Parents may have the most important job in the world, and that is to nurture another human being into a productive adult. A parent must ensure that their child is well provided for with encouragement, education, financial support, love, and access to activities well-suited and appropriate to them. They are also tasked to safeguard their child from the harsh reality of violence and pain in life. As your kids grow older, from toddler to teenage years, their needs also change.
If you thought parenting was all about buying diapers, providing nutritious food, and sending them to school, then hold on to your seat, because your responsibilities are about to get even tougher. You, as a parent, are responsible for teaching your kids life lessons that will make them capable in their life. These life lessons are best instilled before their teenage years.
In teenage years, they are likely to spend more time with their friends, and listen to other people, rather than themselves or people who actually know and care about their best interests. When your kids are in their tweens, on the other hand, they act like sponge, where they can absorb life lessons and values, and use them to guide their actions. This phase is also where there is a perfect balance between the time and effort he or she spends with family and friends. Here are some values your kids need to learn before their teenage years.
It is important to teach your kids early on that their actions have consequences, and carry an equal amount of responsibility. Being a responsible person will make them capable of triumphing over the challenges in life. You can teach them these kinds of values in a practical manner. For example, if they choose or insist on going for a swim without wearing sunscreen, then let them be, to an extent.
At the end of the day, they will suffer from sunburn, and that should be the consequence of their action, and therefore, they need to learn to bear it as their responsibility. Do not tell them what you think about their action; rather, ask them their opinion or thoughts about their decision. Then, take this as a chance to make them understand how to take responsibility for their actions, and always be mindful about the consequences of their decisions.
Good Manners and Personal Conduct
Maybe these lessons are taught in school, but it is better to have them applied and practiced at home. Having good manners can start by being comfortable at saying and using “Please” and “Thank you”. When done early on and continuously, this will become a good habit and second nature for your kids. This will help them become a loving and considerate person, as well as help them develop into an interesting, likeable, and respectful person.
This extends into their clothing as well. When children are young, they prefer to wear cute, colorful outfits with their favorite cartoon characters, and that’s perfectly fine. But as they grow older, their tastes will change, and they’ll opt for more sophisticated, trendy clothing that reflects their growing maturity. As a parent, clothes should never been the primary factor they use to judge a person, but it is important that they understand how critical it is to dress for the occasion, and how clothing can help them make a great first impression.
When I was young, I often wondered how money works. When I did ask the adults around me, they tended to shrug me off or give me a sarcastic answer. I remember one time, I asked for money from my parents to buy some of the same clothes that I saw my friend wore, and when I was declined I cried and wailed like there was no tomorrow. I cried because early on, I saw money in my mother’s pocket and when she said no, I thought that they did not love me.
Later on, as I grew into adulthood, I quickly learned the reality of how difficult it is to manage one’s finances. Spending money is one thing, indeed, it is very enjoyable, but earning it is a whole nother story, and can be very challenging. Teach your kids about money, and be open about how money actually works. Help them understand that you have to spend time at work to earn a substantial amount of it, and to be wise by spending it on worthy items.
Teach Them Empathy
Teach your child the value of empathy. Unlike sympathy, wherein you feel the sorrow, and have pity for the hardship of another, empathy is the ability to put and imagine yourself in someone else’s situation. Empathy can easily develop a sense of compassion in your child and that can easily be the strongest foundation of all the life values your child possess. Empathy breeds a compassionate nature and that turns into kindness in one’s heart.