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Five Key Attributes of the Successful Child

To be successful in life you need to be happy with you as an individual. Having these attributes will take your child to that point.

Self-Esteem and Self-Worth

Above all else, your child needs to value herself as a person. If she doesn't see herself as valuable, nothing else matters. That is how important your child's self-worth is; it is her basis for existing. Self-esteem comes in a close second in the level of importance. How your child values her own abilities will determine if she is willing to use those abilities.

When your child knows she has value and abilities that are valuable, she will develop a can-do attitude. She will feel capable and worthy of being loved. She won't be afraid of making mistakes, because she understands that mistakes happen and anything worth doing is worth the risk of making a mistake.


In the early years you are the sole support, builder, and guard for your child's self-esteem. As your child gets older, he will begin to rely on peers and other adults to perform some of these jobs for him.

Willingness to Learn

Without a willingness to learn, life will be an everyday struggle for your child. Children who are unwilling to learn shut down. They do not have the same social skills as their peers and generally become outcasts.

A child who is willing to learn will never be stopped by any obstacle that comes her way. She will tackle obstacles as problems to be solved, not as roadblocks that make her turn back. She will be able to seek out answers to her problems and find them.

The Ability to Love

Successful children need to love and be loved. It is a basic human need. With a loving foundation in his life, the successful child will look at the outside world with hope. He will carry joy in his heart and will want to contribute to society.

Children who are successful in their ability to love surround themselves with people who are loving as well. When you foster the ability to love in your child, you are giving him a gift of always having a loving relationship in his life, and he high self-esteem and self-worth will seek out people like himself.

Good Character

The successful child needs good character in order to gain trust from those around her. She will slowly build her character and gain trust from others by accepting responsibilities and following through. Developing her character gives her stamina and teaches her the value of hard work and perseverance.

The little things about a child's character are also important in the road to success. Manners are really not a forgotten concept and are very important for children to learn. Sportsmanship will teach her how to play fairly. Striving to help others will teach her to appreciate what she has.


Every day your child will face at least one challenge, probably many more. He needs to be able to face that challenge and work it out in order to be successful. He needs to bounce back when things don't go his way.

Resilient children can face failure and try again. They have a higher tolerance for frustration, exhibit impulse control, and are able to delay gratification. Resilient children become proficient in problem-solving and decision-making because of these skills. The successful child needs flexibility so he can deal with other people effectively. He needs to learn the art of compromise. He needs to learn to go with the flow in order to fit in with society. For instance, say you need to get your son and daughter to their soccer games at the same time on Saturday morning and then pick them up at the same time that afternoon. You work out a compromise that you will drop one off early and pick up the other late. A flexible child would see this as being fair and accept that he will have to wait a little bit.


From The Everything Parent's Guide to Raising a Successful Child Copyright © 2004, F+W Publications, Inc. Used by permission of Adams Media, an F+W Publications Company. All rights reserved.

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