10 secrets to raising awesome kids

Parenting’s arguably the hardest job you’ll ever take on, so boost your chances of parenting success with these handy hints.

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Parenting is a tremendous responsibility and raising an older kid is even trickier as junior is developing a mind of his own. As Ellyn Satter, who wrote Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense, points out, “Your job as a parent is not to make your child’s way smooth, but rather to help her develop inner resources so she can cope.” Here’s how parents of successful kids ace this job.

1. They are involved in their child’s life

Parents who keep the communication channels open and respond appropriately to their offspring’s cues provide security for them to explore the world. Just asking about junior’s day shows that you’re genuinely interested and concerned, which, in turn, will boost his self-esteem and perceived value in the household. Reminding him that you are always there for him doesn’t hurt either. After all, a happy child means a joyful household.

2. They set tech rules

It’s nearly impossible to avoid giving junior a smartphone, especially if he is allowed to go to school on his own. Plus, gadgets keep the kids busy while mummy does some shopping! Efficient, eh? However, these fixes don’t come without concerns. Obscene and explicit content abounds on the Internet, so it’s nearly impossible to always monitor what content your kid is consuming. Setting rules both you and your child agree on from Day One will ease your worries. Incidentally, making sure junior spends time away from his digital device gives him time to find and pursue a creative outlet.

3. They encourage imagination and creativity

This could be in the little things, like allowing your child to decorate his own room or choose her own clothes. And forget about an enrichment class, your kid needs space to develop his own creative passion in an unstructured way. Children who feel like they are able to express themselves creatively tend to have a higher self-esteem, which results in happier emotions!

“Making sure junior spends time away from his digital device gives him time to find and pursue a creative outlet.”

4. They teach their kids social skills

While it’s good to show your child support, you also want him to be able to stand on his own. One aspect of his growing independence involves building social skills of his own and learning to manage conflict. First-hand experience is the best way to learn a skill like this, so encourage junior to go out and make friends!

5. They keep their word

No one appreciates someone who doesn’t keep his or her word and it’s doubly important that you do so when you are a figure your child looks up to. Not standing by what you say may result in trust issues between you and junior, and lower your child’s self-esteem in the long run. Don’t make promises you may not be able to keep and when you do make one, always remember to reassure your child that you have not forgotten about it.

6. They teach healthy financial habits at a young age

You’ve saved for years to provide for junior and one day, he’s going to have to do it on his own. By honing your child’s money habits and financial-planning skills, you are equipping him with a lifelong skill. Start small, for example, by helping him plan how much of his weekly allowance he would like to save.  Oh, kids also need to learn that if they really want something, they should wait and save to buy it — a foretaste of the ability to delay gratification, which predicts how successful they will be as grown-ups.

Click for four more prime parenting pointers…