There are no handbooks for being outstanding parents. Juggling responsibilities, balancing priorities, and attending to children’s needs are everyday things most parents do. However, here are eight powerful tips for successful parenting.

1. Walk the Walk

Set a good example by walking the walk regarding positive behavior, attitude, respect, and empathy. Your actions are more powerful than your words. Improve your listening and observation skills. Support what you say with comparable measures, provide rewards, and celebrate successes. Children learn through imitation. They watch everything, thus be the person you want your children to be.

2. A Warm Welcome Home

When anyone in my family enters our home at any time, we are greeted with a cheerful welcome. When we open our door, we hear every family member say, “Dad’s home, everyone!” or “Justin’s home!” or “Mom’s home!” with much gratitude and enthusiasm.

This fun ritual started when the kids were young. My wife Luanne heard a friend of ours say, “When I come home each day, the only thing that greets me is the dog”. She felt so sorry for him that she started this warm welcome home ritual, and it caught on. We have been doing this for at least twenty years. Whenever I feel down or depressed, I have to admit I sometimes walk out the front door and walk right back in, just to be greeted. It feels that good!

3. Circle the Wagons: Your Home is Your Safe Space

From the time my children were little, I would always say, “Look outside. That is where you compete; we never compete in here. Our home is a safe space. No hate is allowed in our home. We must always have each other’s back even for the small stuff like toys or phones disappearing. There are no problems that are too big and no challenges that are too great that we can’t solve together.” My whole family bought into it, and we have each other’s back.

It is essential to keep your home a safe space, a haven where family members treat each other with love and attentiveness. Children need a place to discuss what happened during the day, their successes, what they accomplished, and the pitfalls. It is integral to their emotional and mental well-being.

Some topics your children will discuss will be intense, but it is important not to over-react. Being empathetic about their feelings will reassure them that they are not alone, ignored, or rejected. Children are more likely to open up willingly and fearlessly in a secure home.

4. Be Non-Judgmental

Since adults have more experience than children, it is important not to judge. Children have different ideas, approaches, and solutions. They can come across as juvenile and immature at times. It is essential not to make any derogatory comments to your children.

Instead, support where they are in their lives, and guide them without passing judgment. Allow children to tackle their issues and give them time and space before giving them advice. Moreover, please do not dismiss the importance of the topic they are discussing. It might seem trivial to you but very important to your children.

Set the foundation to encourage your children to follow their passions with perseverance. It gives them a belief in themselves and builds self-esteem and confidence.

5. Encourage Their Dreams and Not Yours

Believe in their dreams. We all have visions for our kids and what we want them to accomplish. I would argue that they sometimes mimic our unfulfilled dreams or our passions. The sooner we can get our kids to identify their true passions and support them, the better life will be for everyone. This topic is a tough one for most people, including myself. Once I changed my mindset, our family developed a closer emotional connection.

My daughter, Corinne, decided at age twelve that she wanted to become a pro volleyball player. I supported and nurtured her passion, but I also gave her the responsibility to work hard to pursue her dream and turn her vision into reality.

6. Schedule a Meeting

Each one of my kids has their “things” that interest them, and they love to do. It is funny because they have the same parents and upbringing, but all three are unique. As my children grew up, I discussed my concerns, offered advice, and talked about important issues frequently, as it came to my head. However, to them it felt like I was nagging them throughout the entire day!

Until one day, I had an epiphany! I approached all three of my kids and said, “From now on, we will schedule a time to discuss things, and during that time, we can communicate our concerns and debate. I am going to love you and be the best Dad I can be.” For the last many years, this has worked out very well, and it took a huge burden off of me. I can relax knowing that we can still communicate in a positive and controlled way, but at a pace that was comfortable to all of us. 

7. Your Children Are Tomorrow’s Leaders

Teach children accountability, negotiation skills, and weigh the pros and cons to make informed decisions. Emphasize effective communication, expose them culturally, and help them find invaluable mentors to nurture other skill sets and methods to success.

Show them how to find balance in their lives by participating in team activities inside and outside their school. Guide them in creating and achieving goals through brainstorming, vision boards, project planning, and execution. It will serve them well throughout their lives.

8. Promote Philanthropy

We want our children to become upstanding, kind humans. Start by teaching your children about philanthropy through exposure to charities and volunteering. Provide positive reinforcement to nurture their cognitive-behavioral connection. They will become more grateful and generous, and less self-centered. Empower your children to contribute to your communities so they can be a part of something greater than themselves and truly make a difference.

These days, colleges are more focused on admitting students with a philanthropic background. As a bonus, it will boost your children’s chances of getting into a top college and make them more eligible for scholarships.


Parenting is one of the most challenging and most fulfilling roles we will play in our lives. We are least prepared but know your efforts will make a significant impact and improve family relationships.

Lead Well,