9 Ways to Raise Good Kids

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“To be a parent is to be chief designer of a product more advanced than any technology and more interesting than the greatest work of art.”  – Alain de Botton

Parenting may be the best job you ever had – and it may also be the hardest. It’s definitely a job that has its ups and downs, elation and frustration, and moments when you’re left just shaking your head.

But ultimately, if you ask any parent, all they want is to raise good kids. Thankfully, there are many ways to go about doing this.

Here are just a few things you can do to help you along the way.

  1. Spend Time With Your Children: It’s often said that kids don’t really care what you buy them; they care about the time you spend with them. And how do you go about that? Reading with them, playing with them, attending their sports or activities – anything you can do that has you being together. It’s really as simple as that.
  2. Act as a Role Model: Kids have a tendency to imitate the behaviors they see – so act as a role model for your kids. Let your actions, words, and behaviors be shining examples for your children. When they see you acting in a positive manner, they will most likely follow suit.
  3. Teach Them Empathy: Empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. By talking about feelings, modeling empathy, and teaching children to be good listeners, you can teach them about empathy. Brightly also has a list of “12 Books That Model Empathy and Compassion for Young Readers.” 
  4. Have Them Practice Good Manners: Have you ever had one of your child’s friends come to your place and noticed that they don’t use please and thank you? How did you feel? Manners are definitely important and a skill that kids need to be taught. Work with your children to practice this skill – and yes, it may take some prompting along the way. Not sure what manners your kids should know? Parents magazine has put together “25 Manners Every Kid Should Know.
  5. Teach Them How to Deal With Their Emotions: Children have emotional swings just like adults, but while adults know (for the most part) how to deal with their emotions, kids do not. But when you teach them how to handle them, you are teaching them a valuable life skill. iMom shares “6 Steps for Helping Your Child Handle Emotions.
  6. Don’t Offer Rewards Too Often: It can be tempting to reward your children for things like good behavior, good grades, or for helping around the house. And while the occasional reward is fine, you probably don’t want to offer rewards too often, or it becomes an expectation. 
  7. Discipline Consistently: Consistent discipline is important – especially if you have multiple children. You want to make sure you are disciplining children in a fair and equitable manner all around.
  8. Show Them Respect: If you want your children to show respect, then you need to show them respect, too. This may mean respecting their feelings, respecting their space, and respecting their choices – even if you have different ideas or thoughts. But know that showing respect helps to build trust – and that’s definitely something you want with your children.
  9. Teach Them to Show Gratitude: Gratitude runs deeper than just saying, “Thank you.” VeryWell Mind has some ideas to help you teach this.

Parenting is hard, but know that you are doing your absolute best to raise good kids. So keep at it and work to incorporate these things into your parenting.

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