Top 10 Tips for Raising Great Kids

As parents we all desire that our kids will grow up to be happy, healthy responsible adults, don’t we?

I know I do! I want for mine to do more good than harm in this world. And, I am going to do everything in my power to make it happen.

It is important to make a conscientious effort to encourage our children to develop independence and strong character, which empowers them to successfully navigate through life. If we are waiting until the teen years to start preparing them, then we are setting them up for failure. Character development of children starts on day one.

However, our job as parents is not to tell our children how to live their life. Our job is simply to encourage them to develop sufficient strength of character and independence to figure it things out for themselves. In doing so, they have what it takes to avoid the costly mistakes that so many others make in life. The sooner that they learn the skills means less hand-holding by the adults.

Here are 10 tips to guide them toward the proverbial, straight and narrow.

  1. Lead by example. All children are strongly influenced by their parents’ example. Therefore, it is important to teach what we want to see by ensuring that the example you set is worthy of following.

    • You cannot expect them to learn and grow just from being told what they should do. You have to do it yourself. Kids always tend to do what you do and not just blindly follow what you say.

  2. Get your children out into nature. Let them see how the world works. Take them to the mountains, forests, rivers, lakes, and the ocean. Encourage them to have an interest in their natural environment and in wildlife.

    • Show them how food is grown and how it gets from the field to the table. Let them try growing some simple vegetables themselves so they can appreciate the time and energy that nature puts into food production.

  1. Give them as much interaction with animals as possible, especially those in the wild. Cultivate their interest in all living beings, their environment, and the fine balance of the ecosystem that supports them.

  2. Teach your children about negotiation and consequences. Use their daily routine as a platform.

    • For example, if they have to do chores to earn a trip to the movies, discuss the consequences of not getting the chores done beforehand. Then, there will never be any surprises for them if things don’t work out.

    • If you are consistent, your kids will soon come to you to negotiate, with their own terms and conditions about everything that’s important for them.

    • They can learn and understand value, truth, punctuality, and reward just by applying the principles to regular household chores or pocket money.

  1. Encourage them to speak up about things that are important to them. Better yet, encourage them to think through an issue and write out a statement expressing their opinion on the matter. If they need to address an issue with them, have them talk it through and practice it with you.

  2. Encourage them to question everything. We live in a world where profit, power, and control seem to dominate every topic and every world leaders’ agenda. Teach your children to think critically rather than just believing whatever they see or hear. It is not hard to look around us, and see the hive mind operating at full strength.

    • If your child can develop the habit of receiving information, questioning it, forming their own opinion based on the facts presented, and then challenging the status quo, you will be well on the road to developing a young leader yourself! The world needs more critical thinkers.

  3. Teach them about peer pressure and how to resist it before they ever get subjected to the consequences of it. Just because a majority of individuals engage in the same thought or action, it doesn’t make it right. Help them that fitting in is not always the best option.

    • Likewise, if you stand alone against the majority, it doesn’t make you wrong. Resisting following the crowd for all the right reasons is a powerful learning process.

  4. Encourage them to explore everything that interests them, fascinates them or causes an emotional reaction in them. Sadly, this is lacking in most school curriculums where the dominant methodology is to make all children dress the same, learn the same, and be the same.

    • The education system is designed to strip the uniqueness out of young people. What we really need is more unique individuals in society, who follow their passion, whether or not it may be on the school agenda.

  1. Ensure that they understand what social media really is: a mild form of entertainment with very little value in the real world. Explain where it came from, what it does, and how you can have fun with it, but ensure that they also know that what they see there usually isn’t reality.

  2. Enroll them in some form of self-defense. The world seems to be becoming an ever more violent place. The chances of your child being in the wrong place at the wrong time is much greater today than when you were a child. Martial arts provides children with the necessary skills for protection; as well as, teaches them important values to build on their independence and character.

    • It’s important for them to understand how to evaluate any given situation they may find themselves caught up in and how to remove themselves from it as rapidly as possible.

    • They also need to learn what they can do if they are forced to engage with an assailant, and then remove themselves from that situation as rapidly as possible.

It’s the school’s job to teach your children about learning, and it’s your job as a parent to teach them about life. If you teach them well, they will grow up to be of strong character and become independent thinkers.

With that as a foundation, they can set out on their life journey with confidence, courage, and inspiration to create a successful and fulfilling life.