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 on Bilingual Research for Parenting

As children with multi language exposure, parents must get to know current Bilingual Education Research and recommendations regarding the language development of bilingual children and early language intervention. As parents, if we are familiar with the current Bilingual Education Research, we can better answer some questions such as, “How should we talk to our child? Should we use one language or two?” In addition, we can provide better early language intervention.

Bilingual Education Research: In favor of bilingual

We do not yet know the limits of the human mind
From the 30’s research that said children could be cognitively confused when introduced to two languages at once, therefore, some of parents are fear of overloading their children with two languages and make their children confused. However, these studies have since been dismissed for poor methodology. In fact, by recent research, we do not yet know the limits of the human mind, we only know that the more you give it, the more it can grow. The more connections will be built among new information. Children have an enormous capacity for languages.

Divergent-thinking advantages
Divergent-thinking advantages are reported by some researchers on bilingualism. Learning two languages early can help children to see that there is more than one way of saying something, which leads them to better understand there is more than one way to look at a problem and more than one solution they may get. Bilingual children, therefore, tend to be more creative in problem solving according to McGill University Professor Lambert’s paper, “Effects of Bilingualism on the Individual” published by New York Academic Press, in 1974.

The increase of meta-linguistic awareness
Another benefit of language acquisition is the increase of meta-linguistic awareness, a greater sensitivity to language in general and a greater awareness of meaning and structure in language, because multilingual children receive more linguistic input, which requires a greater amount of language analysis.

Baker’s “A Parent’s and Teacher’s Guide to Bilingualism” by Multilingual Matters Ltd, in 2000, finds that bilinguals are also better at using new vocabulary even in their own first language because by knowing there are two words for everything, children pay more attention to words’ meanings and tend to use even words in English more accurately.

Significant delay of memory loss in adulthood
Recent research indicates that bilingual delay memory problems in later years, because additional effort expended in speaking another language boosts blood supply to the brain and ensures nerve connections remained healthy. By using a different language, different areas of our brain are used. Memory is kept via constant activity.

Bilingual Education Research: Worries on bilingual

In late 1970’s, Dr. Jim Cummins’ research suggested that if a child’s first language learned has not reached a certain threshold of competence, then the child may become “semi-lingual”, which reflects low levels of competence in both languages. While bilingualism has generally been considered to be of cognitive benefit, some studies have shown that it has negative effects on cognitive and academic progress. This controversy is ongoing. Cummins explained the negative results of these studies as being associated with linguistic minorities, where the minority language was being replaced in some sense by the socially dominant one, while the studies that found a positive effect were associated with “additive bilingualism,” a situation in which majority-language children acquire a second language.

Later research objected to Cummins’ rule on empirical and theoretical grounds. In Carey Myles’ book, Raising Bilingual Children, she contends that subsequent studies have shown that bilingual children who were significantly weaker in one language than the other, still achieved higher scores than monolingual children on various tests.

One Parent – One Language

One Parent – One Language is a popular approach in bilingual family. If only one parent speaks a different language, in this case, the monolingual parent speaks the language of the country’s majority to the child and the bilingual parent speaks the different language.

Children pick up early which parent doesn’t speak the second language and will be comfortable with having time with this parent in the language of the country. Some parents handle this time but continuing to speak in the second language with the children, but still understanding the topic in the language of the country. Eventually the children learn some passive such as listening knowledge of the second language.

Conclusion on Bilingual Education Research

The general consensus of the most linguists is that a child must be at grade level with one of the two languages if the child is bilingual by the Bilingual Education Research. The child’s English, for example, isn’t compromised by having less proficiency in another language.

Help your child start early and learn Chinese with Free Chinese Lessons at Kids Chinese Podcast.

Listen to Your Children

Communication With Children sometimes is not easy. Kids like talking. Sometime, they just keep talking, as parents, we hardly listen to them patiently. Communication is a two-way process. If we do not listen to our children carefully, we should not get upset or even angry with them if they do not listen to us.

Listening to your child

Some of parents including me feel that communicating with our children can be a difficult task at times. We feel like they’re not listening to us; they feel like we’re not listening to them. Although good listening and communications skills are essential to successful parenting, I think patience to our children is even more important. Our child’s feelings, views and opinions have worth, and we should make sure we take the time to sit down and listen openly and discuss with them honestly.

Respond carefully

It seems to be a natural tendency to react rather than to respond. We pass judgment based on our own feelings and experiences. However, responding means being receptive to our child’s feelings and emotions and allowing them to express themselves openly and honestly without fear of repercussion from us. By reacting, we send our child the message that their feelings and opinions are invalid. But by responding and asking questions about why the child feels that way, it opens a dialog that allows them to discuss their feelings further, and allows us a better understanding of where they’re coming from. Responding also gives us an opportunity to work out a solution or a plan of action with our child that perhaps they would not have come up with on their own. Our child will also appreciate the fact that maybe we do indeed understand how they feel.

Nowadays, most of parents are very busy in many things including working. It’s crucial in these situations to give your child your full and undivided attention. Kids are our future. Giving kids attention they need is so important for them to develop mentally and physically healthy. Put down your newspaper, stop doing dishes, or turn off the television so you can hear the full situation and make eye contact with your child. Keep calm, be inquisitive, and afterwards offer potential solutions to the problem. We should always remind us that kids need parents’ attention.

Help your child learn how to deal with stress

Help your child learn how to deal with stress. Don’t discourage your child from feeling upset, angry, or frustrated. Our initial instinct may be to say or do something to steer our child away from it, but this can be a detrimental tactic. Again, listen to your child, ask questions to find out why they are feeling that way, and then offer potential solutions to alleviate the bad feeling. Help your child manage his or her emotion.

Just as we do, our children have feelings and experience difficult situations. By actively listening to our children and participating with our child as they talk about it, it demonstrates to them that we do care, we want to help and we have similar experiences of our own that they can draw from. Remember, respond with your heart- don’t react irresponsibly. It’s no doubt that parents love their kids. Communication With Children is a important way to connect with your child.

To learn more parenting skills, please refer to great parenting books.