The Sims 4 Parenthood:
Parenting Skill Levels, Punish/Praise and Groundings
The Parenting Skill helps you to get better at raising kids in The Sims 4
The Sims 4 Parenthood's new Parenting Skill attempts to simulate the experience of parenting children and teens, and all the little improvements a parent makes in their approach to raising their children. Gains are not instant, it takes time and work, but with effort your Sims' children can turn out to be solid adults with a strong foundation that will serve them a lifetime. Once your Sim is done raising their own young ones, they can in turn help with the grandchildren and lend that experience to the new generation. This guide covers the abilities you unlock when leveling the parenting skill and provides tips to help improve your play. I've also provided details on the special parenting abilities you'll receive at various points.
How to: Parenting Cheats
Press Control + Shift + C then type testingcheats on and press enter. You can now set your skill level with stats.set_skill_level major_parenting x (fill in 1-10) - we also have a full listing of Skill Cheats and a master list of Cheats in The Sims 4
How it Works: Character Values and Parenthood
Parenting Skill has a strong tie-in with the Character Values System that comes with Parenthood. While it helps with solving kids' needs and allows you to direct children and teens in-game by telling them to take care of themselves, do their homework or chores, this is its main purpose.
You can yell at your kids, but they're unlikely to listen. Level the parenting skill to get better interactions and higher success rates with all parenthood-related socials.
When a child exhibits a behavior - good or bad - that ties in to the character values system, the parent can be used to interact with the kid. Selecting the 'Parenting' menu, you can select one of multiple ways to encourage that behavior. At first, your only options are to loose your cool and yell at them when they do bad. Later, you can have a stern talk or hug it out when a kid has done wrong. This can be used to offset negative behaviors and push them toward positive territory. See the linked Character Values guide for more information - the game features emotional control, conflict resolution, responsibility, empathy, and manners as values and all of them have positive and negative traits associated with them.
Parenting works very well with the game's autonomy system, because you can fully raise kids without controlling them. Make sure they do their homework every day, encourage them to level skills they've taken an interest in. Ground them if they get into a fight so they will learn to better handle conflicts.
Leveling the Parenting Skill
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While you won't gain parenting experience from simple conversations with your Sim's children, nearly every other activity - from a simple scolding, to helping with homework, to bathing toddlers and potty training them or working on a group project for school - will increase the parenting skill. You can also go the old fashioned route and read parenting books when your Sim's first born is due. If you need a quick boost to skill, you can go to the 'Web' category on a computer and select to read the parenting forums to get a steady stream of skill xp.
Parenting Skill Levels
- Levels 0-1 - Encourage behavior (good or bad), and influence them to clean. Reprimand bad behaviors via 'ask not to do that' and 'yell at to stop'.
- Level 2 - Influence kids to do homework becomes available, along with the 'firmly tell not to do' bad behavior, which is much better than yelling at them. This level further expands available options you get when a teaching moment pops up (chance cards).
- Level 3 - Solve motive (bladder, hygiene, fun needs) interactions become available. Additionally, they can give parenting tips to other parents.
- Level 4 - Time Outs become available as a punishment. You'll now be able to see how advice will impact a child's development, when selecting a teaching moment chance card.
- Level 5 - Groundings become available as a punishment when children and teens misbehave. Discussing bad behavior and 'hugging it out' are also available as less-extreme options. More motive-solving abilities become available to the parent.
- Level 6 - The Sim can now help other Sims feel better when parenthood gets tough. Parents this experienced can tell what is making the baby cry, to better take care of it.
- Level 7 - Even better motive-solving interactions (higher success rates), certain influence to interactions become more likely to succeed.
- Level 8 - A third option appears for all teaching moments, which is likely to be a better or more desirable option. Discipline socials become much easier to perform, in general, with higher success rates across the board.
- Level 9 - Influence interactions will always work once you've achieved this level of parenting. The impacts of advice in all teaching moments are known as well (which stats the child will gain/lose based upon what advice you give them).
- Level 10 - The Super Efficient Baby Care interaction can now be used to solve all of a baby's needs at once! Other times, the Sim may use the 'Full Parent' mode, which slows their own need decay so they can care for their kids. It may only kick in when you've got low needs and need to do several parenting interactions. It's one I'll come back to once I've got more information on the mechanics.
My Kid Won't Listen! Help with Influence Success Rates!
Tucking in kids gives some parenting skill, but also improves relationships. This and teaching toddlers to use the potty are good examples of actions you can do early on to improve your Sim's parenting in preparation for more difficult years.
Sims' moods matter when parenting, as does the relationship with their child. Being stressed and having your kid hate you will more than likely result in a negative outcome. The moods of both Sims involved are taken into account, but the parent will be ineffective when they're in a bad mood. Try to improve this, set the tone of the conversation to positive by using some friendly socials like brighten day to soften the blow.
Maintaining a positive relationship with your Sim's kids will help to improve the success rate when trying to tell them to do something, and to a large degree. (This is true in reality, as well). It is initially quite hard to raise toddlers, especially as a single parent, but becomes easier with some parenting experience. Your Sim will grow with their child. Do things with them, participate, teach them the basics like saying sorry, and you'll find that more and more of your attempts will succeed.
The parenting skill's benefits become ever more apparent when parenting chance cards appear, known as teaching moments. Teaching moments are pop-ups that appear randomly and let you choose a solution to a problem for the kid based upon the parenting skill and your judgment as a player. Good options won't appear if your Sim is not experienced at parenting. When the Sim is good at parenting, you can get solutions that are seemingly rational solutions, though few solutions seem to be perfect. You will often be required to sacrifice one type of character value to gain another. If you were trying to make a 'perfect' kid, you might pick those that might boost the values that you find more difficult to instill in the child. Later in parenting skill progression, the values these chance cards impact will be noted for you so that you can use them to enhance a strength or shore up a weakness.
Super Parent! - The Role Model Reward Trait
The Sims 4 Parenthood comes with a new Super Parent Aspiration that revolves around the Parenting skill and raising families. It's not very difficult, though it does require you to finish raising a child who receives 3 positive Character Value traits for the final stage. Everything else is a cakewalk that is doable in one child's lifetime. This makes all future parenting easy, and rewards you with the Role Model reward trait. This trait increases all positive gains for character value experience by 50%, making it much easier for future children to get reward traits. It does work for grandparents as well, it's an aura that will benefit any children nearby.
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