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Raising Children: 11 Things Kids Need From Their Parents

Raising children is tough, but family life can also be extremely rewarding.

Here are some tips on how to raise a child.

11 Tips on Raising Children

1. “I learn by watching you. Become a role model for me.”

Parents play a very important role in a child raising.

Showing is better than telling in good parenting.

“Be a good role model” seems pretty obvious. But it’s easier said than done. Remember the last time your kid was pushing your buttons, and you yelled at them?

If we don’t want our kids to lose it when they feel pushed to their limits (chores, homework, veggies, etc.), we have to model how to regulate our emotions and handle things that make us mad calmly.

It isn’t easy. We tend to have a hard time staying calm when we are angry.

But our kids are watching us.

We must be the person we want our children to become.

boy hugs father

2. “Give me hugs and kisses. You can’t spoil me with those.”

Children want our love and see us show them.

Love cannot spoil children. Only things we do or give in the name of love, or even worse, in place of love, may do that.

Showing affection to children helps create secure attachment and allows them to build an internal working model of loving relationships.

This will tremendously impact how they relate to others, especially in adulthood.

There are many healthy ways to show your love.

Here are some examples that will not spoil your child.

  • Give them hugs and kisses.
  • Spend time doing things that you can enjoy together.
  • Talk with them, and truly listen to them.
  • Cheer for their success.
  • Empathize with their struggles and not dismiss their feelings.

3. “My brain is still developing and slowly learning. But I want to learn if you patiently and kindly teach me.”

Practice authoritative styles of parenting and use kind and firm positive discipline.

Most children want to learn. They are not born to “push our buttons.”

But learning takes time.

Remember how often your toddler fell before they learned to walk without wobbling?

Learning “human rules” is even more complex than learning “gravity rules.” Understanding, absorbing, incorporating, and using that information takes time.

If a child doesn’t get it the first ten times you say it, it doesn’t mean they are stubborn or strong-willed. It means they need more time and practice. Kids need your kind and firm guidance to discipline them, not punish them.

The authoritative parenting style involves parents having high standards while being warm and responsive. It’s the best parenting style found in many studies.

4. “Always be here for me no matter what.”

Be your child’s secure base for them to explore and return to. Raise a securely attached child by being a warm and responsive parent.

Securely attached children are more resilient, show more positive behaviors​1​, have fewer dropouts in high school, and enjoy better mental well-being​1​.

5. “Talk with me. Don’t just talk at me.”

Have real conversations and listen carefully.

We often forget that communication is a two-way interaction.

Talk with your child, and discuss what’s on their mind and what’s important to them. Things not important to grownups can be very important to your child.

If we listen to the small things our young kids say, they’ll come to us with big things when they grow up.

6. “Sometimes I want to be heard without judgment or lecture.”

Like grownups, kids sometimes want to vent. They want to be heard and understood. Listen with an open mind and empathy.

Parents of teenagers often wonder why their kids don’t talk to them anymore. One reason could be that no one likes to be lectured constantly. Also, no one wants to be around someone who always lectures.

7. “Accept who I am. Don’t constantly compare me to other kids.”

Every parent wants their child to be the best they can be. This natural desire may sometimes cause parents to compare their kids with others.

The Harvard Grant Study has found that having a parent-child relationship in which the child feels nurtured and accepted is the key to success in life​2​. So the tendency to compare is doing children a disservice.

8. “Let me play outside a lot.”

The importance of play for young children cannot be overstated. Unstructured play outdoors is even better.

The outdoor environment is full of rich opportunities for development and learning. Playing outside usually allows children to have more autonomy and develop independence. Children can also engage in sensory play and physical activity unavailable in indoor facilities.

9. “Give me food that is nutritious and yummy.”

Children cannot buy or make their food. So they rely on us to provide what they need.

Your child may not have the same taste as you do. When they refuse certain food, using the “Eat or Starve” method may be tempting.

“You either eat it or starve” is essentially starving a child into submission, into having the same taste that you do.

Instead, look for healthy food that your child likes.

There are many different types of nutritious food. Finding what your kid likes may take many trials and some creativity, but it’s doable.

10. “Please trust me.”

Making mistakes is not always a bad thing. If we want our children to have good judgment, we must let them practice making decisions and stop acting like helicopter parents. That means they will inevitably make mistakes.

It doesn’t mean we become permissive parents.

Rather than telling them what to do, teach them critical thinking. It is one of the best ways to teach children how to make sound decisions.

Let older children decide on things that won’t be a danger, health risk, or inconvenience to others. A child cannot learn to walk without falling. They also can’t learn to make good decisions without making bad ones.

11. “Your praise means so much to me.”

Encouraging words can have a powerful positive effect on young people.

Praise sincerely and focus on their efforts, not their abilities.

Catch them when your child’s behavior is positive, such as putting down video games without being asked.

When praise for kids is used right, it can make a big difference in a child’s self-esteem, intrinsic motivation, and good behavior.

Infographics: 11 Tips on Raising Kids

Raisingchildren Infographic:
1 how to raise a child - showing is better than telling
2. love me
3. raising a child - kind and firm discipline
4. be my safe haven
5. how do you raise a child - talk with me
6. hear me
7. accept who i am
8. let me play outside a lot
9. give me food that is nutritious and yummy
10. trust me
11. encourage me


  1. 1.
    Ainsworth MD, Blehar M, Waters E, Wall S. Patterns of Attachment. Psychology Press; 1978.
  2. 2.
    Vaillant G. TRIUMPHS OF EXPERIENCE: THE MEN OF THE HARVARD GRANT STUDY. Harvard University Press; 2012.


    * All information on is for educational purposes only. Parenting For Brain does not provide medical advice. If you suspect medical problems or need professional advice, please consult a physician. *