Most families want their children to be happy and healthy. Although recognising this as important, this chapter goes further, to discuss how we also need to raise children to become caring, community-minded, open to discovering what gives them meaning in life, and motivated to take responsibility for positive change in the world. Positive psychology evidence suggests that this enhances wellbeing for young people themselves as they grow. Some families need support to be able to parent well, and we suggest what and who might help. The chapter explores salient issues at infancy, early childhood, middle childhood and adolescence. It summarises the features of the parenting style that research says has the best outcomes and addresses the importance of ‘growing good men’. The chapter includes examples of positive actions, including by young people themselves. Finally, we look at progress towards meeting some of the 42 Articles in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

A Letter to the Future From Kid President

Helen Pearson (2017) Lessons from the longest-running study of human development in the world. TED.

There are also a number of relevant videos on the Education Resources page – eg this one from Rita Pierson:

Rita Pierson (2013) Every kid needs a champion. TED.

Nelson Mandela (1995) Speech at the launch of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Foundation.

How we raise children matters for universal wellbeing

From birth to adolescence

First experiences of life
Middle childhood: becoming part of a social world
Growing good men

Families that enable children – and the future – to flourish

Examples of positive action

Hope and optimism