‘Sims 4: Parenthood’ Guide: How To Build Character Value, Parenting Skill And Handle Phases

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'Sims 4: Parenthood' releases May 30.
'Sims 4: Parenthood' releases May 30. EA

Parenting in The Sims 4 is a complex system of character values, traits, temporary phases and skills. What makes things more complicated is that there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to chance card gameplay. The decisions you make for your children while they are at school or ask for advice will positively affect one aspect of their development, while harming the other. However, there is a general strategy when it comes to Sims 4: Parenthood. Here’s what you need to know to be successful.


Character values are a behavior system introduced in Parenthood. There are five: Manners, Emotional Control, Responsibility, Empathy and Conflict Resolution. It’s a little bit complicated and filling the bar is pretty difficult without taking specific actions. Character values are available for toddlers, children and teens. Once aged up to a young adult, these values are locked in and the Sim will receive a trait based on the success (or not) of achieving the values.

Generally speaking, the new journal is a great way to help control your child’s emotions. There are tons of journal interactions and it’s best to direct the child to write in a journal because they will go destroy a teddy bear or make a mess if you don’t. There’s also a new volunteer option that’s very rewarding and positively affects traits. You can find volunteer options using the cell phone. The whole family can even volunteer.

READ: ‘Parenthood’ Cheats

It’s very easy to to play as the parent and direct and discipline the children, but make sure to take tons of actions as the child or teen as well. Explore all the social interactions that come with Parenthood (visible by the family icon) and you should develop the skills more naturally through everyday conversation, instead of relying on your kid to act out and responding.

Here are the specific actions that positively affect each character value and their potential permanent trait outcomes.

Emotional Control

-Having the self assured trait

-Writing in journal

-Jog to clear mind

-Listen to music to wind down

-Playing instruments

-Play with emotion (with toys)

-Blog about feelings

To prevent tantrums and negative moods, direct your kids to listen to music to wind down, blog on the computer or in their journal, or play an instrument. With good emotional control, negative moodlets will decrease faster and they will automatically go to their journal to write if they are upset. If your child develops without learning positive emotional control, they could receive the “Uncontrolled Emotions” trait, which could cause more emotional meltdowns. Just try and prevent them from biting and destroying things. If emotional control is taught, you’ll get the “Emotional Control” trait.


  • Having neat trait
  • Teach to say “please and thank you”
  • Friendly introductions
  • Clean up dishes
  • Set table
  • Give compliments

There’s a bunch of new gross interactions like burping, farting, making a mess and swearing, which all negatively affect the manners character value. Teaching your child to say sorry, as well as please and thank you, teach good manners in general. If developed well, this can lead to the “ Good Manners ” trait, which includes a new ‘Polite introduction’ action and helps your Sim develop friendly relationships faster and thank the host if invited over to a friends house. If swearing goes unpunished, your Sim could get the “Bad Manners” trait. They will never want to do the dishes, they will swear and be a little socially inept.


  • Having perfectionist trait
  • Completing school project or homework
  • Receiving good grades
  • Making a sack lunch
  • Part time job performance
  • Brushing teeth
  • Taking out trash
  • Repairing objects
  • Cleaning up toys or a mess

If your child develops the “ Responsible” trait, they will perform well at work and can help teach children how to be responsible at a faster rate. If the sim becomes “Irresponsible,” they will slack off or be uncomfortable at work, ignore bills and be sloppy in the house.


  • Playing with Doctor toys
  • Having the good trait
  • Volunteering
  • Asking about negative moods
  • Calm down, cheer up, or console social interactions

This trait is the hardest to develop, in my opinion. To build the trait, you’ll need to practice certain social actions during conversation. Parents will also be prompted to help their child make decisions at school. Your choices could help or hamper the empathy trait. Child sims will also ask for advice, and depending on your decision, it could raise one trait while negatively affecting the other. If developed well, your child good develop the “Compassionate” trait. They will be able to empathize with others by sharing emotional burdens. The downside is they don’t take to mean people well and get stressed by anger and yelling. If you don’t build empathy, your Sim could receive the “Insensitive” trait. Often times these interactions with other Sims in an emotional state will not be well received.

