What Successful Families Do

How do some people make parenting look so easy while others struggle? What makes the biggest differences to long-term success?
  1. ​Successful parents prioritize their time according to their values system.

And they commit to getting those things done first.

E.g.: Making a healthy meal before phone scrolling

 Successful Parents are generally guided by their values/principles. They usually:

  • Have a lifetime-commitment to building & maintaining positive family relationships

  • Lead by example

  • Value and support health and education

  • Interact honestly and respectfully

  • Are trustworthy, capable and cooperative

  • Have long-term goals for their children to attain success and independence 

  • Are understanding, tolerant and forgiving

  • Model resilience

  • Live within their means. Expect the best. Yet plan for the worst.

1. Successful parents have a sense of higher purpose related to their family. Family is a priority for them.


  • Parents maintain a strong lifelong commitment to their children's success.

  • They have a positive  ongoing relationship with their partner (regardless of whether they live together or not.)


  • These parents balance the 'me' and 'we' aspects of family well, devoting time to both.


  • They plan and save for future goals

Father and daughter on beach building sa

4. Successful parents value their own health and well being, evidenced by:

  • providing regular healthy meals,

  • regular exercise and

  • appropriate levels of sleep


Because of the parent's own healthy lifestyles they're good role models for their children.


They're also willing to accept, that different children may have different interests, and/or activity needs.

6. Successful parents maintain a big picture perspective. They plan ahead, aware they're trying to raise independent, responsible, capable, empathetic adults.

  • Parents expose their children to different ideas, experiences and cultures, which encourages tolerance and acceptance

  • Parents give children their own responsibilities and expect them to fulfill these commitments

  • They consistently link privileges to age and maturity

  • Parents increase the child's opportunities for autonomy as they mature.

  • Parents model fiscal responsibility by living within their means. They set up savings plans linked to goals. And they teach their children about the difference between investing and spending.

Girl Reading and Laughing

The fact you're interested in reading an article on parenting and family success,  indicates you're likely quite successful at parenting already.


You may be looking for a few ideas on how to tweak what's already working. E.g.

  • making your behaviour consistent,

  • improving family cooperation,

  • making more effective use of time

  • achieving family, health or wealth goals,


Adding 'little' habits into what you're already doing well, usually increases your success over time.


If you immediately acknowledge yourself, for sticking to your goals, it helps increase your success... because it makes you feel good.


When our actions reinforce who we believe our best selves to be, we usually feel great. 


And if you take the extra step of recording when you stick to your goals, you'll realize just how great a parent you really are... Seriously. 

Linking just one new habit to an existing habit  will stick, if you instantly reward it, especially at the beginning. Give yourself that mental pat on the back you deserve... 'Yes. I did it. That's more like me... I can trust myself to stick to my word.'

What do you want to change most and start there.


Problem Example: Kids dump their school bags at the back door and rush in to play video games before any chores are done.

  • Encourage kids to unpack their school bags as soon as they walk through the door, put their lunchboxes in the dishwasher and get out their homework.


  • Acknowledge when they remember, plus give them a reward (that you were going to give them anyway) like a healthy snack after school before they're able to play.



Then acknowledge yourself for sticking to your values of:

  • supplying healthy food for your family

  • helping develop your child's independence and organizational skills

  • having a routine that supports family cooperation 

  • noticing the good things your kids are doing


​Train yourself to notice the many positive things you're already doing well, rather than the things you didn't get to. 


  • Put a counter in a jar when you stick to your values.

  • Get to ten counters... give yourself a simple reward (e.g. a cuppa, some guilt-free TV time, etc.)

  • Get to one hundred... Bigger reward. (A catch up with friends, a guilt-free purchase, etc)

  • Get to a thousand... (A weekend away, a special purchase, etc)


  • Put a routine chart on the fridge so kids know what they need to do in the morning: Independence

  • Make chores into fun games. e.g. tidying up before the bomb goes off... : Positive family relationships

  • Use egg timers for turn taking. You can buy sets in three, five, ten minute internals. Great for avoiding arguments: Positive family relationships

  • Make a chart of what goes in each child's school bag & get them to pack it (You'll need to check, especially at the beginning.) Acknowledge improvement: Independence.

  • Have at least half a day a week when you do something fun together as a family. e.g. picnic, park, beach, zoo, walk, adventure, etc: Positive family relationships

  • Put your phone in a drawer for 10% of each day between 5:30 and 8:10. That's family time.: Positive family relationships

  • Add an opportunity for learning about mathematics incidentally e.g. while cooking, gardening, building: Education is important and practical

Home Organisation

Want to lose weight:

Try flossing your  teeth immediately after finishing your evening meal.

Over months, doing this reduced my weight. (I've now taken my belt in four holes.)


A one-minute habit, transformed what was a problem time of day for me.

What simple quick habit can you introduce that might help you overcome a problem?

If someone said to me, by following the free strategies on the Organization For Success link, I'd be able to:

  • save three years worth of free time over my working life (improving my quality of life)

  • eat healthier

  • plus pay off my mortgage in just over half the time (allowing me to retire earlier)


...I wouldn't have believed them. But this is exactly what happened when I followed them.



2. Successful parents develop routines/ habits, that make it easier to stick to their values.

E.g. Reading at bedtime, Morning Exercise, etc

3. Successful parents acknowledge & reward themselves for sticking to their goals, rather than focusing on what they didn't achieve

E.g. Using positive self-talk: 'That's more like me.'

Family at a Beach
Values are personal.
Yet as loving parents, it's interesting how many values we share.

