Parenting isn’t easy. Everyone has an opinion on how you should raise your child, from family members to friends and colleagues, and even strangers. But most parents agree that they want their children to do well in school, and to hopefully develop a love for learning – whether it’s an academic subject, a language, or even a musical instrument. Setting high expectations for your children’s learning is an important part of raising life-long learners. For many, this involves figuring out a balance between school work, homework, and after school activities or extracurricular activities.

Even if it is a lofty goal by any standard, most parents would arguably agree that they really just want their kids to be happy. But “happy” can take shape in so many different ways, and there are a number of things that factor into a child’s happiness; things like self-confidence, self-assurance, self-reliance, a feeling of safety and security, and a feeling of self-worth. So how can we, as parents, foster the growth of these things in our kids? Here are 7 suggestions from the folks at

So how much homework is too much? And are our children realizing any real benefit from their [often overwhelming] homework assignments? Many experts, including educational research expert Harris Cooper of Duke University, believe that the benefits of homework are minimal, and age-dependent, with high school students benefiting most. Based on multiple studies compiled by Cooper over a period of nearly 20 years, homework may also have a negative impact on young students’ attitudes toward school. Cooper advocates instead for more reading at home for elementary students, and a maximum of 2 hours of homework per night for high school students.

At the end of the day, there is no official manual on how best to raise your children. You have to trust your instincts, listen to your heart and your mind, surround your kids with love, and keep the lines of communication open.