Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How To Raise Well-Adjusted Children In Today's World

Medically reviewed by Andrea Brant, LMHC
Updated April 17, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Many parents want their children to be happy, but sometimes it can seem far more challenging to accomplish. In today's tech-focused, increasingly chaotic world, it can be challenging to help children navigate the ups and downs of their youth. Even if you have little to no control over what your child experiences when they aren't in your care, you may have a say over the environment they spend most of their time in. Cultivating a positive, supportive environment for your children is one step to helping them grow into healthy, well-adjusted adults. 

Looking to give your child the right tools for success?

Why your peace matters

Many parents and caregivers put themselves through challenges to make their children happy. They may stay in relationships that don't make them happy because they think it's best for their children. They might remain at a job that drains them because they think it's best for their children. Sacrificing your own happiness may seem to benefit your children, but the reality can differ. In many cases, ensuring your own health and happiness can benefit your children more. 

Children might not be as naïve as an adults might think. They pick up on messages much faster than people might expect them to, which can affect how they see you and themselves. For example, coming home frustrated and snapping at your children might seem relatively minor. However, studies have found that raising your voice with children can cause emotional harm.  

When you are happy, it may show in how you parent your child. Although mistakes can occur, and caregivers are often imperfect, there may be ways to improve. Recognize the role your behavior, choice of words, and reactions can have over your child's sense of self. Children may internalize what they see in their parents. Many experiences a child encounters are a "first" for them, so "little" moments can leave a lasting impact. 

As a result, if you're hoping to ensure your children grow up to be as happy and prosperous as they can be, consider focusing on leading by example. Take care of yourself, stand up for your happiness, and teach your children that they're worth doing the same. Studies also show that this strategy works, as young children are likely to mimic their parents' behaviors

Steps for raising happy children

After working on your mental health, consider developing confidence and autonomy, establishing consistency, and building solid relationships with your children. Helping your child in these areas may give them the tools to handle conflict and challenges independently over time. You can start with the following steps. 

Teach confidence and autonomy

It may be helpful for your children to feel they can make decisions for themselves. The level of decision-making that you allow them may vary based on their age. However, young children can often find opportunities to express their autonomy, as well. 

Try not to be afraid to let your child make mistakes and learn how to solve them independently. You might, for example, let them choose their clothes in the morning or establish their homework schedule. When mistakes happen, take them as an opportunity to teach rather than punish. 

Letting children choose for themselves can help with decision-making skills, communication skills, and learning how to balance successes and failures. These areas may help your child gain confidence in themselves, their feelings, and their ability to do whatever they set their minds to.

Teach consistency

Consistency can be crucial for a child, regardless of their age. Your child may benefit from knowing what they can expect from you and others. Self-discipline and accountability are also personal skills that consistency may develop. From consequences to rewards and expectations, keeping their routine consistent can help your child develop a sense of trust and understanding of their responsibilities. 

A child who sometimes has to clean up the mess they've made and other times doesn't, for example, may struggle to learn the importance of personal accountability or cleaning up after oneself. That doesn't necessarily mean that your peaceful parenting needs to be rigid; consistency can be about setting expectations and ensuring they are followed. 

Encourage strong relationships

Encourage your child to form friendships and get to know others their age. Friendships may allow them to explore and expand their horizons. You can also encourage them to create a few profound friendships when possible. It can be significant for your child to have a place where they can be themselves, not just within your home. 

In many cases, this alternate environment may be the home of a close friend. Friendships can also teach your child interpersonal skills, like communication, problem-solving, and conflict resolution. Profound relationships in and out of the home can also model healthy behavior, which may help your child avoid unhealthy relationships.

Encourage effort

Your child may not be perfect. No matter their success, they might not be 100% flawless at everything. Try not to expect too much from your child and help them feel that you do not expect too much from them. How you react to your child's successes and failures can set the stage for their self-talk and self-esteem as they grow up. Encourage your child to try their best, but don't punish them for making honest mistakes or being unable to hold up to your expectations. 

Let them play

Playtime can be crucial for children, especially during their younger years. Play allows them to express themselves, explore new hobbies, and act out whatever they want. As a result, playing can encourage creativity and promote learning. It may also allow your child to work on fine and gross motor skills. Encourage your child to play and play frequently, and try to find ways to involve yourself in fun, too.

Keep them positive

Try to teach your child not to expect perfection for themselves. For example, you might help them control their emotions if they miss the catch in their baseball game or get a lower grade on a test. While working with them on ways to improve may be beneficial, it can also be essential to help them see when failure is a natural and necessary part of life. 

Teach coping skills

When your child feels upset, let them know it's okay to feel intense emotions. Working with them to discover what coping skills can help them overcome those feelings can also be beneficial. You can introduce a few options and help them choose which they want to try first. 

Looking to give your child the right tools for success?

Reach out for support 

You can use a few methods to help your child feel better adjusted and prepared for the life ahead of them. Whether your child is young or is a teenager, you can help put them on a healthy path by modeling healthy behaviors yourself. However, doing so can be easier said than done when the challenges of caring for a child overwhelm you. A little extra help may make a positive difference. 

A licensed mental health professional can offer valuable insight and support as you work to raise your child. If you're busy, you can also try online therapy through a platform like BetterHelp, allowing busy parents to receive mental health support and guidance on their own time, at their own pace. With internet-based therapy, you may cut out driving to and from in-person offices while juggling childcare. In addition, you can speak with your therapist from the comfort of your home or wherever you have an internet connection, which may offer convenience. 

The benefits of online therapy may go beyond working on parenting techniques. It could also help you balance self-care with childcare. This skill may be crucial if you haven't focused on your happiness in a long time. Studies show that online therapy is an effective treatment option for various mental health concerns. Even if you aren't living with a mental health condition, stress, poor self-esteem, worry, and other common parts of parenthood can be addressed by a therapist. 


Each parent takes a different strategy toward parenting. However, a few strategies may increase the possibility of your child growing up happy and well-adjusted. Practicing what you preach, encouraging your child to take risks, and offering a supportive and positive home environment can help set your child up for success. However, consider your own needs as well, and if you feel it might be beneficial, consider reaching out to a therapist for guidance and support as you parent your children.
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