So you’re a new parent or expecting your first child. Of course, you want nothing but the best for your children. You want them to be a healthy infant, and grow into a loving toddler, and a curious youngster, and intelligent teenager, to eventually become the best that they can be as a sufficient adult. Raising a healthy and intelligent child starts with you. You may already have some ideas on how to achieve this. We’ve put together some parenting tips for raising children to their fullest potential.

Meaningful Conversations: Give your children quality time and use that time to the fullest. When you spend time with your kids, try to engage them in meaningful conversations. This helps strengthen communication skills and allows you to challenge each other.

Participate in Activities Together: The average amount of time a family spends together in a day, is 34 minutes. Find hobbies that you as parents can share with each individual child or as a family. Whether it’s practicing tennis one on one or playing a board game at the end of the night, interactive time together can build a stronger relationship.

Volunteer Work: Introduce your children to the act of giving. Maybe it’s donating old clothes and toys, or participating in a food drive, or donating your time to a good cause. Teaching your children the importance of kindness toward others from an early age can help them understand empathy as they grow up.

Be a Role Model: As a parent, it can be tough to teach our children not to do something even though we do it ourselves. It’s helpful to ask ourselves, “what kind of message am I sending to my child by doing this?” Although it may not seem like it, kids are intuitive, and they notice more than we think.

Connect with other Parents: Interacting with other parents, especially those with children in the same age group as yours, gives you more specific insight on parenting. Although you can find endless parenting tips, those in your inner circle may have advice that is specific to you- such as the school your kids attend, your environment, or local events.  Plus, it’s always comforting to realize that we are not alone during the tough times of being a parent.

Put the Phone Down: It’s tough to be involved in your child’s life when you’re staring at a screen half the time you’re together. Consequently, doing this also teaches your child to stare at the screen (possibly the other half of the time you’re together). Try and demonstrate the power of face to face conversation by engaging in quality time and limiting the media consumption.

We all want our kids to grow into intellectual and self-sufficient adults who are most importantly compassionate. We hope these parenting tips will at least help you think about how we can raise our children to their fullest potential.