As parents, we want our children to grow up to be the best that they can be. To be everything that we are not, to have everything that we never had. Being a parent, relative, grandparent, or guardian of a child is a HUGE responsibility. As former addicts, we worry about our little ones. We worry that they will make the same mistakes that we did. That being said, we must instill certain concepts and wisdom in our children from an early age. Below are 7 life lessons every child needs to learn.
1. Hard Work Will Pay Off
In today’s world, too many children expect to work for nothing and still get what they want. Personally, I want my children to learn the value of hard work and that it pays off. If you want something, go after it. Most of us aren’t made of money. Our children aren’t born rich and famous. Yet, they can be as successful as they want. I’m a firm believer that if you want something, go for it, work hard at obtaining it, and you will eventually get what you want. Whether it’s your career, your dream, or your passion.
Parenting Tip: At a young age, give your child chores to do or simple things to do. After they are done or have tried their best at completing the task, reward them. Nothing big, make it age appropriate. If you have a toddler, let her help you design a box for her favorite dolls. When she’s done playing, have her put them away. When she does, give her a lollipop. Take her for a walk. Something that she will love and appreciate. Let her know that if she works at something, it will be rewarding. You get the idea.
2. Knowledge Is Power
Education is a solid foundation for a successful future. We all know it is a fact that the majority of people pursue a further education than high school. If you compare a person with a high school diploma and a person with a college degree, the person with a college degree will earn more money in their lifetime.
Not only that. Our brains are like sponges. They constantly absorb information. Have you ever heard that people use only 10% of their brains? Yes, I believed that. It’s not true. We use 100% of our brain on a daily basis to do simple daily activities. Some people have a higher IQ than others because of the way their brain responds, calculates, and interprets information. Why not get the most out of your brain that you can? It never hurt anyone to be knowledgeable. While you can’t actually make your kid a genius, a willingness to learn is essential for a positive mind.
Parenting Tip: Start reading to your child when they are babies. You can even read to them while they are still in the womb. It is never too early to begin learning. Setting a solid foundation will lay the path for a lifelong tradition of learning. People learn throughout their entire lives. Learning is even better when it’s something that the person wants to do.
3. Learn From Your Mistakes
I believe that is imperative for a child to know that everyone makes mistakes and that making a mistake is alright. The important thing is that you learn from your mistakes. Learning from a mistake or poor decision makes it less likely that it will be repeated. We know that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.
Parenting Tip: Any time your child makes a mistake, correct them, and show them the right way to do it, if possible. If you can’t show them the right way to do something. Then, talk about it. Let them know how they could have avoided the consequences.
4. Always Make A Good First Impression
This isn’t a life lesson in order to sound vain. Let’s be honest, first impressions count. Make sure your child is aware of this. They should know to be respectful of others, always be on their best behavior, and not to do certain things in front of others. By that, I mean you child should know that there are certain things that they should only do or say in privacy. Such as not picking their nose, don’t fart in front of people, to cover their mouth when they are coughing, don’t burp real loud in the middle of a restaurant, etc.
Parenting Tip: Teach your kids to act accordingly. When your child is old enough to understand, teach them the basics including proper manners, good hygiene, and being respectful. Teach them how to act and what to say or how to introduce themselves when they meet someone new.
5. Please and Thank You Go A Long Way
Everybody likes to hear those words, please and thank you. When they come from a child, they sound sweet and endearing. Plus, it’s the right thing to do. It feels good to be appreciated and to have your efforts recognized.
Parenting Tip: Teach your child when and how to use the words please and thank you. Use them a lot around the house. Be sure when they ask for ANYTHING, they say Please, Can I Have…? and if they get it say Thank you.
6. Every Action Has A Consequence
Isn’t that the truth? As parents who have been through the worst, we don’t want our child to have to learn the hard way. Yet, they need to know that there are consequences. Even though a consequence sounds bad, it doesn’t have to be. A consequence if simple the results of one’s actions. So, yes if you do something bad, the result probably will not be good. On the other hand, if you make the right choice – the consequences can be rewarding rather than the later. Your child can start learning this as soon as they know the difference between right and wrong. By the way, it’s much sooner than one may think.
Parenting Tip: If your child misbehaves, punish them with a time-out, loss of privileges, etc. If you scold them for doing something inappropriate, be sure to explain the severity of the situation. Explain what could ultimately happen. The same with the opposite, a good deed deserves a reward. Don’t go overboard. You can’t reward your child for doing what they are supposed to. Although, if they go above and beyond the norm, then it is necessary.
7. Think for Yourself
This is important for every child, teen, or adult. Think for yourself, be a leader, not a follower. While some people are simply not cut out to be leaders, you always want your child to think for them self. Not to succumb to peer pressure, not to do what everyone else is doing. Be their own person. Stay true to yourself.
Parenting Tip: Let there be a day when your little one dresses their self. Even if it’s crazy and wacky, who cares? This will instill the idea that individuality is a good thing. On other days when you pick out your child’s clothes, give them options. Select two or more outfits and let them choose which one they want to wear. It will make them feel important and reassure them that it’s a great decision.
There you have it. The 7 life lessons every child needs to learn. Not only will these life skills make your child a strong individual but, they will instill thoughts and actions into your child that they need to grow and thrive. Every person needs to have certain skills in life in order to succeed. Why not start teaching these life lessons to our child at a young age?