Conflict Resolution

  • Having the outgoing trait
  • Reconciling after argument
  • Apologizing
  • Find common ground, beg for forgiveness, try to chat socials
  • Teach to say sorry
  • Make peace social
  • Try to fix bad relationship

Talk through your teen’s problems with them and they may just wind up with the “Mediator” trait when they age up to an adult, which comes with positive conflict resolution. They will be able to apologize to other Sims more successfully and “mediate” online forums. They can mend differences with Sims they are not friendly with and find common ground. On the other hand, if you end up “Argumentative,” getting along with Sims may be more difficult.


If you want to play this game pack to the fullest, choose the Super Parent aspiration. Your Sim will be rewarded for completing various parenting tasks and family life will be much more rewarding. If you complete this aspiration, the Sim will be rewarded the Role Model bonus trait. Character Value points for toddlers, children and teens will also get a boost.


Dear lord, these are no joke. If your child or teenager is entering a phase, anything will set them off. If you live in San Myshuno, make sure you suck up to your neighbor because loud music + a phase = a very, very angry teenager. What’s worse is there’s nothing you can really do to prevent these phases. The only thing you are in control over is helping your teen or child learn the best way to react to the situation and handle their feelings.

Feed into negative behaviors caused by phases and moods by having the child or teenager yell at someone or hit the toy bear or destroy the school project. However, these negative actions will hurt the Sims’ character value traits. The better way is to use these moments to your advantage. If you encourage the child or teenager to talk through feelings or wind down with classical music or write in the journal , their character value points will increase. Phases are sort of like temporary traits. They actually appear in the trait panel. Teens will also experience mood swings, which have nothing to do with the phases.

The only real way to address these phases to prompt conversation about said phase with the child or teen. For example, you can encourage your child to eat food or talk about their diet with the new social interactions. The most effective way to handle these phases is with a level 10 parenting skill. As your parenting skill increases, the actions and disciplines you take with your children will be more persuasive and successful. It is more likely they will follow your directions and encouragement and there will be more social interactions available to address or talk through each situation.

Picky Eater (Child)

This may be the most complicated phase because it goes through six stages. There’s pretty much a 50/50 chance this kid will not like dinner.


Your teen or child will argue all the time, swear, procrastinate with homework and break household rules.

Mean Streak

You're going to see a lot of devil horn icons if your kid is going through the mean streak. Teenagers will make fun of a sibling’s face and destroy school projects.


Make sure you’re on good terms with your neighbors because if your kid is going through a loud phase, they are blasting music, playing instruments and just being as loud as possible.


Your alone time just decreased from ten percent to five percent. This kid wants attention all the time. Interacting with non-caregiver Sims will actually stress them out.

I’m A Bear (Children)

They wear the bear costume… all the time.


As if being a teen wasn’t hard enough, this temporary phase will put them into self-inflicted purgatory. Because they feel so misunderstood, interactions with even family members are a hassle.


Just like any other skill, develop parenting by buying parenting books, researching parenting on the web, or asking other parents. At level 1, you can encourage positive behavior, influence to clean and ask the child not to do bad behavior. At level 2, you can do more actions like influence to do homework and firmly talk to your children. At level 3, you can encourage basic needs like going to the bathroom, eating, skill building and having fun. You can also give advice to other parents.

Level 4 is where the actions get more serious. You can assign a child to timeout and there is more information given on chance cards as far as which option will harm which character value. Grounding actions become available at level 5, where they can also discuss behavior and “hug it out.” At level six, the parent can make other parents feel better and also foresee all a baby’s needs when caring for them. At level 7, parents can more effectively influence a child’s actions. At level 8, discipline socials will work better and at Level 9 parents are persuasive enough that they always succeed in telling their kid to do the dishes. Parents also know exactly how their advice in teaching moments will play out. And at level 10, the ‘super efficient baby care’ interactions to solve all a baby's needs at once becomes available. Sims can also now enter ‘full parent mode’ where their own needs won’t matter as much.

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