Although our family is large, we want to make sure all of our children have the best chance of success in life. Whether that’s through the travel we do, the new experiences they have, or teaching our children life skills through a gifted and talented program, giving our kids the tools to succeed is an absolute must.
One of the reasons why we’ve chosen to take a different path in life is to give our children a wide and varied upbringing, as from the ages of two through to five are some of the most crucial to a child’s development and they can lay the foundation for their life.
Even though we have a different life to many other families there are some things that we believe are crucial for our children’s upbring and development. Like any parent we want our children to grow up happy and successful. Here are a few things we believe help set them up for success:
For us, chores are an important way for our children to learn about hard work and reward. Simple things like getting the children to wash or dry up after teaches them about what needs to be done to maintain a cooperative household. By us all contributing together, it reduces the time on household chores and also invokes a sense of collaboration, which our children will need later in life. We also believe it makes them more empathetic because they understand the requirements for life.
We recently watched a Ted talk from Lythcott-Haims which said that children who are raised on chores understand how to take on tasks independently and therefore will have a better chance of getting on better in the workplace in later life. Which is why we’ve incorporated divisional tasks in our household.
We are also true believers that social skills will improve their lives later in life. By being well socialised it enables them to learn to be empathetic and understand the feelings and perspectives of others. It enables our children to mix with a variety of people from different backgrounds and learn to resolve conflict with others early on. Things aren’t always black and white, so the more we can expose them to the better they will be at looking at things objectively in the future.
We work with our children to set achievable goals for them to strive for. This can be anything from sporting endeavors through to academic study. By having open conversations around goals and achievement, we hope that this trait will rub off on them as they grow up. There is research to suggest that parents who have high expectations for their children see their children being more likely to progress academically to meet those goals. So far, our children are consistent with this research and we hope it continues.
Strong sibling relationships
With a large family network and how we live, we need to have strong relationships. Not only would arguments between the children be stressful and tiresome, it has also been shown to leave children with poorer trust and intimacy levels. Therefore, we try to make sure when our children have disputes they are resolved quickly and effectively.
As well as the above development goals, we also make sure they we ourselves are role modelling the correct behaviours. Whether that is gender equity, collaboration or hard work. We know the main way kinds learn is from their parents. It’s easy to do, but we also need to pick up on things we may do subconsciously from our own upbringings and help correctly those where we can.