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18 Smart Ways to Raise Thriving Kids in the 21st Century

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Embarking on the journey of parenthood with no room for second chances can be an intimidating prospect. However, envision the profound joy if every parent could effortlessly navigate this role right from the beginning. The ageless wisdom still resonates: raising a child is a task best undertaken with the support of a community. In today’s interconnected world, that global community is just a click away.

Online forum users discussed the best ways to raise a kid in these times.

1. Honesty is Still the Best Policy

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Kids are young, not dumb. Be frank with them about the emotions you experience as an adult and how to handle them.

An online contributor says, “Be honest with them. Don’t pretend like big emotions don’t exist or that adults don’t feel them.”

Adults cry too, and that’s OK.

2. Always Stay Humble and Kind

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In this fast, [and untrustworthy] world, most people don’t pause to be kind to others. A user says to raise awesome people, “Teach them [kids] kindness, empathy, and resilience.”

Another adds, “Raise them to be kind and understanding while also knowing they deserve respect in return.”

3. Reward Effort and Perseverance

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In this microwave, instant coffee, and instant noodles generation- effort and hard work may look less attractive than easy, peasy lemon squeezy. An online contributor says parents should reward effort and perseverance over instantly knowing how to do something.

This will help the kid try new, unfamiliar things with a positive attitude. Resilience is such as important life skill.

4. Encourage Teamwork

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No one wants to meet a grownup who’s impossible to work with or lets others pick up after them. In an online forum, a parent advises parents of multiple children to allow them to forge cooperation.

5. Allow for a Take two

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A user says parents should “Encourage kids to look at their failures and replan.”

If they don’t get it the first time, they shouldn’t sulk and give up and throw away the tools. The parent adds, “It also builds self-reliance and confidence because they feel control over their environment and have confidence when encountering problems.”

6. Avoid Co-Parenting with Electronic Gadgets

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Handing a child a phone whenever you don’t need to be disturbed will reward you with instant silence, but it’s detrimental to their development and social life.

An online user says, “Don’t give them mindless distractions and let them be bored. Sure, they will be more of a handful, but boredom inspires creativity and curiosity.”

7. Let the Kids Be Bored

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Most kids today treat boredom like some kind of a plague to be avoided. They then fill up all the silence with screens and more game apps.

A parent on an online form shares, “Being bored doesn’t kill them. After you give them lots of options they don’t want, they’ll just buzz off and figure it out like the rest of us did when we were kids. I don’t know why we even buy them toys when cardboard boxes, tape, and markers seem to be the preferred play fodder.”

Boredom breeds creativity.

8. Talk to Them and Listen

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Children should not be treated like a distraction. When they feel valued and wanted, they thrive.

As an online contributor says, one of the best ways to bring up children today is to “Talk with them.”

Someone adds, “Don’t tell them they shouldn’t feel a certain way. Instead, listen and help teach some emotional education and coping skills for how they feel.”

A user advises parents to bond strongly and connect with their kids. “Treat them as humans instead of like pets or inconveniences. Let them know they are loved daily. Especially when they screw up, which they will.” They add.

9. Feed Them Well

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Some kids seem to come installed with a default setting of hating all healthy food. There are enough unhealthy options to fill a supermarket trolley, but if you aren’t careful, your hospital bill will be as long as your candy receipt.

A user advises, “Provide a diet consisting of essential nutrients and encourage physical activity.”

Another adds, “Eating well, no more microwave dinners and saturated fats.” 

Obesity and other lifestyle diseases are becoming too common among kids recently. Don’t add your kids’ names to the list.

10. Be Their Biggest Cheerleader

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Enough trolls and haters are waiting in the world to denigrate them, don’t be one of them.

A user says, “Do encourage and help build self-esteem and confidence. … Don’t tell them they can’t do something. Instead, help them learn, especially when it comes to daily living skills and responsibilities.”

Your voice becomes the background music to their lives; let it encourage them.

11. Safety First

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A kid needs to feel safe at home and with the people they’re surrounded with. If your child expresses discomfort about a particular person, listen and act.

A user says, “Do your best to make them feel safe and loved. Make sure they have food, shelter, and healthcare. And don’t sweat the rest of it.”

12. Show and Tell

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Kids are very watchful and believe what they see. Don’t just tell them you love them; live it so they don’t doubt it for a second.

A mom says, “Kids are sponges, so they will do everything they see me doing, so I lead by example. I want her to be a healthy kid, so I am healthy, I want her to be compassionate, understanding, loving, and that she respects herself and others, so I and my husband are all those things. So my husband and I are all those things and lead by example.”

13. Friends-Making Skills

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Friends are for life, and good friends become family. Bad friends can be the beginning of the end, even for a good child.

An online user says, “I maintain that one of the best things you can possibly teach your kids is how to identify, make and keep trustworthy friends. You won’t be able to stop them from doing all the foolish teenage things, but having people around who will look out for them will improve their chances 1000%.”

14. Give Them Money Skills

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Teaching a child about money makes them responsible and prepares them for the future. Adults with little or no money skills are some of the most miserable people.

An online contributor says, “Teach them about earning money and saving money, paying for things they want with money they earn in chores at home.” 

15. A Chess Game a Day

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Few games help a child learn decision-making more than chess. Or any other engaging brain game (matching games, battleship, monopoly, etc.).

A user says, “Have them play one chess match with you every day. Chess has no randomness or chance in it; simply said, luck has nothing to do with it. Every loss comes from making a poor decision, and every win from making better decisions and capitalizing on good opportunities.”


16. Keep It Simple

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Most of all, don’t forget to let kids be kids- without all the tech and worry that comes with today’s times.

17. Consider a Time In

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We often resort to negative punishments, such as taking away a toy or time outs for little ones. Some parents have great luck with a positive spin- offering them a “time in” where they do something quiet that they love. This helps them reset and move forward.

18. Let Them Call the Shots (Sometimes)

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In the past, parents always knew best and kids were expected to listen and follow suit. However, including our kids in decision making is a game changer.


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