Parenting Wins: How to Help Your Child Soar

Image of family of three at a park. A young girl rests on top of father's shoulders while the mother stands beside them.

Original Version of Story Published by Parents

Guest Post for #PHABack2School

All-time favorite nuggets of advice to help raise happier kids.

Raising kids can be challenging, but these all-time favorite nuggets of parenting advice can help you cut through the noise to remember what’s important.

  • Play with your children. Let them choose the activity, and don’t worry about rules. Just go with the flow and have fun. 
  • Read books together every day. 
  • Love your children equally, but treat them uniquely. They’re individuals.
  • Schedule daily special time. Let your child choose an activity where you hang out together for 10 or 15 minutes with no interruptions. 
  • Avoid food fights. A healthy child instinctively knows how much to eat. If he refuses to finish whatever food is on his plate, just let it go. He won’t starve.
  • Don’t try to fix everything. Give young kids a chance to find their own solutions. 
  • Kiss and hug your spouse in front of the kids. Your marriage is the best example your child has of what an intimate relationship looks, feels and sounds like. So it’s your job to set a great standard.
  • Teach your baby to sign. Just because a child can’t talk doesn’t mean there isn’t lots that she’d like to say. 
  • Serve a food again and again. If your child rejects a new dish, don’t give up hope. You may have to offer it another six, eight or even ten times before he eats it and decides he likes it.
  • Get kids moving. Place your baby on her tummy several times during the day, let your toddler walk instead of ride in her stroller and create opportunities for your older child to get plenty of exercise.
  • Trust your gut. No one knows your child better than you. If you think something’s wrong, chances are you’re right.
  • Savor the moments. Yes, parenthood is the most exhausting job on the planet. But your kid just laughed. Enjoy it now—it will be over far too fast.