Just like a potter, who, if he wants to turn a lump of clay into a beautiful pottery, needs to first add enough water to the clay to make it pliable and soft, you too, as parents, need to teach your kids important life lessons, if you want them to grow up and be caring, happy and respectful individuals.
How they grow up to be depend mostly on how well you have molded and shaped them and thus, it is important that you impart in your kids, right from the start, valuable life lessons to prepare them for the real world.
Listed below are 13 essential life skills & values that you need to teach your kids, as they will help them to strengthen their character and develop a healthy sense of self-esteem, as they grow into adulthood.
Teaching your kids good manners is probably one of the first things that you, as a parent, need to do. Teaching them to say “please” when they want something, “thank you” when they receive something, explaining to them the appropriate table manners, etc, will help them to develop social graces and will ensure that they behave politely whether they are at home or away.
While teaching your kids to say “thank you” and “please” is important, instilling in them an attitude of gratitude is another matter entirely. Fostering gratitude in kids` helps them to cultivate positive attitudes in their lives, which makes them a happy and satisfied individuals as they grow old. It also makes them appreciate all that you have done for them, which in turn strengthens your relationship with them
Be an example of kindness!
Since kids understand kindness through everyday interaction, how you communicate & treat them, can have a direct impact on how they treat others. Be patient, use kind words, even when you are tired & frustrated, teach them not to judge others, encourage them to perform small acts of kindness in school, such as sharing their lunch box, etc. All of these actions will not only teach your kids to practice kindness in their everyday lives, but it will also help them to grow into a loving & happy person.
Giving respect to elders is one of the most important life skills that you need to teach your kids. Elders love your kids as much as you do and thus it is essential that kids learn to respect them by being polite, helpful, appreciative, and remember that they deserve their respect, not out of duty but out of love.
Another important life skill, giving your children responsibilities will teach them to be self-reliant and will help them grow up to be responsible adults. Start by assigning them simple tasks such as telling them to put away their toys after playing, turning off the light when they leave a room, washing their hands before meals, etc. By teaching kids to be responsible for their actions and their belongings, you are making them independent and are instilling in them a sense of confidence that they can take care of themselves.
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Self-esteem is critical to a child’s overall well-being and thus, it’s important that you offer plenty of encouragement when your kids show interest in a particular area and appreciate them for a job well-done. Since, kids more often than not look at parents to judge their self-worth, showing appreciation will make them feel proud of themselves and instill in them the confidence that they can do well in all types of situations.
Teaching kids to be helpful & compassionate at home and at school will make them less self-centered and more open to helping others without prompting. It is one of the most difficult life skills to master and if you want these qualities to take root in your kids, you need to practice what you teach them as they learn from observing your actions.
Motivating your kids to be honest about their mistakes, failures and feelings can help them to build their self-confidence and reinforce positive behaviour. They will also learn to trust you, when they realize that they can share anything with you without being afraid of harsh punishment, thereby strengthening your bond with them.
Mistakes are the stepping stones to learning and thus, it’s important that you teach your kids to admit their mistakes and make them realize that almost any mistake can be fixed. Show them that you love them unconditionally regardless of their mistakes, but at the same time encourage them to take responsibility for their actions and not blame others for their lapse in judgment. Teach them to apologize when their mistake hurts others and praise them for their courage, when they admit their mistake.
Another essential life skill, educating your kids on the value of hard work teaches them to be grateful for what they have and instills in them the attitude that they can accomplish anything in life by working hard. Hard work also teaches them to stand up after each failure and try again, and builds in them an attitude of “I can and I will.”
This life skill will help your kids tremendously as they grow old. Teaching them to manage time by telling them to create a to-do list, teaching them to use calendars and clocks to estimate time, can help your kids organize their priorities and keep you from always reminding and prodding them about their homework and chores.
Save money and spend it wisely, is the motto you should teach your children when it comes to money management. Develop a good spending habit in your children by teaching them to differentiate between wants, needs and wishes and allow them to make spending decisions by giving them some money so that they can learn firsthand the consequences of overspending.
Developing healthy eating habits and engaging your kids in daily exercise, will keep them fit in body, mind, and soul. It will help them grow into a healthy and confident adult and will help develop a lifelong skill of making healthy choices, all of which will help them lead a quality life, one formed by having a proper balance between diet, nutrition and fitness.
These are just but a few important life skills that you should teach your children. Start gradually instilling these values in your child right from the beginning, so that they can develop a positive character, one that is caring, loving and happy.
Did I miss any other important life skills? If yes, then share it with us in the comment section below.