8 signs you’ve raised a genuinely good kid, according to psychology

If you’re a parent, you know raising a child can be a rollercoaster ride of joys, worries, and unexpected surprises.

You might find yourself constantly questioning whether you’re doing it right. Are your kids turning out to be genuinely good people?

Let’s face it, parenting isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of deal, and every kid is unique in their own way.

But according to psychology, there are certain signs that can tell you’ve raised a genuinely good kid.

In this article, we’ll unpack these indicators and hopefully, provide some reassurance in your parenting journey. 

Just remember, this isn’t about perfection, but rather about nurturing the best in our little ones.

1) Empathy is a consistent trait

One of the key traits of a genuinely good kid, according to psychology, is empathy.

Now, this doesn’t mean your child is always able to fully understand and share the feelings of another. That’s a tall order even for many adults.

But if your kid often shows signs of empathizing with others – like comforting a friend who fell down in the playground or sharing their favorite toy with a sibling who’s upset – that’s a pretty solid indication you’ve raised a good child.

Empathy is about connecting with others on an emotional level and having the capacity to understand their feelings. It’s the cornerstone of emotional intelligence and a vital trait for any good person to possess.

If your child regularly showcases empathy, that’s not just a sign of their goodness – it’s also a testament to your effective parenting. You’re nurturing a kind, understanding individual who values other people’s feelings.

2) They’re not always “easy”

While it might seem like a genuinely good kid would be easy to raise, that’s not always the case.

Your child questioning rules, expressing strong emotions, or even occasionally engaging in rebellious behavior can actually be positive signs

It indicates they are learning to assert their individuality, developing critical thinking skills, and learning to navigate their emotions.

Remember, growth and learning often come from challenging situations. So, if your child isn’t always “easy,” it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re raising them wrong. 

On the contrary, it may simply mean they are growing into strong-minded, independent individuals capable of understanding and expressing their needs and wants effectively.

3) They can delay gratification

If your child has mastered the art of patience, that’s a great sign. They understand the value of waiting for something they want, even if it’s tough.

This was famously explored in the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment. Children were offered a choice: one small reward provided immediately or two small rewards if they waited for a short period. 

The ones who waited tended to have better life outcomes as they grew up, such as academic achievement and healthier lifestyles.

So, if your child can hold off on immediate pleasure for a greater reward down the line, you’re likely raising a kid who’ll navigate life’s challenges more successfully. 

4) They understand and respect boundaries

When your child understands and respects the concept of personal boundaries – both their own and those of others – it reflects their growing sense of empathy and respect.

Every person has a different comfort zone, and it’s so important to respect that. If your child asks permission before borrowing a toy from a friend or gives you space when you’re busy, it shows they’re developing an understanding of this principle.

Respecting boundaries is a fundamental aspect of good relationships. 

If your child is demonstrating this, it’s a sign that they’re not only growing into a genuinely good person but also someone who can build healthy relationships with others. 

It’s a testament to the love and guidance you’ve provided as a parent.

5) They make mistakes and learn from them

Nobody’s perfect, and that includes our little ones. In fact, making mistakes is a crucial part of growing up.

If your child spills milk while pouring it, forgets their homework, or loses a game, it’s all part of the learning process. The important thing here is how they handle it.

Do they try again to pour the milk more carefully? Do they create a system to remember their homework next time? Do they practice to improve their game skills?

These are signs of resilience and the willingness to learn from mistakes – traits of a genuinely good kid. 

It shows that they’re not just going through life, but growing through life. And that’s something we can all relate to, isn’t it?

6) They show gratitude

Gratitude is a powerful trait that reflects a genuinely good kid. It’s the simple act of saying “thank you” for a meal, expressing appreciation for a friend’s kindness, or acknowledging the effort someone put into a task.

I remember once seeing a child at a park who found a lost toy. Instead of running off with it, they took it to a nearby adult and thanked them for their help in finding its owner. 

This small act of gratitude was not only heartwarming but demonstrated the child’s understanding of appreciating others’ efforts.

When your child regularly expresses gratitude, it shows they appreciate the good things and people around them. It’s a sign of humility, acknowledgment, and positivity – all signs of having raised a genuinely good kid.

7) They take responsibility

It’s not always easy to admit when you’re wrong, especially for a kid. But taking responsibility for their actions is a hallmark of a genuinely good child.

If your child breaks a vase and immediately comes to you, admitting what they did, that’s a sign they understand the concept of accountability. It may be tempting to scold them for the broken vase, but remember, the courage it took for them to admit their mistake is significant.

Raising a child who can accept their faults is no small feat. It’s about fostering honesty and integrity. It may be tough to see them make mistakes, but remember, it’s these moments that contribute to their growth into responsible and accountable individuals.

8) They show kindness

At the end of the day, one of the most telling signs you’ve raised a genuinely good kid is their capacity for kindness.

If your child is consistently kind to those around them – their friends, siblings, pets, and even strangers – it shows they have a compassionate heart. Kindness is a universal language that transcends age, race, and social status.

Whether it’s helping a friend with homework, sharing their lunch with a classmate, or simply offering a warm smile to someone having a bad day, these acts of kindness are the true markers of a good kid.

Kindness isn’t just about actions; it’s an attitude, a way of life. And if your child embodies this spirit of kindness, you’ve not only raised a good kid; you’ve contributed to making the world a better place.


This article has presented various signs that you’ve raised a genuinely good kid, but remember, these are just indicators. Your child is their own person, and they will grow and learn at their own pace.

Time spent nurturing your child’s growth is always time well spent.

And to be an exceptional parent means to be wise enough not to let societal pressures dictate how you raise your child, or what values you instill in them.

Here’s to the joys, challenges, and endless rewards of parenting. May your journey be filled with love and fulfillment!

Eliza Hartley

Eliza Hartley, a London-based writer, is passionate about helping others discover the power of self-improvement. Her approach combines everyday wisdom with practical strategies, shaped by her own journey overcoming personal challenges. Eliza's articles resonate with those seeking to navigate life's complexities with grace and strength.

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