Raising happy kids
Parents who have been doing it for years will tell you that there's no book, no set of rules to follow when it comes to raising happy kids, but certain key principles must be followed to get it right.
These principles include having a rock solid relationship they can emulate, not aiming for perfection, having a plan that works for discipline, and allowing the kids to shine in their own right.
Below, some parents share the secrets that work.
Melanie, 32, mother of three:
Don't get too involved. Don't hover. Don't be a helicopter parent. You don't need to oversee or be involved in everything your child does. Let them make mistakes and let them learn from the mistakes. Raising happy kids means allowing each child to be an individual, accepting each for who they are, and maintaining your role as parent and disciplinarian, and never as a friend on the same level as them.
Joshua, 44, dad of two:
It means lightening up sometimes — not everything is so serious, whether it is good grades, being the best at sports or whatever. Not every child will be a super student or super athlete, don't get too serious about that stuff.
Nadine, 48, mom of six:
Teach them virtue, how to value themselves, teach them empathy. Send them to Sunday School and to regular school all the time. Teach them time management and teach them to respect authority. And teach them to have fun.
Vernon, 30, dad of one:
Be their stability. Be good to your partner and let them see that relationships are solid and lasting. Treat your partner with respect.
Nordia, 22, mom of one:
Be happy yourself. You need good mental health to parent. If you're depressed get help, as your stress will make your kids stressed.
David, 38, dad of three:
Fathers, be good to your daughters, mothers, be good to your sons.
Paula, 38, mom of four:
Know that there are no set rules for anything. Raise each child as the individual he or she is.