Do you want your child to be successful in life? The key to that actually lies in your parenting style. That is what Ronald Ferguson, Harvard professor and author of The Formula: Unlocking the Secrets to Raising Highly Successful Children, found while studying how different parenting styles impacted a child’s success, with co-author Tatsha Robertson.
From the data, eight parental roles were identified that make up the formula for master parenting. These are:
1. Early learning partner
According to Ferguson, this is the most important role of the eight where parents get their children interested in learning at a young age before they start going to school. Successful kids can read basic words by kindergarten, causing the “early lead effect” where the child responds positively to a teacher’s excitement that they can read.
2. Flight engineer
Such a parent, as per Ferguson, monitors the child’s growth environment, makes sure they get what they need and intervene when they do not. This parental role is not the same as helicopter parenting, who, as Ferguson says, “are so involved in their children’s lives they don’t create space for them to develop independent relationships, learn how to negotiate for themselves, or identify their own interests.”
The parent ensures all possible resources are available to the child so that he or she is not deprived of any opportunity for his or her betterment. “The parents might be living in poverty, but if they see an opportunity they judge to be essential for their child’s success in school or life, they’ll walk through walls to get it,” Ferguson was quoted as saying.
Parents in this case help the child discover the world through museums, libraries and exhibits. This helps the child acquire knowledge while broadening their perspective.
In this role, parents ask and answer important life questions to help children navigate. These parents do not underestimate their child’s capacity to grasp an idea and understand the meaning.
Such parents teach by example. They know which values are the most important to them and ensure these are passed on to their children.
Parents teach their child to stand up for themselves especially in the face of those who have power and also be respectful towards others.
8. GPS navigational voice
“The parents’ voice in the child’s head after the child has left home, coaching the young adult through new situations in life,” describes Ferguson.