There are many skills that our children are expected to learn and master in order to excel in today’s fast-changing world. In our bid to give them the best things in life, we do what we can to give them the foundation to these skills. At the same time, there are many life lessons that parents should not miss out on teaching their children. These life lessons and values will help your children cope with the challenges of the real world with grace and confidence as they grow up.
Here are some life lessons and values to impart to your children during the tender growing up years:
1. Lessons on good manners
Good manners should be inculcated in children from the day they are born, for this helps them interact with the people they meet in their daily lives and shapes them into a loving and considerate person.
You can teach your children the basics of good manners from the day he or she is born. Use common phrases such as “Please” and “Thank you” when you are interacting with your child, and keep up with this as he/she grows up. Do make it a habit to use these phrases when he shares his favourite items with you. Although your child may not be able to express himself during the early years, he is observing your moves and actions and learning to make sense of the interactions taking place. The more you model the basics of good manners, these examples will become a part of your child’s life in time to come.
2. The value of honesty
It is important that we teach our children about the value of honesty and explain to them the consequences of lying. As children learn by taking our actions as an example, we need to make a conscious effort to show them that they should always strive to tell the truth. For example, if you tell your friend that you can’t attend their party because the whole family will be away and then head out for dinner with the family instead, your child will think that it is alright to tell a white lie occasionally. Instead, explain to your child that he/she should always aim to tell the truth – and that they should not attempt to make others feel better by telling white lies.
3. The joy of learning
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you will go” – Dr. Seuss
The quote above by popular children’s author, Dr. Theodor Seuss Geisel, puts across the fact that learning is a life-long journey and that it leads to a world of opportunities. While you help your children to develop a love of reading, do also point out to them that there are many ways to learn new things apart from reading. Encourage them to open their minds to new experiences and learn from life situations and the people that they cross paths with.
4. The courage to speak up
As much as you’d like to protect your child as he/she goes through the ups and downs in life, you may not be able to step in all the time. Thus, teaching your child to speak up and stand up for himself is one of the most valuable lessons that you can impart during the growing up years. This helps to give him the courage to ask questions when he does not understand what is being taught in class and the confidence to put across his thoughts and ideas to others as an adult.
5. How to manage money
We go to great lengths to teach our children essential life skills such as reading, writing and to play various games, but we don’t seem to spend time or do enough to teach them about money management. This life skill should be taught from the moment your children start receiving an allowance for school, as it helps them learn about the importance of saving, how to budget their money and the consequences of spending more than what they can afford. By giving your children a good head start in money management, they will grow up with a sense of responsibility when it comes to money matters.
From learning to resolve disagreements peacefully to lending a helping hand to others, go to the next page for more life lessons and values to teach your children.