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13 little things that can completely change your child's future

What will make the biggest difference in your child's future? The answer may surprise you.
Megan Wallgren, FamilyShare Modified: September 2, 2014 at 6:05 pm •  Published: September 3, 2014

We all want to see our children grow into happy, successful adults. It's fun to see them grow and develop different personality traits and interests. As parents, we want to give our kids the best future possible. That doesn't mean we need to give them everything they want or spend a lot of money on vacations or activities. Here are 10 simple things that may have a big effect your child's future.

1. A book

Books are dear to the heart. Most of us remember a favorite bedtime story, thrilling read or character that was there for us when no one else was. One book can lead kids to decide on a career or lifestyle.

A study from the National Endowment for the Arts says a child's engagement with books affects future life in broader ways as well. Poor reading skills tend to equate with lower pay, lack of or poor employment, and fewer chances for advancement. Poor readers are less likely to be active in civic life, volunteer less, and vote less than better readers.

It's important to get children a good start in engaging with the written word. It will make a lifetime of difference.

2. Taking out the garbage

Financial guru Dave Ramsey says, "You should view teaching your children to work in the same way you view teaching them to bathe and brush their teeth — as a necessary skill for life."

Giving kids chores prepares them to be able to take on and fulfill assignments in the future for employers and teaches them the relationship between work and success. As a bonus, it gives them confidence and a sense of community as they contribute to your family's well-being.

3. A teacher

A child will have many teachers over the years, but sometimes he makes a special connection with one that will change his life. Whether by igniting a love of a particular subject or by helping a child through a hard time in life, a teacher can earn a special place in his student's mind and heart.

4. A friend

While not related by blood, a friend can hold the same place as family in your heart. The wrong friends can send your child on a downward spiral and the right ones can support and uplift him to greater success. Click here for advice on helping your children choose good friends.

5. Time with dad

A study posted on found, "Even from birth, children who have an involved father are more likely to be emotionally secure, be confident to explore their surroundings, and, as they grow older, have better social connections with peers. These children also are less likely to get in trouble at home, school, or in the neighborhood." Having an involved father was a better social indicator of future success than having money or social status. Enough said.

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