4 Essential Principles for Raising Children

Raising children is a complicated task. In this article, we explain four essential principles for raising children to help ensure that you do it properly.
4 Essential Principles for Raising Children

Last update: 14 April, 2020

Every parent wants to raise their children properly. For this reason, we decided to develop the following article that describes several key principles for raising children.

Family upbringing is the foundation of child development. Since children are very young, you must teach them a set of values and behaviors that will allow them to live in society and develop as people.

Essential principles for raising children

Being a parent is a complex task that requires a lot of effort. But it’s also very rewarding to see children grow up happy and healthy, both psychologically and physically. To achieve this, you need to take some essential principles for raising children into account.

In this regard, certain pedagogical aspects ensure proper child-rearing. Below, we explain four of them.

“There’s no school equal to a decent home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent.”

– Mahatma Gandhi –

4 essential principles for raising children

Positive discipline

It’s important that you establish a set of boundaries and rules children should follow. Otherwise, they may have trouble adjusting to society and living with others.

4 Essential Principles for Raising Children

One of the essential principles for raising children is the application of positive discipline. This consists of adopting a discipline with the following characteristics:

Obviously, child-rearing doesn’t only consist of discipline. Instead, it must maintain a balance between giving and demanding. In other words, it’s about finding a middle ground between permissiveness and authoritarianism.

“Because discipline is more powerful than numbers, and discipline, that is, perfect co-operation, is an attribute of civilization.”

– John Stuart Mill –

Unconditional affection

Love is the foundation for the development of healthy emotional bonds between parents and children. Therefore, we can say that giving unconditional love is the most important principle for raising children properly.

In addition, it’s essential for children to grow up with:

  • Trust
  • Safety
  • Self-esteem
  • The ability to love and care for others

Therefore, parents should frequently provide affection, support, and understanding. Also, it’s necessary to implement family communication patterns that encourage active listening and respect.

“Unconditional love corresponds to one of the deepest longings, not only of the child, but of every human being.”

– Erich Fromm –

Reinforcement of good behavior

Using positive reinforcement is another essential principle. Sometimes, parents focus on punishing their children for bad behavior. However, it’s much more beneficial and effective to reinforce good behavior.

Thus, if a child behaves well, it’s advisable to reward this behavior by expressing affection through hugs, kisses, praise, and smiles, among others. This way, the child understands that they did well and they’re likely to repeat that behavior later on and even in other contexts.

“What’s love except another name for the use of positive reinforcement? Or vice versa.”

– B.F. Skinner –

4 Essential Principles for Raising Children

Personal autonomy

Personal autonomy is the ability to solve problems or challenges. This ability is key to raising children, as an autonomous child is one who’s able to make their own decisions. But you shouldn’t confuse this with allowing total freedom of action.

This way, children gradually acquire autonomy and independence. Thus, parents should guide and support this process. In fact, maternal or paternal figures who show confidence in and have positive expectations about the child’s capabilities and possibilities are essential to achieving the goal of personal autonomy.

In this regard, parents have to provide situations in which children must make decisions and take responsibility, according to their evolutionary development.

“The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.”

– Denis Waitley –

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Escuela Andaluza de Salud Pública. (2014). El arte de educar. Programa de Salud Infantil y Adolescente de Andalucía.
  • Kamii, C. K. (2000). La autonomía como finalidad de la Educación: implicaciones de la Teoría de Piaget. Círculo de Chicago.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.