100 Ways to Raise Kind, Intelligent Children

by DeeAnne on 09/02/2012

mother and child

1. Teach them to respect others, by showing others respect ourselves

2. Place the same value on being well-mannered and kind that we do on being popular, wealthy, attractive, good at sports, or getting straight A’s

3. Read to them every night, and take the time to enjoy it

4. Teach them to have empathy by explaining how they’re actions might make others feel

5. Teach them to be kind to themselves in small ways (i.e. saying nice things about themselves, and their talents)

6. Help them to understand that it’s more important to be kind than it is to be right

7. Teach them how to have pride in their work by showing them the difference between just getting a job done, and doing a job well

8. Help them learn a sense of accomplishment by allowing them to do what they can for themselves

9. Help them learn how to entertain themselves without spending money

10. Be their parent first, and their friend second

11. Home should be set up as a benevolent monarchy, with firm ground rules, rather than as a democracy with young members that don’t yet understand all the ramifications of the decisions that must be made

12. Allow them to explain their views without judgment…they’re learning how to form opinions

13. Understand that shouting and harsh comments can be just as damaging as physical abuse

14. Understand that they are not miniature adults, but children that are still learning and who depend on us for gentle guidance

15. Make time everyday to do something fun with them, even if it’s just for half an hour

16. Understand that the natural state of the parent/child relationship is one of struggle, it’s their job to become independent of us

17. Know that as long as they are doing what we ask of them (making their bed, taking out the trash, doing their homework, cleaning their room, etc) it’s okay if they’re stomping and complaining as they’re doing it. It’s illogical to expect them to be thrilled to do tasks we all dislike.

18. Never make them feel as if they’re unwanted, or a bother

19. Encourage their curiosity

20. Encourage their interests, no matter how different they are from our own

21. Show them how to laugh at themselves, by being able to laugh at ourselves

22. Beginning at a very early age, teach them the value of money, and teach them how to save, invest and budget before they leave home

23. Say “yes” to them as often as possible…save “no” for things that are either wrong or unsafe, not for times that we just can’t be bothered

24. Don’t hover, or attend every single activity; let them learn to do things for their own enjoyment, not as a way to please others

25. Take an interest in their activities, and attend often

26. Talk to them about everything, including world events, but at their level of understanding and maturity

27. Instill in them a sense of good manners, and a sense of fun

28. Do not tolerate unkind behaviour toward others

29. Let them know that they can always disagree with us, as long as it’s done with respect

30. Encourage them to follow their dreams

31. Have a life of our own, so they don’t feel responsible for our happiness

32. Help them to believe that they can achieve anything, so long as they’re willing to pay the price

33. Let them know what the price might be for some of their dreams

34. Teach them the natural consequences of their actions by letting them experience those consequences

35. Protect them from games, television and movies that are not appropriate for their age or maturity level

36. Teach them gratitude

37. Remember that it’s our job to raise good, kind human beings; it’s their job to decide whether that good, kind human being will be a doctor, farmer, teacher, writer, etc

38. Don’t expect them to behave in ways that we do not (i.e. calm and polite when angry, tired or stressed)

39. Give them an example of a happy, committed relationship

40. Teach them that it is perfectly fine to feel angry, sad or hurt, but that it isn’t fine to hurt others or be mean just because we’re feeling angry, sad or hurt

41. Show them ways to self soothe when upset (have a friend over, phone a favourite aunt or grandparent, take a bubble bath and make bubble beards, etc)

42. Understand that shouting and screaming makes a parent seem crazy and out of control, and teaches our children that we cannot be trusted in stressful situations

43. Share our interests with them

44. Teach them healthy boundaries with others

45. Teach them how to be loyal

46. If they are cared for by others, be certain that they’re in a healthy, happy, loving environment

47. Teach them the value of good health habits

48. Be certain they get enough sleep

49. Occasionally let them stay up late

50. Have curfews

51. Occasionally let them stay out after curfew

52. Admit our mistakes

53. Apoligize when required

54. Tell them they are loved every day

55. Pass along religious practices and traditons

56. Understand that we are their primary role models, and be the person we’d like them to be

57. Teach them to be a conscious consumer

58. Teach them the difference between wanting and needing

59. Never use guilt as motivation

60. Welcome their friends into our homes, and on outings

61. Stop and really listen to them, in the same way we like being listened to

62. Eat at the dinner table, and encourage conversation

63. Don’t “shush” them too often

64. Let them laugh

65. Teach them that they alone are responsible for their behaviour, and don’t allow them to blame it on circumstances or on others

66. Happily help them with their homework

67. Remain calm when they are not

6. Help them to learn how to explain why they’re upset

69. When asking how their day was, don’t rush them for an answer, or answer for them. Just wait. Even if they only say “fine”…just wait. Sometimes they’ll open up after digesting the question, and their own thoughts.

70. If all else fails, take them for a walk and ask them how their day was, and then wait for the answer.

71. Never withhold love

72. Don’t give them all of the material things they ask for, even if we can afford it

73. Be sure they have plenty of physical activity, even when it’s inconvenient

74. Help at their school

75. Have family game nights

76. Give them a journal or diary to express their feelings freely

77. Praise them four times as often as you correct them

78. Let the little things go

79. Keep a baby book, or keepsake book, and read it every year on their birthday

80. Stop worrying, and understand that we can only do what we can do

81. Know that both nature and nurture go into the adult they will become

82. Stop working so many hours to buy them things, and give them the gift our our time instead

83. Slow down, and let them see us enjoy our own lives

84. Make sure they learn about art and music

85. Travel with them, and introduce them to other cultures, religions and customs

86. Take them to work with you, and explain what you do

87. At an appropriate age, give them something to care for (i.e. a dog, a fish, a plant)

88. Place a high value on education, not only as a way of making money but also for its own sake

89. Let them make mistakes, and don’t belittle them for it

90. Help them learn to correct the mistakes they do make

91. Surround them with interesting people, books and activities

92. Be a balanced parent, don’t overcompensate for our own childhood

93. Be more interested in them than we are in our friends or ourselves

94. Teach them to use technology intelligently, and with good manners (i.e. no cellular phones at the dinner table)

95. Be more interested in whether those they date are kind to them, instead of focusing on whether we like them or not

96. Make sure they know that stressful times have nothing to do with them (i.e. job loss, financial difficulties)

97. As they become a teenager, take on an advisor’s role while still steering

98. When they have a problem, ask them how they think they should solve it, rather than simply giving them the answer, then talk it through

99. Use the last few years that your child is at home to teach them how to manage their own time, money and behaviour

 100. When it is time, lovingly let them go
photo credit unknown

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda July 22, 2014 at 21:30

This list is perfect! Thank you for a day brightening read.


DeeAnne July 24, 2014 at 20:11

Thank you for your kind comment!

Have a lovely day,


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