Kids will define what success looks like to them as they grow up, but parents who raise happy, healthy, and independent kids do these ten things differently from other parents. Your role as a parent lasts a lifetime, but your role in their development is crucial. How can you balance molding them and letting them develop themselves?

Research Reveals: Parents Who Raise ‘Successful’ Kids Do These 10 Things

Let’s look at ten things that research shows parents who raise successful kids do differently.


1. Let kids fail once in a while

Persistence is what parents who raise successful kids teach when they allow kids to fail in small ways without rushing in to rescue them—learning to get back up after a fall builds determination to carry on.

2. Teach the meaning of gratitude

Spend time with those who have less, lost, or fighting a battle beyond what your children have to deal with in their young lives. Seeing that what you give them is more than others have can be a valuable lesson in gratitude and humility that parents who raise successful kids teach early on.

3. Teach them to be their own best friend

You won’t always be there to pick them up after they are lonely and need comforting. Kids who don’t learn to rely only on other people to comfort them are independent and more likely to succeed.

4. Teach kids the value of hard work

Chores are the kid equivalent of adult work, and allowances are the kid equivalent of a paycheck. No work, no pay means that you are teaching consequences for behavior that will serve them well in the real world.

5. Don’t let them settle if you know they are capable of more


Researchers from the University of Minnesota and the University of Miami School of Medicine looked at parents who teach competence and resilience in their kids to help them be successful. We can say that a kid learns to be competent when they can adapt successfully to changes. For example, schoolwork gets more challenging as they progress or when they have to make new friends due to a move. We have already talked about resilience in our first list topic about overcoming failure.

The research found that knowledge rapidly expands for children, and the brain changes in both structure and function as they learn. The researchers listed these characteristics of parents who raise successfully resilient kids:

  • Good intellectual functioning
  • Appealing, friendly, easygoing disposition
  • Self-efficacy, self-confidence, high self-esteem
  • Talents
  • Faith
  • Close relationship with a caring parent figure
  • Authoritative parenting: warmth, structure, high expectations
  • Socioeconomic advantages
  • Connections to extended supportive family networks
  • Bonds to pro-social adults outside the family
  • Connections to pro-social organizations
  • Attending effective schools

6. Praise their efforts, not the results

Researchers looked at parents who raised successful kids based on their academic performance and found five family and home environmental factors that affect student achievement in school and academic performance. These five factors are:

  • Parent expectations and attributions
  • Structure for learning
  • Safe home environment
  • Discipline
  • Parent involvement

Parents who do these things differently match their school expectations but aren’t necessarily focused only on grades. The amount of effort that each student puts into their work can be different based on intelligence so praise their actions based on your knowledge of their skill level.

7. Help them find their identity separate from you and their peers

One of the most basic functions of parenting is to raise independent young people. As a result, you have to allow them to be different from you. Parents who raise successful kids enable their children to form a separate personality from themselves early in their development, and they respect these differences.

8. Teach kindness, respect, and manners

These three traits, probably more than any others that they will learn will help your kids to be successful in their lives.

9. Teach honesty and integrity

All of us lie, but kids learn about lying at a vulnerable age. They see that a lie might keep them from getting a punishment, so the lie has a built-in reward. Eventually, you will catch them in a lie like the one raising successful kids. When you see them, point out what happens when they lie as far as the impact on others’ lives, rather than focus on the punishment or evidence.

10. Teach them to stand up for themselves and others

Kids get pushed around a lot by bullies, authority figures, adults who don’t know them, and people who want to take advantage of them. Of course, you protect your kids from stranger danger, but knowing that they know how to reject mistreatment will help them succeed in many important ways when you aren’t around.

Helping them to stand up for other people when their rights are being abused is helping to raise successful members of a healthy society that work together for the common good. Kids who reject not only bullying of themselves but bullying of others are, and good kids who successful and future-minded parents raise.

father daughter

7 Signs of Well-Adjusted Kids

1.     Well-adjusted kids do well in school and put effort into their work.

Well-adjusted children care about their performance in school and do their best on assignments. This doesn’t mean they will always get straight A’s; it’s the effort and thought that truly counts. In general, successful children do well in school because their parents were involved from the start in their academic success. The parents may have helped them study for tests, created flashcards, or gotten a tutor to guide them in a challenging class.

