How to raise happy children, by Nicholeen Peck

POSTED BY on March 12, 2014

Parents have always wondered the best way to raise happy children while also teaching correct principles, giving moral boundaries, and correcting behavior problems.  Parenting is the hardest thing any of us do.  It is also the most rewarding.  But, the rewards are often over shadowed with worry, stress, anger, frustration, sorrow and disconnection for relationships that have gone off track at home.

What are parents to do?  Some parents think that children should come with owners manuals.  There was a time when I thought that myself; when I had two small very active toddlers at home. 


Then, our home life took a turn and I ended up bringing troubled youth ages 12 – 18  into my home from the Utah Youth Village, a very successful youth treatment program.  I was a foster mom for many years.  During this time I parented children who had ADHD, OCD, ODD, anger issues, kleptomania, compulsive lying, and boundary issues, etc.  All these youth came to me to get treatment.  I taught them the skills the Youth Village trained me to use as well as the principles of self-government.  Self-government set these youth free.  Youth who once needed medication, often ended up not needing medication.  Youth who had no direction in life made drastic moral, physical, behavioral, relationship, and spiritual changes to their lives. 


They were finally free and happy because they had had a change of heart. 


Teaching a person self-government is all about helping them have a change of heart.  This is done by having an environment based on the appropriate tone and structure for learning cause and effect in a calm, loving way. 


Children need skills to be taught to them.  Adult success skills like following instructions and disagreeing appropriately with someone need to be deliberately taught to children before they can ever be expected to be used. 


And, when a child doesn't use appropriate skills what should a parent do?  Well, the parent needs calm, consistent teaching skills that are predictable and loving, but also firm. 


In 2009 the BBC in Britain asked me if I would be part of a program called “The World's Strictest Parents.”  Apparently I was the strictest (meaning most principled) parent of them all because our episode became the most watched episode ever and it was also the most calm episode of them all as well.  See the program here.


Since then, people have asked me to travel to China, to England and Scotland, and all over North America to teach the principles of self-government to youth and parents.  This year I will travel to speak at the UN a couple of times as well. 

My mission is to free families, because the majority of families now days are in emotional bondage.  Relationships are failing.  No government or organization can fix these family problems.  Freedom and family happiness is found when people in the home start learning self-government. 


To find out more about self-government principles and how they can help your visit


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