Here’s What It Takes To Raise Good Kids

Here’s What It Takes To Raise Good Kids

Raising good kids isn’t about following a strict rulebook. You’re not just shaping a child, you’re shaping a future member of society. It’s important to ditch the parenting fads and discuss the foundational principles that help kids develop into compassionate, responsible, and resilient adults.

1. Model the behavior you want to see.

Kids are always watching. Want them to be kind? Show them kindness. Want them to be honest? Don’t tell those little white lies in front of them. Your actions speak way louder than any lecture ever could. Live the values you want them to embody. Kids are really smart and they will mirror your behavior.

2. Let them feel their feelings — all of them.

Anger, sadness, even tantrums – they’re normal! Don’t dismiss their emotions, but help them learn to name and manage them. That emotional intelligence is more valuable than any gold star. Teaching them to navigate those big feelings empowers them to cope with life’s inevitable ups and downs.

3. Turn mistakes into stepping stones.

Messing up is how we learn. Instead of punishing them when they make a mistake, guide your kids toward finding solutions and how to make amends. Focus on what they can learn from it, not the shame attached to the mistake itself. Reframe these mistakes as opportunities for growth and encourage them to try again.

4. Prioritize connection over correction.

When kids feel safe and understood, they’re more likely to listen. Before you correct misbehavior, connect! Empathize with their struggle, then gently guide them towards better choices. Building a strong connection makes them want to cooperate, not just comply out of fear.

5. Emphasize effort, not outcomes.

guy at dinner table with family

Celebrate the hard work, not just natural talent. Did they practice hard? Show up despite fear? That’s where true growth happens, way more important than always winning or getting perfect grades. Help them see that the real reward is in the journey, not just the destination.

6. Accept that it’s okay for them to struggle.

While it’s tempting to swoop in and fix every problem, this instinct can rob kids of crucial learning experiences. Let them struggle with age-appropriate challenges – whether it’s a tricky puzzle or a minor social conflict. That struggle is where true growth happens. It builds confidence, resilience, and the invaluable “I can do hard things” mindset. Trust your child’s ability to figure things out, even when it’s tough to watch them wrestle with difficulty. That belief in their potential is far more empowering than always providing the answers.

7. Make “character counts” your mantra.

Kindness, empathy, responsibility – those qualities matter more than perfect test scores. Create opportunities for them to practice these traits – helping others, taking care of belongings, and owning up to mistakes. Those everyday choices are what shape who they become.

8. Know that they need your time, not just toys.

Fancy gadgets are no substitute for a present parent. Read together, get silly, go for walks… those shared experiences build bonds that last far beyond any toy’s appeal. Your attention is the most priceless gift you can give.

9. Make boundaries your BFF.

Kids need clear, consistent boundaries to feel secure. Don’t be afraid to say “no” and stick to your limits. It may feel like a power struggle at first, but structure provides the safety they need to thrive. Boundaries teach them self-regulation and respect for others, crucial life skills for navigating the world.

10. Let them contribute.

Age-appropriate chores or helping out with tasks gives them a sense of importance and belonging. It teaches responsibility and the value of pitching in as part of a family team. When they feel like contributors, they’re less likely to feel entitled.

11. See boredom is an opportunity.

Constant entertainment kills creativity! Let them figure out their own fun sometimes. That unstructured time sparks imagination and problem-solving skills they won’t get staring at screens. Boredom can be the catalyst for their greatest ideas and self-discovery.

12. Unplug regularly.

Set tech-free time for the whole family. Hikes, board games, just chatting – model the joy of connecting face-to-face, not just through a screen. Real-world connection is vital for their development. Help them learn to balance the digital world with the richness of real-life interactions.

13. Seek out positive role models.

Caring teachers, coaches, or extended family members can offer another perspective and valuable support. Help them create a network of positive adults who see their potential and champion their growth. They may learn something important about themselves from an unexpected source.

14. Celebrate the small wins.

Big milestones are great, but don’t forget those everyday victories. Did they share a toy without a fuss? Finally tie their own shoe? That progress deserves recognition. Celebrating the little steps makes those big wins feel even more achievable.

15. Embrace your village.

Parenting is tough! Build a support system of friends, family, or other parents who get it. Ask for help when you need it, and offer help to others – we’re stronger together. It takes a village to raise a child, don’t be afraid to lean on yours.

16. Love them fiercely and imperfectly.

There’ll be bad days and blowups. Make sure they know your love is unconditional, even when you disagree with their behavior. Their confidence to try and fail depends on your unwavering love. Let them know they’re always worthy of love, even when they mess up.

Enjoy this piece? Give it a like and follow Bolde on MSN for more!

Gail is Bolde's social media and partnership manager, as well as an all-around behind-the-scenes renaissance woman. She worked for more than 25 years in her city's local government before making the switch to women's lifestyle and relationship sites, initially at HelloGiggles before making the switch to Bolde.