Parents, teachers and coaches devote countless hours into helping kids build skills that they think will help them have a brighter future. But, reading aptitude and soccer skills don't guarantee a happy adult life.
In fact, a 2015 study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that social and emotional skills are the biggest predictors of future success. Researchers discovered that the more emotionally, mentally and socially competent kids were in kindergarten, the more likely they were to go to college and be employed full-time at age 25. Kids with the lowest social and emotional competency scores were at the highest risk for dropping out of school, legal problems and substance abuse issues.
But just because a child goes to college doesn't mean they've got all the emotional skills they need to succeed. In fact, a 2015 nationwide survey of 1,502 college students found that 60 percent of first-year students felt emotionally unprepared for college and were more likely to report poor academic performance and a negative college experience.
Fortunately, social and emotional skills can be taught (I include more than 100 exercises that teach these skills in my book "13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don't Do"). A few simple strategies incorporated into your daily interactions with your child can make a big difference.
Here are five things smart parents do to raise successful, mentally strong kids: