Dr. Funke’s Tips, Raising Successful Children

Dr. Funke’s Steps in Raising Successful Children, was a talk held for Parents of Early Years students. Nevertheless, the steps she spoke about in the discussion with the Parents are applicable to students across the Primary school, in their formative years.

Before Dr. Funke began her discussion, she wanted to ask the parents present a few questions. What do you think you have passed down to your children? When you look at your children, what makes you think that, this is coming from me? Whether it be innate or hereditary, children pick up blueprints of our genetic and behavioral make-up.

Some parents gave answers that their children’s talkativeness or ways of communicating are from them, while others talked about more emotional and psychological aspects like children wanting to please others or children being perfectionists! Some parents also talked about their children’s curiosity and “never give up” attitude from such a young age.

Many times, parents’ expectations of their children are understood by the children themselves. This leads to children wanting to mimic behavior that may be what they conceive as what their parents or caregivers want. But we want our children to have their own distinct values, personalities and traits. How do we raise our children to be successful?

Tip #1 – Teach Responsibility

Dr. Funke said that dividing simple chores in the household gives children, as they grow up, a sense of responsibility towards their actions and their work, which in the long term is beneficial to their contributions to the community. The positive reinforcement gives children an appetite for work and helps the avoidance of an entitled attitude.

Tip #2 – Strike a Balance

Children should be balanced and engaged in various forms of engagements and activities for their active brain development. Dr. Funke spoke about the ‘Fixed Mindset’ to the ‘Growth Mindset’. The fixed mindset has little to no active brain activity, while the growth mindset allows children to make efforts, learn and even make mistakes.

Children should be able to feel comfortable even while they make mistakes, because then they can learn. There should be a balance of our expectations and their learning journeys. In the growth mindset, children are engaged, processed and corrected instead of seeking validation and rewards. Children may even be able to pick up the pride and joy in parents, albeit positive, as a pressure of not wanting to disappoint.

Change the narrative from excelling to learning journey. This develops a positive attitude and behavior inside the school and outside, teaching emotional intelligence and self-awareness.

Tip #3 – Be a Role Model

Children learn from adults throughout. In their Early Years, the environment around them plays the most important role in the brain development, and their future skills and behavioral attributes.

Parents and other Care-givers and influential adults in the children’s lives should take the sape approach to their tasks. Dr. Funke spoke about Emotional Contagion whereby children can also pick up on others’ emotions.

Allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them, be active, take responsibilities for yourself and engage with your children.

Tip #4 – Focus on your Relationships

A Happy Home equals to a Happy Child. It’s a simple formula. Unhealthy relationships and relationship building have a literal effect on the Child’s brain development.

Conflicts at home must not be displayed in front of a child and if so, must be resolved in a healthy manner to teach children the same as they grow and develop their own relationships.

Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication is key!

Tip #5 – Be Authoritative not Authoritarian

Dr. Funke advised parents to not rule with an ‘Iron fist’. Instilling fear, more specifically, fear of punishment is harmful to the child’s emotional and psycho-social development.

Enforce Rules to establish structure but do not be overbearing.

Tip #6 – Teach them how to earn and manage Money

Dr. Funke said that it’s even healthy to sometimes give a monetary reward of a very small sum to children, upon a completion of a chore. That is to say, pocket money.

Children can keep a piggy bank and parents can teach them to save money. This instills in them the understanding of the concept and value of money.

Children who do not know how to manage money will grow into teenagers and adults who do not know how to manage money.

Tip #7 – Teach them to Practice Gratitude

Gratitude improves the well-being of the children, thus, giving them a more positive outlook to life.

Teach children to say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’ whenever they ask for something, no matter who from!

Tip #8 – Teach them Healthy Habits

This instills in children, for the long term, the value of healthy living and overall well-being. Teach them exercise, go on walks with your children, and get involved in physical activities to keep them physically active. This helps their brain development too.

Also teach children about healthy food choices, as children’s development needs a balanced diet. Treats would be fun but also healthy and productive!

Moreover, it creates associations in their minds.

Tip #9 – Restrict Social Media and Internet Use

Social Media and Internet Use is an exposure that must be guided and limited in children during their formative years. The negative influence of social media and internet use on immature brains is very probable. This must be balanced.

At the table, there should be no phone or tab. While doing homework, the use of the phones should be restricted and tabs must be used for strictly educational purposes. Phones are not allowed when playing or interacting with peers.

Legitimate Restrictions like Firewall and Prohibited Searches should be put up to restrict children from coming into contact with harmful information.

Tip #10 – Allow them to Play

Dr. Funke advised, “Get to know your children’s friends’ parents!” As they get older, allow your children to go on play dates at their friends’ houses. Give them their relaxing time.

This is essential for social development and for children to feel comfortable in their development.

Plus, a LOT can be learnt through play!

We hope you found this useful! Stay tuned for more of such news in our ARIS Counseling Corner! :)