Are you a good parent? My guess is you are or want to be, otherwise you wouldn’t be interested in this article. As good parents, we all want the best for our kids. We want to raise them right, but the abundance of parenting information out there can sometimes seem overwhelming. However, there are a few hard but essential truths about the world we live in all parents should teach their kids to ensure they grow up into amiable, respectful adults who are also valuable members of society.
1. Teach children life is precious.
Life is a gift that should be cherished. Everyone dies eventually, and it could happen at any moment. Teach your children to value and protect life on this planet indiscriminately through the way they live their lives, whether it is human life, animal life or plant life. Let them know life is fragile and fleeting and so they should always make the best of it. Judging others is not okay. We all have a right to a better existence in this world and should live and let live.
2. Teach children love is the answer.
Love can cure all the problems in the world. While we may not have the same social status in society, we are all equal members of the same human family. Teach your children to love others not because they expect anything in return, but because it is the right thing to do. Let them know you don’t always have to like each other, but you always have to love each other. Importantly, kids should know they are loved completely and unconditionally and must give that same unconditional love to their parents and siblings.
3. Teach children education is crucial.
Education opens opportunities for growth and development in the modern world. Let your children know they need to take their education seriously if they want to get ahead in life. Instill in them a life-long culture of reading and learning new things to broaden and sharpen their minds to the possibilities present in the world. Kids should know education is meant to equip them with both the skills and knowledge they need to compete effectively in today’s cut-throat world and make their dreams come true.
4. Teach children happiness is a choice.
All the money in the world won’t make you happy. Only you can make you happy. Money might buy you material comforts, but not true happiness. Teach children happiness comes from within. It is a choice you make. You choose to be happy whether you have little or much. The only time others can determine your happiness is when you let them. They should, therefore, not rely on money or other people to make them happy.
5. Teach children truth is vital.
Children should know lying is unacceptable because it betrays trust. When you are dishonest, you demonstrate you cannot be trusted with bigger responsibilities. That is not a good thing. Teach your children honesty is a central value in your home and life. It is what protects and makes your family function well. Emphasize that they should tell the truth always. It will help them build character, establish lasting bonds of trust and set them free to live without fear of unknown repercussions.
6. Teach children hard work pays.
Children should know it is important to have a passion and nature it. Tell them they should always do their best in everything they attempt and never just give up. The world is filled with many quitters and doesn’t need any more. Teach them the value of perseverance and avoid handing them everything on a silver platter. They should know that effort and a little sweat is required to succeed. As Michael Phelps, 18-time Olympic gold medalist and proof that hard work pays said, hard work is like putting money in the bank that you can withdraw later. Kids should learn to work hard so that they can withdraw the benefits later.
7. Teach children change is inevitable.
If there is anything constant in life, it is change. Kids should know that no matter how difficult change sometimes is, it is inevitable. They should learn to adapt to life changes in order to keep from lagging behind and being unhappy. Teach them flexibility is a valuable trait in life. Not changing with the times, for example, might as well be retrogression. Encourage them to have an open mind and try to understand and accommodate different perspectives and world views, both in their personal and professional life.
8. Teach children patience pays.
Success doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, most successes happen in small steps and take a long time. Having the patience to wait until the mud settles and the water becomes clear is a mark of good character, especially in today’s culture where delayed gratitude is no longer valued despite it being a timeless, tried and true ingredient for a healthy, successful life. Teach your kids Rome wasn’t built in a day. It was built one brick at a time, day by day for years. So too are most valuable things in life. Kids need to be patient and keep working hard to see things happen. That is the best way to get things done.
9. Teach children good health is priceless.
Some things money just can’t buy. Your health is one of those things. Teach your children good health is priceless—you can’t put a price tag on it. Tell them when they protect their health it is the starting point to all good things. This is because with good health you are energetic, physically apt and motivated enough to do what needs to be done. However, if you neglect your health and let it deteriorate, it won’t matter if you are the richest person in the world because you will be miserable, weak and in pain.
10. Teach children gratitude is key.
Gratitude is that feeling of thankfulness and contentment for what you have, even if it is little. In a world reeking with entitlement and materialism, this is an increasingly rare virtue you need to instill in kids. Let your children know true happiness and success in life is hard to come by for snotty, ungrateful people. However, with gratitude in your heart you can touch lives and change the world even with limited resources. Teach them no matter how bad things get, someone somewhere has it worse and there is always reason to be thankful. That attitude is what makes for truly appreciative and inspiring children.