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Raising happy, successful kids is probably the hardest job in the world. You start out thinking that you can control their actions and nudge them in the right direction every time they falter, but you then start facing a resistance that you don’t understand. Things get progressively out of hand from then on and reach rock bottom when your kids get gobbled up by the teenage years.

During this time, it becomes your primary responsibility to make sure that, even if your kids feel lost and directionless for a while, they don’t turn into goons or head down the wrong path.

How do you avoid such a possibility? By taking small but significant steps every day from early on. Let’s look at the 10 things you can do every day to raise happy, successful kids.

1. Enjoy what you do every day.

It’s not always about your kids. You have a significant role to play in how your kids turn out. Because your kids ultimately observe you from day one and pick up your mannerisms, habits, and energy. So if you’re someone who seems happy and successful from within, they will too. But if you look like you’re in misery, things won’t turn out much different for them.

2. Listen to what your kids have to say.

When your kids have something to say to you, listen. Listen with all your ears and pay full, undivided attention. You’re everything for them growing up. So if you don’t listen to them yourself, they won’t trust anyone else to do it too.
Gain their trust and help them out. In this way, they’ll also teach them to build trust and help others when they grow up.

3. Project a positive outlook towards life.

No matter how pessimistic you are in life, you’ve got to be positive around your kids. You don’t want your kids to learn from you that life is shit. You’d only be projecting your pessimistic worldview onto them, and thereby, robbing them of the chance to decide for themselves. There’s much to celebrate in life, and you should allow them to discover it for themselves.

4. Give them important advice, but don’t nag them.

Having gone through the childhood, teenage, and young adult years yourself, you’re qualified to give your kids precious advice on love, life, and happiness. This advice will benefit your kids greatly as they grow up under your wings. But hold back from nagging them about things. Give them advice at the right times, and then allow them to learn through their mistakes.

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5. Celebrate the little wins within the family.

Make it a habit to celebrate small wins. Your kid participates in a running race, or spots some prominent constellations in the sky, raise a toast. The celebration doesn’t have to be elaborate — it can be over a glass of soft drink, but ensure that there’s a celebration. This keeps the cheerful and celebratory spirit alive within the family, and multiplies happiness and success.

6. Eat a meal together every day.

With more and more kids eating their meals watching TV or surfing away aimlessly these days, it’s important to curb this practice and make it a habit to eat together every day. Lunch or dinner table conversations provide for plenty of time for catching up and learning things about each other. This helps the family stays closely knit, which is key for raising happy kids.

7. Practice good habits, and then recommend it to them.

Parents often falter in asking their kids to do things that they themselves would never do or vice versa. A father who smokes heavily cannot really stop his kid from smoking as well. A chronic late-comer parent can’t expect their kids to be always on time. Preach — you’re a parent after all, but try to practice what you preach. Leading by example is the best way forward.

8. Focus on the process, not the end result.

Don’t emphasize too much on output with your kids, as that sends out the wrong message. Your kids will learn that achieving the output is what matters, not how you get there. Which, as you can see, is an idea headed in the wrong direction. Appreciate the time and effort your kids spend on different things. Don’t drive them or yourself nuts about the end result.

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9. Encourage your kids to make their choices.

In traditional India, parents make decisions for young boys and girls, starting from what they’ll study to who they’ll marry. This is unfair for the kids, as they’re left to face the consequences of their parents’ choices. It’s important to understand that kids have their own lives, and they have the right to make their own decisions. (Not if they’re still a child, though.)

10. Tell your kids, in different ways, that you love them.

Perhaps, the most important of all these pointers is that you should let your kids know that you love them. Since your relationship with them is the primary or source relationship in their lives, your love means the world to them. Naturally, a feeling of being loved will build their confidence, self-esteem, and the ability to share love and happiness with others, which honestly, the world could do more of.