How to help your children succeed in life

By Drum Digital
11 April 2017

One lucky reader will win R15 000 towards their child’s education.

Every parent wants the best for their child and for them to succeed in life. Moms (and dads) want their children to do well so they can go on to university and study further. It can cause a lot of stress when you worry about what your children will do for a living one day and what will become of them in life. But not all children are destined for academia and this, believe it or not, is not a bad thing.

Doing your utmost to ensure your child succeeds can cause some unwanted stress. And pressuring your child because you want them to do better than you did, is not always the best approach. It’s important to strike a fine balance between encouraging your child and overemphasizing the need to succeed in a specific field of study. Rather than focusing on your child’s next report card, focus on bringing out the best in your child to ensure future success. Shaping little minds is not always an easy task, that’s why 1st for Women who offers insurance tailor made for women is here to put you first so you can focus on your child’s future. Here’s some expert advice on how to help your child excel.

 Nurturing the creative mind

Some children are more creative than others and might be better at doing things with their hands than excelling academically. Don’t push them to study harder.

Dr Shirley Kokot, an educational psychologist from Wellington in the Western Cape says: “Some children are better suited to technical training. Artisans are in high demand in the country and an essential part of the economy.”

Plumbers, electricians, mechanics, spray painters and fitters and turners will always be needed. Skilled artisans can open their own businesses and there is also plenty of Government funding in this regard.

Nurturing the sport lover

Dr Andrew Lewis, an educational and sports psychologist practising in Stellenbosch and Somerset West in the Western Cape has the following tips for moms (and dads) of sporty children.

He says: “Be realistic about your child’s abilities. If their strength lies in practical things rather than academics, consider a university of technology. If they really love sport, they can consider personal training or sports management as a career. University is definitely not the only way to success.”

Lewis recommends aptitude tests to give parents insight into their child’s abilities and says it is important to teach them that the discipline, perseverance and stress management skills they learn in sport, can be applied to any area of life.

Nurturing an academic mind

If you want your child to succeed, they will need grit and self-discipline more than anything else. Researcher Angela Duckworth from the University of Pennsylvania in the United States has conducted several studies on the traits that determine success.

She repeatedly found that it is not IQ that determines who comes out on top, as one might expect. The deciding factors are grit and discipline. (Grit is perseverance and passion for long-term goals.)

Dr Kokot says grit is something you are born with but can be developed in children if their parents act as grit role models. Parents must model persistence, handling frustration and failure well, good work ethic and self-motivation. And what should you do when your child brings home an A?  “Instead of praising the A, tell them how proud you are of the time and effort they put into getting such a good grade. This will help them learn the value of hard work,” Kokot advises.

“If a parent emphasises hard work, rather than academic achievement, a child will feel more able to reach the expectation, reducing their fear of disappointing you,” says Karen Lugg, an educational psychologist from Johannesburg. “Everyone is capable of hard work, regardless of ability.”


We know that your child’s education is a top priority for you. That's why

1st for Women puts you first by helping you get started.

How to enter:

Simply complete the form below and submit by 17.00 on 17 May 2017 to stand a chance to win.

1st for Women terms and conditions:

1st for Women is an authorised financial services provider FSP 15261.

By entering this competition, entrants agree to receive marketing and/or promotional material from 1st for Women and/or any of their associated or affiliated companies. No entrant or winner of this competition is in anyway obliged to enter into a contract of insurance with 1st for Women and/or a contract with any of their associated or affiliated companies.

Entrants must be 18 years and older.

Competition rules and Media24 terms and conditions: The competition runs from 21 April to 17:00 on 17 May 2017. You may enter as many times as you like. Staff and their families of Media24 and the prize sponsor may not enter. You have to send the correct answer to the question to stand a chance to win. Winners will be chosen by random draw. Winners will be notified telephonically. If a winner can’t be reached within three calls during business hours, a new winner will be chosen. Media24 and the prize sponsor take no responsibility for any damage caused by entering or taking part in this competition. Prizes are non-transferable and may not be exchanged for another prize. Media24 will be responsible for delivery of prizes within a reasonable time (4 – 6 weeks). It is the winner’s responsibility to provide FICA documents, a proof of address, copy of their ID and proof of bank account in order to receive their prize money. Media24 and the sponsor take no responsibility for loss of the prize should the winner neglect to provide all relevant documents. By entering this competition, you consent to occasionally receiving promotional material from Media24.

Find Love!