sociable.
84. She tends to be disorganized.
85. She is relaxed, handle stress well.
86. She has few artistic interests.
87. She perseveres until the task is finished.
88. She can be tense.
89. She is reserved.
90. She can be somewhat careless.
91. She has a forgiving nature.
92. She is emotionally stable, not easily upset.
93. She prefers work that is routine.
94. She is a fast reader, sometimes skimming over details.
95. She is a slow, deliberate reader, absorbing every detail.
96. She usually gets things done early or on time.
97. She usually gets things done at the last minute or late.

The list about Personality Type offers a tool to help parents understand your children better, so that you can support their healthy development. Please answer the questions thoughtfully.

Please remember there are no “good types” and “bad types”. Each personality type has its own path to excellence.