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From Yahoo News

Want to steer your kids on a path toward becoming successful grownups? Skip the self-esteem building and afterschool tutors and instead encourage them to share, cooperate, and show kindness.

A 20-year study found that kindergartners who displayed these social competence traits were more likely to have graduated college, stayed out of trouble with the law, found full-time jobs, and avoided drug and alcohol problems by the time they reached age 25.

“It was striking to see how sharing, cooperating, and being kind at such a young age served as predictors of adult success,” lead study author Damon Jones, senior research associate at Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center at Pennsylvania State University, tells Yahoo Parenting.

Interested in how social and emotional skills make a long-term impact on a child’s life, Damon and his study team tracked 753 male and female subjects. As kindergartners in the early 1990s, they were rated by teachers on a scale of one to five on skills such as sharing, being helpful, and listening to others.

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