15 things every parent should teach their children growing up in 2023 and beyond

The world is a crazy place right now – in fact now more than ever. Children are growing up faster, feeling older, and experiencing more mental health issues than ever before. All of this makes our role as parents – their champions and stewards – tougher than ever before as we strive to equip them with the right tools to navigate through this tricky landscape that is modern society. So what does all this means for what parents should teach their children?

I have recently been reading a fantastic book – well actually, it’s a bit more like a guide book – called YESSS! The S.U.M.O. Secrets to being a Positive, Confident Teenager by Paul McGee. Now although my daughter is not yet a teen – in fact, she is only seven but so ridiculously mature with it – this is actually a brilliant book not just for teens (which is the purpose intended) but also it’s a great yardstick for what parents and what they should teach their children to enable them to have the building blocks and resilience for the years ahead.

Jam-packed with fantastic advice and life hacks, I know that this is one that we will be referring to time and time again over the years to come as my daughter becomes a tween then teen.

With that said, today I wanted to share with you some of my favourite golden nuggets from the book, with a view to covering what parents should teach their children in order to help them live life to the fullest and truly enjoy it now and in years to come.

15 things every parent should teach their children growing up in today’s world

  1. Different responses can bring different outcomes. So much of what happens in life is influenced by our responses.
  2. Push more doors because you only need one of them to open. Say yes to not giving up, and seeing setbacks as stepping stones to your success.
  3. The most important person you need to talk and listen to is yourself. Your thinking matters massively.
  4. Compare yourself with who you were yesterday rather than always comparing yourself with friends or other people.
  5. You’ve got this! Everyone struggles at times. Everyone starts at the beginning and has to work hard to achieve success. Some people are better at things than you because they’ve practiced a lot or had a lot of support. It’s not because they are a genius and you’re not.
  6. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. That’s what makes us human!
  7. Be your own best friend. Treat yourself like you would treat your best friend. Not with harshness, but with kindness and compassion.
  8. It’s OK not to always feel OK. Life can be a bit like the snakes and ladders game sometimes – it can be full of ups and downs. There are times when things don’t go as we want, but we recover quickly. It’s ok to feel mad, bad or sad sometimes.
  9. Don’t believe everything you think. Remember your feelings are what you’re experiencing – not your identity. Feelings can be like clouds in the sky. You see them, they are real, but eventually, they pass by.
  10. Don’t hope for happy times – plan them. It’s good to have something to look forward to even if we don’t feel great at the moment.
  11. Exercise can energise you and make you feel better. Being inside for too long is not good for us. So if possible, get outside, get some sunlight. Notice nature. Stare at a tree.
  12. Showing kindness to others makes you feel better about yourself. Do something nice for someone else. They’ll feel good and surprisingly, so will you.
  13. Sometimes people’s views aren’t right or wrong – just different. Listen to what other people have to say, rather than interrupt. Accept we won’t agree on everything but we can still choose to be kind to others.
  14. Your hard work and practice are the route to your success and achievement. What you achieve will lead to you having more choices in the future.
  15. Seeking support is not a sign of weakness – it’s a sign you’re really smart. Make sure you have people to support you and help you to aim high both in and outside school.
15 important things to teach children growing up in today's world #parenting #parentingtips #raisingkids #raisingteens

Want to find out more? This wonderful book is not only packed with infinite amounts of wisdom but is also abound with pratical actions to be taken plus plenty of humour and cool illustrations along the way. Get your copy from Amazon now for only £9.34 (RRP £12.99).

Which of the above have you been teaching your children, and what are the most stand out points for you from the list above? Do share in a comment below.

This features an edited extract from YESSS! The S.U.M.O. Secrets to Being a Positive, Confident Teenager! By Paul McGee (published by Capstone, October 2020)”



  1. Really great advice. My eldest is in his final year of primary school now. Just since September he has grown up so much. He now walks to and from school by himself! I always dreaded the teenage years, but actually I am loving giving him more responsibility and independence and watching him thrive with it. It really is a privilege to watch the young man he is turning into.

  2. Gosh, I think we’ve used all these over the last few months – especially the last 2 as we’ve navigated our way through a breast cancer diagnosis. Both of my teens have been amazing – I’m proud of what they have become

  3. It is such a learning curve. They seem to hit 11 and then just grow up really quickly. My girls are 14 and 12 and my son is 9. My eldest is constantly comparing herself to others and I end up trying my best to give her good advice.

  4. We are our children’s most influential teacher especially when they are younger. It’s important to teacher them all sorts of things such as those mentioned. My favourite piece of advice is no 12 about kindness x

  5. Super great advice, I think I need to teach myself some of those too! Although I’m good at teaching them its ok not to be alright, I will show them if things effect me and how I can deal with things

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