Want to Raise Successful Kids?

This content is recommended for 30~60 minute sessions. Note that tutors may not be familiar with the content. Make sure you consult with your tutor before using this material. 


After a quick greeting, read the following article out loud. Your tutor will go over pronunciation if necessary.

[P1] The rich aren’t like you and me, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote almost a century ago. One of the ways that’s most obvious today is how they choose to raise their kids.

[P2] Let’s assume that the most successful and wealthiest people love their kids as much as the rest of us do. They can literally do everything to ensure their kids have the best chance of growing up to be happy and successful, too. So here are some of the things they choose to do.

[P3] Most of these are backed up by science, but as well-known, successful people understand, they have more of a platform to preach their practices.

1. Help them develop emotional intelligence.
[P4] This is right at the top of the list. Happy and successful people need one thing more than anything else: great relationships. Developing them, as the people at the Gottman Institute have written at length, requires developing adequate emotional intelligence.

[P5] The most important thing parents can do to encourage this development? Model good behavior in their own love and partnerships. Billionaire entrepreneur Tory Burch summarized this as well as anyone: “Put your children, family first, and then everything else falls into place.”

2. Encourage them correctly (and let them fail).
[P6] Encouraging kids correctly is about praising them for their effort, not for the results. Doing so pushes kids to develop a “growth mindset,” according to the research of Stanford professor Carol Dweck, rather than a less successful “fixed mindset.”

[P7] Doing this right includes making them understand that failure is okay. “My dad would ask my brother and me what we had failed at that week, and if we didn’t have something to tell him, he’d be disappointed,” explains self-made billionaire Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx. “I didn’t realize it at the time, but he was just redefining failure for me, so failure didn’t become about the outcome, it became about not trying.”

3. Help them date and marry the right people.
[P8] I get lots of feedback every time I write about this, but successful people boast it all the time: Marry the right person. At the very least, don’t marry the wrong person. Jeff Haden has written about this at length, citing a well-known study at Washington University in St. Louis.

[P9] Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gives immense credit to having married the right person in counting for her success: “I have had more than a little bit of luck in life, but nothing equals in magnitude my marriage to Martin D. Ginsburg. .. Without him, I would not have gained a seat on the Supreme Court.”

4. Work from home when you can.
[P10] The science is pretty clear that people who work from home (at least sometimes) are happier and more successful than their colleagues in the same job who go to an office every day. And the world’s most successful people say, “it’s also important to help raise successful kids”.

[P11] “I’m a great believer in people working from home,” explains billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson, both because of what it did for his lifestyle, and for the opportunity to be with his kids.

5. Eat meals with them.
[P12] One of my favorite parts of the day is that I get to eat breakfast with my daughter each morning. Turns out, this is a good practice, eating meals with kids makes it more likely they’ll be successful because doing so communicates that, “time at home as a family is our highest priority,” writes pediatrician Dr. Leonard Sax.

[P13] We could highlight any number of successful people on this front–but let’s go with Jeff Bezos, who reportedly refuses to schedule morning meetings, because that’s the time he’s eating breakfast with his kids.

6. Don’t hover like a helicopter…
[P14] The former Dean at Stanford University, Julie Lythcott-Haims says, “kids face big problems now because their parents hover over them like helicopters, saving them from hardship and hard decisions.” This is very important as recognized by the most successful people.

[P15] “I’d much rather have a kid with nine fingers than an useless kid,” says MacKenie Bezos, explaining why they let their kids play with knives.

7. But be by their sides when they need you.
[P16] I think the lesson here is: don’t go to extremes, because avoiding helicopter parenting doesn’t mean leaving kids to fend for themselves. A review of research in this field suggests, that “run to their side” or tell your kids “to suck it up side” school of parenting, found that “run to their side” leads to a happier outcome.

[P17] There are many examples cited here, but Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s habits strike a chord. Reportedly, he makes time each day to ensure he’s at home to tuck in his kids at night and sings the Jewish prayer Mi Shebeirach to his daughter.

Source: https://www.inc.com/bill-murphy-jr/want-to-raise-successful-kids-7-things-most-successful-parents-do-according-to-science.html


Read the words and expressions and definition out loud. Your tutor will go over anything you do not understand. Practice creating a sentence or two to make sure you know how to use the words and expressions properly.

Words / Expressions

Words Definition
fall into place (expression) when things fall into place, they happen in a satisfactory way, without problems
e.g. If you plan the project well, then everything should fall into place.
self-made (expression) having become successful or rich by one’s own efforts
e.g. a self-made millionaire
on … front (expression) in a particular area of activity
e.g. On the front of new technology, there have been a number of important developments.
helicopter parent (expression) a parent who takes an overprotective or excessive interest in the life of their child or children
e.g. some college officials see all this as the behavior of an overindulged generation, raised by helicopter parents and lacking in resilience.
suck it up (expression) to endure a period of mental, physical, or emotional hardship without complaining
e.g. Stop complaining and suck it up. Everyone goes through the same thing.

Discussion Questions

Use the following questions as a guideline to help develop an interesting conversation with your tutor. Feel free to make your own opinions if anything interesting comes to mind.

  1. Summarize the article in your own words.
  2. What are the seven things that the successful people are doing differently? Explain them in your own words.
  3. Which of the seven practices do you like the most? Why?
  4. Describe your parenting style. What do you like and dislike about it? Share your thoughts with your Cambly tutor!


Go over any new expressions or vocabulary that you learned today.

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