What Successful Families Do

Step by Step Parenting Tips 1

Have you ever wondered why some families succeed while others struggle? What do really successful families do differently?

Their secret is simple. They don't beat themselves up, for what they didn't get done. They congratulate themselves, for what they do right.


Successful parents have their time prioritised according to what their values deem is most important. Then they get those things done. Successful parents concentrate on 'the important' over 'the urgent.'


They develop positive parenting habits, or routines, that back up their values. Every time they do what they believe in their hearts is the 'right' thing, they congratulate themselves.

Successful parents celebrate what they did well...

How good is it to feel good about your parenting.

Successful parents behave their way to success through their supportive habits.


Now you're likely pretty successful at parenting already.... Right? And you may just be looking for a few ideas on how to further improve; especially with making your behaviour consistent.


I've found if you want to 'feel' like a successful parent, including 'little' habits into what you're already doing well, or tweaking what you're already doing, may further increase your success over time.


You will increase your success if you immediately mentally congratulate yourself every time you do what you believe you should do.


And if you take the extra step of recording it, you'll realise just how great you really are.

These habits could be simple things like:

  • Praising specific aspects of children's behaviour, so your child learns exactly what makes a behaviour good. (e.g. aiming for a person's chest when passing a footy.)

  • Looking at your children when they speak to you; so you know when they're listening, and they know they're important to you

  • Having predictable routines: meal times, teeth cleaning, bed times, so your kids know what comes next. It makes them feel safe, helps them learn to cooperate & become more independent.

You're busy right... But could you possibly ease in just one new, easy positive habit?

Your habits will determine your future.

quote by Jack Canfield

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

Simple Positive Habits Support Success.


Below is an ideas bank for different areas that I've used successfully. But I'm sure you can think of others that may be more appropriate for you. You may notice how much I've tried to make doing the right thing easier for myself:


  • Put a routine chart on the fridge so kids know what they've got to do in the morning

  • Make chores into fun games. e.g. tidying up before the bomb goes off... Little kids love sweeping leaves off a path so get them a tiny broom.

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

  • Make a chart of what goes in each child's bag & get them to pack it (You will need to check, especially at the beginning.) Reward every improvement, and especially when they get it all right.

  • 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

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

  • Add an opportunity for learning about mathematics incidentally e.g. while cooking, gardening, building

Home Organisation

  • If kid's sport is cancelled have a cooking day. Make heaps of meals and freeze them: curries, spaghetti, Mex, etc. Learn more:

  • Make up a permanent shopping list of everything and fluoro the items you need to buy linked to your menu

  • Establish a fortnightly repeating menu based on your time schedule. e.g. On days you arrive home late use a pre-made frozen meal

  • Put frozen pre-made meals into the fridge to thaw before you leave for work, then you only need to cook rice or pasta.. 15 minutes and dinner is ready.

  • Pack schoolbags the night before, ready for lunches to be added the next morning

Values Support Habits
...And Habits Support Success

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

  • Have a strong lifetime-commitment to building positive family relationships

  • Lead by example

  • Value and support health and education

  • Interact respectfully and honestly

  • Are trustworthy, capable and cooperative

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

  • Are understanding, tolerant and forgiving

  • Model resilience

  • Expect the best. Yet plan for the worst.

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 children grow


These parents are:

  • more willing to negotiate around rules

  • factor in individual maturity levels and

  • respond flexibly when the need arises

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

quote by Arnold Glasgow

5. It's expected that children 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 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

  • Parents have routines in place that 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.

One of the simplest habits I introduced to help maintain my health, was flossing my teeth immediately after I finished my evening meal.

Obviously, to care for our teeth flossing is important.


But the biggest difference for me was, I didn't snack after my evening meal once my teeth were clean... And over time this reduced my weight.


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

For more strategies to support child & family success the following articles may be useful:

Just linking one new habit to an existing habit you're already doing well, will stick, if you instantly reward it. If you make yourself feel really good for doing it, 'every' time and especially at the beginning,  the new behaviour will continue.


e.g. Encourage kids to: unpack their school bags as soon as they walk through the door, put lunchboxes in the dishwasher and get out homework. Reward: Praise them plus give them something tangible (that you were going to give them anyway) like a healthy snack after school.


Then immediately reward yourself for sticking to your values of: supplying healthy food, helping develop your child's independence and organizational skills, having a routine that supports family cooperation, etc. This should make you feel really good about your parenting ability.

You could put a counter in a jar every time you act consistently to your belief system... Then you'll begin to notice the many positive things you're doing, rather than the things you didn't get to.

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 developing that one tiny habit of spending five minutes a day reading, just  one book a day to your child, (from the age of six months, until they were six,) your child will have been exposed to around a million more words than if you didn't.


Can you imagine how much difference that could make to your child's learning ability & confidence starting school?

And because these words are in context, your child wouldn't only increase their vocabulary, they'll also improve their comprehension, their grammar, their ability to rhyme plus their ability to predict what comes next by knowing what makes sense.


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


Things like: 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, etc

Healthy Lifestyle

  • Put exercise clothes out ready for morning exercise

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

  • Make up 2 or 3 salads at a time for lunches. That way if you need a snack, you have a salad ready

  • If you want to watch the t.v. do a couple of minutes of running/marching on the spot before you watch it

  • Floss your teeth immediately after your evening meal (that way you don't eat after dinner. If you do it first when you clean your teeth before bed, your flossing is already done

  • Do pelvic floor exercises while you clean your teeth

  • Ensure healthy sleep habits for everyone

Child Education

  • Establish reading a book a day from when children are very young

  • Practise phonics for two minutes every school day with developing readers. Check out the Fun Phonics Game. It's free.

  • Help your child learn the 100 Most Used Words. They make up 50% of everything they'll need to read or write

  • When children are in infants school  have them read to you for ten minutes every school day. It's one of the greatest things you can do for them

  • Set up an afternoon routine: snack, homework, relaxation time after homework

  • If you're buying your child a gift, buy a book on a subject your child is passionate about

  • Play turn taking learning games like: Memory, Bingo, Yahtzee, Guess Who, Monopoly, Free Fun Maths Games

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

You'll likely have a lot of these values already. But when you expand them out, they can often look like this:

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. E.g. They choose to love their children more than hate an ex-partner.)


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


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 respect, kindness 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.

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, to widen their perspective

  • 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.

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

But the more you automate the positive parenting habits you have, the easier it is to maintain, even on difficult days.


And the better habits you have, the greater cumulative success you'll achieve.

If someone said to me by adopting the strategies on the link below I'd be able to:

  • get three years of my life back

  • eat healthier

  • plus pay off my mortgage almost ten years earlier

I wouldn't have believed them.


But this is exactly what happened when I adopted the practical tips below. It worked so well for us, I can't tell you how many times I've been asked for this information.

This is one of our most popular pages on Best Parenting because it shows practical ways that really help make family life easier, heaps less expensive and more enjoyable:

Time, Money and Health Savers

Creating Strength Based Kids
Creating strength based kids
Best Ways of Developing Language
Best Ways of Developing Language
Behaviour Strategies That Work
Behaviour Strategies That Work
What is Most Important in Life?
What is most important in life
Setting up a Repeating Menu
Time savers for Healthy Meals
Choosing Gratitude Not Entitlement
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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.

by Multi-Award Winning Educator. Early Learning Expert. Author/Illustrator.

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