2. Parents lead by example and:

  • Set high expectations

  • Provide guiding feedback

  • Respond to individual needs

  • Ensure clear boundaries guide child behaviour

  • Remain involved as their children grow


These parents are:

  • more willing to negotiate around rules

  • factor in individual maturity levels and

  • respond flexibly when the need arises

3. Interactions are respectful.

  • Dialogue is open, honest, age appropriate and supports understanding.

  • Genuine trust and co-operation occurs between parents; and between children and parents.

Parents model kindness, respect and co-operation in their every day interactions.


Children are encouraged to have good social skills. These families often have regular extended family contact and involve in their community. Parents have fun with their kids and include them in socializing.

Parents express appreciation and gratitude. Every individual is valued for what they contribute to the family.

5. It's expected that kids will make mistakes as a part of learning. Successful parents use it as an opportunity to help develop resilience.

  • Parents remain calm, look at opportunities to make amends when mistakes occur, and find ways to resolve any problems

  • Successful parents model ways of overcoming difficulties or failures themselves... by adapting

  • Parents show by example, that even large difficulties can be overcome with time and a plan

7. Successful parents use positive expectation & routines to provide a safe framework to support children. They make time to have fun together.

  • Quality time as a family is planned for, and prioritised. e.g. playing family games together, going on holidays together, etc

  • Time is ideally spent together on a daily basis: eating together, reading at night,  etc

  • Routines provide clear expectations of daily and/or weekly responsibilities for children. This helps scaffold personal independence

  • Parent organization/routines helps support the effective running of the household

  • Consequences for less desirable behaviour are usually natural ones. Go to Why Use Natural Consequences? to learn more.

Adding even one tiny positive habit can make a massive difference to your children's success because 'positive effects accumulate over time.'

For example... Did you know?

That by spending five minutes a day, reading just one book to your child a day, (from 6 months to 6 years) your child will have been exposed to around a million more words than if you didn't.

There is an amazing article called 'The Early Catastrophe: The 30 Million Word Gap' which compares the amount and quality of language used within households and the cumulative impact upon children.

They'll learn reading and writing conventions which will help later with their own reading and writing.


For example:

  • reading from left to right,

  • return sweeping to the next line,

  • reading from the top to the bottom of a page,

  • what a full stop is and means,

  • what a question mark is and means,

  • what an author is,

  • what a title is

Because words in stories are in context, your child will increase their vocabulary, improve their comprehension, their grammar, plus their ability to predict text because they already know what makes sense.

Your habits will determine your future.

quote by Jack Canfield

...But your habits can also determine your children's futures.

A new habit could be something simple like:

  • Praising specific aspects of children's learning or behaviour, so your child learns exactly what good is. (e.g. aiming for a person's chest when passing a footy, your child holding your hand in a car park, when learning to write identifying letters with straight lines or uniform ellipses)

  • Looking at your children when they speak to you; so you know when they're listening, they see how sounds are produced plus they know they're important to you

  • Putting your phone in a drawer for 10% of the time each day. This supports uninterrupted family time. Say between 5:30 and 8:10

The best thing you can spend on your kids, is time.  

quote by Arnold Glasgow

Below is a practical ideas bank that I've used successfully. You can use them as is. Or as a springboard to create your own ideas.


Because sometimes life gets hard, notice I've made sticking to my values as easy as possible:

Child Education

Healthy Lifestyle

  • Put exercise clothes out ready for morning exercise: health is important

  • Exercise first thing, that way despite how busy you are, every day has something in it for you: health is important

  • Make up 2 or 3 salads at a time for lunches. That way if you need a snack, you have a salad ready: health is important, saves money on takeaway

  • If you want to watch the t.v. do a couple of minutes of stretching or balance as you first watch it: reward health is important

  • Floss your teeth immediately after your evening meal (that way you don't eat after dinner.) health is important

  • Do pelvic floor exercises while you clean your teeth, have a shower, stop at traffic lights: health is important

  • Have a bedtime routine: Healthy sleep habits for everyone: sleep is important for health, health is important

Any of us who have joined the parenting club know how hard it can be. Some days can be particularly challenging.

Automating positive parenting habits, made them easier to maintain on those difficult days, that often bring us unstuck.


And the better habits I had, the greater cumulative success I achieved...

Cooking Lesson

 I've been asked for this information by family, friends & parents over years, because they saw the difference using this information made to our life.

For more ideas to support child, & family success, check out the following articles:

Best Parenting is a high quality parenting website designed with child and family success in mind. It highlights what successful parents do differently to those who struggle. Best Parenting provides free online resources for busy parents who want the best practical advice on: how to give kids a best start in life, better tips for parenting toddlers, effective child rearing strategies, behaviour management tips, successful goal setting and organizational strategies for successful families, easy family dinner recipes, self-care tips for time-poor parents and free kids learning games. The aim of Best Parenting is to provide quality practical parenting tips and advice to best help children and families succeed, using the convenience of a website.

This website provides examples of what worked for me over decades and you are welcome to use these ideas as you see fit but you do so at your own risk. Best Parenting does not provide any guarantee that this information will work in every circumstance with every family or with every child. It is your responsibility as a user of this website to ensure that you adhere to any recommended safety suggestions either implicit or explicit on this site and supervise your children while playing any games suggested. Similarly users of this website are advised to follow any recommendations for seeking professional advice as all information on this site is generic. Best Parenting is an independent website and is not affiliated with any other groups, clubs, religious organizations or educational systems.


Best parenting takes time. The best parenting advice ever is simple: Do your best, don't give up and love your children, no matter what.