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10 Things Parents Can Do To Make Their Kids Highly Successful

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10 Things Parents Can Do To Make Their Kids Highly Successful

Wanting the best for your children is a universal goal for all good parents. The best home, the best upbringing, the best school, the best life… Great parents simply want their children to have the optimum chance of success. Regardless of outside influences, all parents can instil values in their children to ensure they grow up to be healthy, responsible, successful adults.

1. Teach respect

Parents should instil a sense of respect in their children. Not just respect for all human beings and living things (although this is obviously important), but respect for everything in the world. Parents should show their children the value of respect as well; you earn respect by giving it out unconditionally. Teaching children to respect all aspects of life leads them to appreciate everything they have, and to learn the value of working to earn more.

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2. Teach tolerance

Children need to learn how to tolerate all other human beings on the planet. It does no good to look down on others; rather children should learn to help their fellow man when in need – since they may find themselves in need of help one day. Also, children should learn to tolerate those who have wronged them, and learn to understand why this may be (such as the bully who takes lunch money from others because his mom can’t afford to pack a lunch for him at all). There are things in this world that cannot be changed, and children that learn this will learn how to deal with these situations as best they can whenever they arise.

3. Teach responsibility

Parents should teach their children how to be responsible for their actions. It’s important for them to understand that what they do or say has far-reaching consequences, and whether or not these consequences are positive are negative is up to them. By going easy on your children when they do wrong, you ultimately are doing a disservice to them. It may be hard to discipline them, but keep the long run in mind. As adults, their actions will have much more serious consequences if they do wrong. On the other hand, teaching your children that positive actions result in positive rewards will put them on the path to success.

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4. Teach self-control

Children who learn how to control themselves will quickly become independent adults. Children who constantly have to be told to do their homework or clean their room rather than doing it on their own will eventually get lost when they find themselves living alone for the first time. Children should learn money management at a young age, and learn how to prioritize their resources (including their time), so when their parents are no longer around, they are not left wandering aimlessly. Keeping control during extraordinarily tough times is also important, so they do not dig themselves into a deeper hole by acting in a way that negatively affects them and those around them.

5. Teach honesty

Children need to learn to be honest, with others and with themselves. An honest child will grow into a trustworthy adult whose career will flourish. It’s incredibly important to instil in children the idea that, even if they do something they weren’t supposed to, it’s better to tell the truth about it rather than lie to avoid punishment. Children will make mistakes, but lying is not a mistake – it’s a conscious effort to outsmart an elder, which is disrespectful on many levels. Children should also be honest with themselves to continue improving on a daily basis. As they become more independent, they must be able to honestly look at aspects of their lives and analyze their choices. By being honest with themselves, children will continue to grow long after their parents can help them.

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6. Teach integrity

Having a high-paying job, a huge mansion, and beautiful sports car means absolutely nothing if they were gained through ill-gotten ways. On the other hand, having a modest home, a car that gets you from A to B, and a job that pays the bills is a true picture of success when it was earned through hard work and dedication. Children need to learn the difference between society’s vision of success and their own. Just like they need to learn to be honest even when they know they’ll get away with lying, children also need to learn to have integrity; they must always do what’s right, even when no one’s around. Whether or not you instil religious beliefs in them, teach your children the value of the angel on their shoulders, and how to squash the proverbial devil on the other.

7. Teach perseverance

So many children are so scared of not doing well that they never try. This applies to homework, tests, new hobbies, asking girls out, applying for a first job… kids are much more scared of the world than you think. Teach your kids that it’s totally okay to fail. What isn’t okay is letting life pass you by without ever trying. Be there to catch your children when they fall. Help them get up, dust them off, and throw them back into the fray. They need to know that failure is not the end of something, but is one of the many pathways to success. Their dream life will never simply “come true,” but they can earn it with hard work and perseverance.

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8. Teach gratitude

Teach your children to be grateful each and every day, for the things they have, and the people who care about them. Show them how to give thanks, such as doing chores without being asked, spending time with a relative, or writing a thank you note to a teacher for no special reason other than to give them credit for the hard work they do. Being grateful reinforces the idea that each of us has a civic duty to one another. Children who understand this will grow to be an integral part of their community, and will be valued by society since they are always focused on what they can do to help others.

9. Teach life skills

In between instilling values and teaching life lessons, parents also must remember to teach life skills to their children. Teach them how to wash dishes, clean the bathroom, mow the lawn, change a tire, or use a snow plow. Make them do it, so they aren’t hit with the shock of having to do it all when they (finally!) move out. Teach them to make a list of errands to do on a daily basis, so even when they “don’t have anything to do,” there’s still ways they can improve their lives. They might resent you for the time being while you’re showing them how to unclog a sink and their friends are outside playing, but they will appreciate it when they don’t have to call a plumber every few weeks when they own their own home.

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10. Be a role model

Absolutely none of this can be done if you, as the parent, don’t model it for them. “Do as I say, not as I do” does not work (because the second you’re not around, they’ll be doing whatever they want). Be the person you want your child to be. In fact, be a better person than you’ve ever been in your life, if only for the benefit of your children. It is definitely hard work, but raising a model citizen is the most rewarding thing you can possibly do to boost your own confidence. Raising a child that can go out and make something of himself independently is the true definition of success.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Matt Duczeminski

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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