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5 Sure Ways to Destroy Your Child's Success

Updated: Mar 31, 2022

As the author of over fifteen books, at least eight of them on parenting and discipline, and a family counselor for almost 15 years, I can tell you there are five sure ways of destroying your child’s ability to succeed. This article is a satirical look at what you can keep from your children that will negatively influence who they are as adults. If you do these five things, you can rest assured that you will powerfully impact your child’s success in life in the wrong direction. 1. Make sure to Blind Them with their Rights!

Allow your children to become blinded by their own sense of entitlement. Make sure they know they have "the right" to pout, shout and shake it all about." Make sure they believe that their rights trump yours, after all they are your children, and your job is to serve their every desire.

Then, do not let them see you living your greatness. Allow your children to lead the way in your household from a very early age. Do o not model successful behaviors of any kind for your child, so you can be assured they will wind up lost and blind. Without great modeling, your child won’t learn how you expect him/her to behave. Modeling is the basis of learning through observation, so keep your children in the dark. This is good for those parents who do not want to look at their own behavior and take responsibility for it. 2. Yell, whine, plead, beg and make frustrated noises (and teach them to do the same)

There are many different types of communication tools available to parents, but the most important thing to remember is that words are only a small part of communication! Communication is considered the number one skill necessary to succeed in relationships. Relationships everywhere; work, school, work, home . . .if you truly want to destroy your child’s ability to succeed do not calmly, respectfully or considerately communicate with them ever. Instead, yell, whine, plead, beg and make frustrated noises and watch their ability to express themselves successfully quickly begin to fade as the do exactly what  you fail at doing. 3. Do not Discipline your child (Consider delaying gratification an actual form of abuse)

This is good news for most parents. Discipline is the thing they least enjoy anyway. When you don’t discipline a child, they do not learn self-discipline, which keeps them behaving as spoiled, entitled children who cannot delay gratification for five minutes. There inability to delay gratification, coupled with their entitled attitudes will ensure they do not succeed at anything they try. (Primarily because they don’t believe they should have to exert effort for anything).

Research has shown that children who cannot delay gratification as children grow up to be much less successful than children who can. 4. Remember problems are for having, not solving (Super size them)

In order for children not to succeed they must not develop problem-solving skills or learn to resolve conflict. If you want your children to fail, super size their abilities to create problems that they do not know how to navigate or resolve. Conflict resolution and problem solving are usually circular. You experience a problem or have a conflict and at first the experience is a bundle of negative or confused emotions. If you simply stop communication or processing information half way through any problem or conflict, you can teach your child to stay stuck in the conflict cycle. This is a great way to keep them from succeeding because it will create perpetual problems for them that, they cannot solve because they never developed the skills. 5. Create No Family Traditions (Each child should determine their own traditions)

Family traditions show your child that there are standards and rituals that are consistent and important. Family traditions help children feel that they are a part of something lasting.  When you do not create family traditions children are left with nothing to ground them, nothing to believe in, and little to look forward to, Having a sense of belonging  teaches children good character and the ability to love. Developing good character and the ability to love are two characteristics that lead children toward success, so be sure not to create any family traditions if the desire on your heart is to watch your children to fail.

All kidding and sarcasm aside, too many parents are doing the five steps above without realizing how damaging they can be.

Here are some recommendations for preventing -- or at least reducing -- bad behavior. First and foremost look into the NEW Toddler Toys called CAPABLES. Toy and games will never be the same because the CAPABLES learning system is not only a wonderful toy for children but provides parents help with children discipline. This is a few things that the CAPABLES Toddler Toys can help parents to do:

  • Establish and provide the necessary structure: rules/expectations and consequences.

  • Set limits; provide a game structure that helps a parent be clear and consistent.

  • The CAPABLES Learning System insures that your responses to your child's behaviors/misbehaviors should be predictable, not random.

  • Anticipate problem situations and set up a method to avoid them.

  • Set up routines and adhere to them as closely as possible. For example: morning routines for getting ready for school, mealtime routines, homework routines, and bedtime routines.

  • CAPABLES help keep you calm and avoid discipline that is reactive and not thought out in advance.

  • Anticipate stressors and frustrating expectations and work around them.  CAPABLES provides you an easy and fun way to deal with tension and frustration that comes with parenting.

  • Avoid fatigue -- your own and your child's. Most of us do not make our best choices when we are exhausted.

  • CAPABLES help parents focus on their child when he is behaving appropriately. Make it your goal to catch him doing things right and use the CAPABLES badges of honor to notice and appreciate those behaviors. Identify and specifically point out the positive behavior(s) and positively reinforce easily with the CAPABLES badges of honor. Parental approval is very important to most children. Knowing that you are aware of his efforts to exhibit self-control and that he can earn your approval and other awards is a strong incentive.

  • Plan ahead which behaviors you will work towards increasing and how you will reward (positively reinforce those behaviors).

In 2008 Dawn was selected by Oprah Magazine and The White House project as one of 80 emerging women leaders in the nation.

Dawn L Billings is a serial entrepreneur and a communication and personality expert. Dawn is the creator/founder of programs, including

and she is executive director of the luxury couple's healing resort, in Arizona. Dawn is the author and architect of the Primary Colors Personality Test and Insight Tools, founder of OverJOYed Life and creator of the Happiness Curriculum.

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