Parenting 101: How to Raise Successful High School Students

3 Simple Traits Found in Parents

Parenting just might be the most difficult experience many of us will ever face in our lives. All we want is to see our children succeed. We want them to find happiness and fulfillment by maximizing their potential, utilizing their strengths and conquering their challenges. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

As a parent myself, I must admit to lying awake at night dreaming of my own kids becoming presidents, professional athletes and CEOs while fearing they might instead become convicts, criminals or “the guy on the couch.” How will I be sure of the former?

While there is no instruction manual and no right answer, as a secondary school educator with 15 years of experience I have identified some core parenting traits shared by those parents whose teenagers seem to be most successful in high school. While high school isn’t but a mere step in the grander staircase of life, it’s not easy, and it’s a step toward adulthood (if not the presidency).

1) Honesty.

We all know when someone isn’t telling us the truth, and children are no different. Our kids can smell dishonesty from a mile away. I’m not just talking about being honest with our kids, either. I’m talking about being honest with everyone else in our lives, too. Our kids are watching us much more closely than we might think. Knowing that their parents are honest gives students comfort and safety and it ultimately leads them to do the same. Leading by example is a great way to encourage students to make the right decisions.

 

2) Drive.

No, not the minivan, I'm talking about possessing the drive to go in pursuit of our goals and dreams. Too often parents lecture their children about being a better student, working harder or having better manners. Meanwhile, the parents themselves don’t model this behavior. They may not appear happy, fulfilled or driven, themselves.

Who wants to follow that example? Why would anyone listen to someone who isn‘t pursuing their own goals or pursuing their potential?

3) Humor.

Humor is crucial in successful parenting. Parents need to have the ability to laugh. Getting through the teenage years is tough, not just for the student, but for the whole family, so we have got to have some fun along the way. Laughter brings a family together; it lets everyone be vulnerable, and it puts the challenges we face in perspective. If parents can laugh at themselves, then that’s even better because it demonstrates the ability to check our egos at the door and learn and grow.

Parenting is hard, and parenting high school-aged children is beyond challenging. But, if we keep these three successful parenting traits in mind we might just find ourselves overcoming those challenges we face and inspiring our teens to become even more successful than they ever imagined. Who knows, you may also find yourself succeeding quite a bit more than you expected, as well, and that’s great for your teen!

What successful parenting traits have you seen in the parents of successful high school students? Share them with us on Facebook.

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Guest Author’s Bio:

Jason Warnick is the Director of External Engagement and Alumni Relations for Hyde Schools, a pair of private boarding schools committed to character development and family involvement as the cornerstones of college preparatory education. A 15-year veteran of independent secondary schools, Jason has served as a teacher, coach and administrator. Primarily focused on enrollment, development and marketing, Jason is passionate about contributing to the community of independent boarding schools and the amazing families they serve. Jason is a proud, fledgling father of four young boys under the age of six and his best thinking is done when he escapes to run, ride his bike or fish for trout on a dry fly.

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Expert's Note: If you are a private school educator interested in contributing a guest blog or being interviewed for an upcoming blog, let me know.

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