As a parent of multiple kids (ranging in ages from 1-9), I regularly wonder about what skills I can teach them to be successful. I acknowledge that I do not know all of the ways, although I think Bill Murphy, Jr. may have identified a few of them. In his recent article on Inc.com, referencing his new book How to Raise Successful Kids, Mr. Murphy identifies a number of interesting ideas. I am not going to analyze each idea, rather I am going to discuss the importance of number 5-- Get them Excited about Math!!
From the time our children were learning how to talk and walk, we tried to regularly play math games with them. The more we played those games, the more we realized that math games were helping them with basic problem solving and grouping. Surprisingly, the math games were also helping them be more imaginative and verbal. We would play math games with all kinds of themes--sports, space fighting, pirates and local landmarks. As the kids became older, we introduced them to math games involving money; those games encouraged them to ask to use real money and they wanted keep whatever money they "won".
Interestingly enough, we tried to play similar games with spelling and word association, but did not see comparable results or enthusiasm. Perhaps it was harder for the kids to recognize success with concepts as amorphous as word association. Then again, numbers may just be more fun.
I think the biggest lesson that one can draw from all of Mr. Murphy's points is that the best way to increase the chance of raising successful kids is to BE INVOLVED.