DR. E. CAROL WEBSTER’S
PUT YOUR CHILD ON THE FAST TRACK FOR SUCCESS
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Original Copyright © 2004
Is your child on the fast track for success? Help your youngster learn the skills to get ahead in life. Keep his or her focus on their primary responsibility during the school years – going to school. Not just attending class, but performing up to academic potential and becoming a student that contributes positively to the school and community.
SUCCESS SKILLS FOR KIDS
Strong Positive Peer Group
While kids like to pick their own friends, parents must give them a little help when they come up short in meeting peers who are on the ball. First, they must learn that kids who do well in school and who occupy positions of campus or community leadership are not nerds or wimps. These kids are put down on television sitcoms and elsewhere, but help your youngster get to know them personally by enrolling in clubs or other activities. This contact usually overrides negative stereotypes about smart kids or kids who work hard to emulate positive figures. It’s also helpful to schedule contact with your adult friends or role models who epitomize successful attitudes and behaviors. This will help your youngster have personal experiences and positive images of those who are getting ahead. And, don’t forget to include contact with successful people you don’t know personally, such as public figures, authors, or others your youngster can meet at conferences, book signings and other events. These experiences go a long way to counter negative images and stereotypes your child may have about people who are successful in areas other than the ones they consider to be “cool”.
Strong Communication Skills
Like it or not, society places a high value upon strong verbal communication skills. Help your youngster speak well so these skills can be used in all formal situations. You learned how to do this a long time ago – learned that you must speak differently at work, on the phone during a business call, and when you’re in other fussy situations. Then you talk the way you want to when you get home. But, your youngster may not fully grasp the need to be able to comfortably switch back and forth between hip speech when with their friends and more formal speech when in class or similar situations. Kids need to understand that they may be presenting an unfavorable impression if they do not speak properly for the circumstance they are in at the time, and that they may miss out on opportunities because of this. Ensure that your child feels comfortable speaking in public. Too often, children shy away from the spotlight because of poor speaking skills. Help them evaluate their written skills too. Do they communicate the image of a winner? If not, help them get it together. And, give them plenty of practice. Enforce the custom of sending thank you notes for gifts, writing letters or sending e-mails to elders or friends who live out of town, or responding to articles in youth magazines or newspapers. Any additional reading will strengthen vocabulary skills and help your youngster use language comfortably and effectively.
Positive Leadership Experiences
Expect your child to be a leader. Even at very young ages, children are tapped to represent the class at school meetings and other activities. Rather than deride or hide from these roles, help your youngster understand the value of having a voice and the power to change things that happen in life. When you hear complaints about school rules or activities, point out the value of being active in student government so your child understands how rules come to be and how to change them. Take your child with you when you go to vote. When you hear that only nerds join chemistry clubs or work on the school newspaper, seize the opportunity to explain how membership in these activities provides kids with opportunities and experiences that others will never know. Then do a little more than that. Help your youngster get information about the clubs and activities viewed as less popular and attend a couple of meetings. Then talk about whether the activities are only for nerds after your child has had a chance to get to know some of the kids that are participating and what the activity has to offer.
In all of these areas, kids must understand that they can obtain success skills and still be hip too. Don’t feel that you’re forcing your child to do something he or she doesn’t really want to do. You’re helping your youngster learn how to make decisions based upon fact, not stereotypes or the opinions of those who may not be on the fast track for success. You’ve got a lot of outside negative influences to counteract in order to help your child excel, so don’t worry about doing your job – it’s called parenting.
About the Author:
Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,
The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers
To contact Dr. Webster visit online at http://drcarolwebster.com or call 954.797.9766.
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Consulting
Mailing Address: 7027 West Broward Boulevard, #262 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317
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