Want to Raise Great Kids?

Family Bridges

Want to Raise Great Kids?

Contributed by
Bill Ferrell

Do you want to raise an emotionally deficient child? A child who questions their value and worth? Someone who seeks approval and love from others in unhealthy ways? A child who believes that they must find someone else to “complete them” because on their own they are incomplete?

If you do – you are sick and I would like you to hand your child over to me immediately.


However, I am assuming, that is not the case. Like most parents, you love your child(ren). However, all of us come into parenting unprepared. It is truly an “on-the-job” learning experience. Primarily our own Family Of Origin (FOO) experience informs our parenting paradigm. That can be both healthy and unhealthy. It all depends – and is usually a bit of both.


“That was how I was raised and I turned out alright” is not always the best parenting principle. Maybe your parents did a great job in raising you. Or maybe they were working out of some deficiencies in their own lives (like all of us) and they got some things right and they got some things wrong. That’s called “being human.” There is no value in “parent bashing,” – recounting all the things they did wrong.

However, it is important to know that two imperfect human beings (your parents) couldn’t help but pass on some of their imperfections to you. You can’t escape that. In addition, you probably picked up some imperfections all on your own. I know I did.

The important thing to know is that what we learned from our FOO probably is not enough. We need help. We need to be intentional. We need additional input and resources. We all do. One excellent resource is a book and podcast called The Struggle is Real. They are designed to raise extraordinary kids in the 21st century.


This brief blogpost is not enough to cover all the topics necessary in raising healthy children. However, there is one thing you can start doing today that can make a HUGE difference.

Tell your children, “I love you.”

Yes, I have the gift of stating the obvious. However, no matter how obvious this appears, children can’t hear this too much. Adults can’t hear this too much. Of the hundreds of people I have counseled over the years, a reoccurring issue among people in crisis relationships is that they rarely heard “I love you” from their parents.

Now, I am not saying these are magic words that will result in raising perfect children and healing all wounds. Of course not. (That’s why you need resources like The Struggle is Real). Words are not enough. There must be love in action to back them up. However, they are a start. And they can have a HUGE impact.


So today – tell your child, “I love you.” If you don’t have children – tell your parents, your spouse, a friend. We all need to hear it. Feeling loved is foundational to living an extraordinary life.

Let’s give that gift to our children and loved ones!

For more tips and ideas about life and relationships, follow us @familybridges.

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