Most parents want their children to succeed academically, but it takes a tricky balance of discipline and love from an early age. Being too hard on children will cause them to rebel and not care about assignments. However, going easy on them and letting them do their own thing may make them lazy. So, parents are responsible for instilling persistence and work ethic in their children.

If they’ve done an excellent job of parenting, their child’s academic success will reflect that. Of course, we’re not saying that all of the child’s success falls on the parents. However, studies have shown that activities such as reading to your child each day enhance literary and language skills.

Reading to them also develops their cognitive abilities. For instance, reading to children around age four results in them scoring higher on reading and writing tests at age eight. This holds across various socioeconomic statuses, research shows.

2. They have empathy for others.

Well-adjusted kids are emotionally stable and have compassion for others. Their parents raised them with love and care so that they can extend that empathy to their classmates, too. Children who grew to not just look out for themselves but for others in their community will likely become upstanding citizens as adults.

Teaching them that they’re part of society will help them work with others for the common good. Kind children are also more likely to stand up for others when they see them being mistreated. If we want a more caring, empathetic society, it all starts at home. Well-adjusted children know that their words, actions, and behaviors have an effect on those around them. As such, they do their best to act selflessly and open their hearts to the injustices happening in the world.

3. Well-adjusted kids have high self-esteem.

Children raised with care and compassion will learn how to love themselves and have confidence in who they are. Parents should raise their kids in a loving, warm, safe environment and foster a healthy, open relationship with children. Studies show that children who have friendly, supportive parents have better well-being and coping skills later in life. On the other hand, being raised in a chaotic, stressful environment can adversely affect children. They may have trouble in school, difficulty maintaining jobs, and have turbulent relationships.

Well-adjusted children will have confidence in themselves because their parents gave them proper guidance from a young age. Children with high self-esteem won’t be as emotionally reactive and will have the useful tools to make good decisions in life.

4. They show gratitude often.

Stable children will also feel more grateful for the life they’ve been given. Parents who wish to instill this quality in kids may take them to homeless shelters or soup kitchens to volunteer or spend time with those less fortunate. If children can see firsthand what others go through in life, they will be more humble and empathetic.

Having them meet people from all walks of life may encourage children to participate in social work or other humanitarian efforts later on.

5. Stable, well-rounded kids know the value of hard work.

Children raised to perform chores, and other responsibilities will quickly learn that nothing in life comes for free. They have to work to obtain the necessities of life and anything extra they may want. Giving them an allowance for doing certain chores will teach them the actual value of a dollar. As they get older, this will help them manage money and instill a work ethic as they enter a career.

This doesn’t mean children should do every chore in the house, but just a few to teach them fundamental responsibility. Taking out the trash, loading the dishwasher, and sweeping the floors are a few ways they could help around the house. Also, if children grow up with a pet, they will learn how to care for something outside themselves. This offers another great way for them to learn responsibility.

6. They aren’t afraid of failure.

Helicopter parenting teaches children to fear making mistakes and steals their confidence from them. On the other hand, studies show that moderate parental involvement teaches children to take the lead and figure out tasks independently. Taking a step back from parenting and allowing kids to be independent fosters resiliency and self-confidence.

Children who are raised to take risks and navigate problems on their own will feel more comfortable and self-assured as adults. Parents of stable children will teach them to value effort over results because mistakes are inevitable in life. It’s your attitude about failure that determines your next step.

positive affirmations for kids

Final Thoughts on How Parents Who Raise Successful Kids Do Things Differently

Studies show that parents who raise successful kids follow a similar blueprint for childrearing. They give their children guidance, but they don’t smother them. They show their kids love and compassion but also reprimand them when necessary.

Parents of successful children set boundaries and give kids rules to follow to instill a sense of responsibility. They also stress the importance of doing well in school, not just getting good grades but also learning the basics in life.

These parents also allow their kids to fail and don’t wish to raise perfectionists. This way, children will learn from their mistakes and not take life too seriously. After all, no one reached success without a trail of failures behind them.