There are so many things you’ll teach your kids in their lifetime. From how to walk and talk to how to cook and clean. But not everything will be this practical. Some important life lessons you’ll lead by example without even realising. Here’s 8 life lessons all kids should learn to help them grow into thriving adults.
1. Celebrate the little things
Whether it’s a new sandpit to play in or a good grade on your recent test it’s important to take note of the small things in life which make us happy. By celebrating little things often we can lead a life full of joy rather than waiting desperately for a big win.
2. In the online world, nothing is private
Arna Van Goch is a parent on a mission. Her website, Horizons 21, has tips and courses to make sure every family understands the risks and rewards of engaging with social media. Which is why her life lesson for kids is about understanding the online world:
“Maybe you heard about that American dude who went on a racist tirade on Tinder? Or about that girl that sent nude photos of herself to her boyfriend, only to have the whole school see them? Have you ever had that too? Something you told someone, via a social media app or text being screenshotted and sent round to everyone you know?
Nothing is private online. Do not be fooled thinking that encrypted messages will be safe. Nothing is safe. If you post something online, assume that it will be shown to at least 5 others. Be careful out there.”
Keep up with Arna on Facebook and Twitter.
3. Failure is the other half of success
Life is one big experiment and sometimes we get the ingredients wrong. Just like in science, we are testing the boundaries and exploring our potential as people everyday. But what happens when we do make a mistake? Rachel Brittliff from Curious Kids Science believes learning to embrace failure is a big step toward success in life, which is why she wants to pass this lesson on to her kids:
“We need to teach our kids that failures are a necessary part of being successful. If you think about any really successful person that you know, they have faced adversity and have probably not done so well at times. The difference between the really successful people and those who just struggle along in life is that successful people see failures and difficulties as opportunities to learn. They see temporary setbacks where others see problems that can’t be overcome.
If we teach our kids that any challenge and any failure is just another event in life and that you can work hard, recover and move on, then nothing in life will ever be impossible for them, some things will just take a bit more time and grit than others.”
Keep up with Rachel on Facebook and Instagram.
4. Time management is a skill for life
Being busy is a fact of life. Teach your kids early on to value time management and organisation so that they’re prepared to navigate a busy life without crumbling under pressure. Giving them some control over their own schedule will mean they learn the consequences of not finishing their homework or forgetting to pack sports clothes in their bag. You should aim to support them without running their life for them.
5. You always have a choice
Louise East is a businesswoman turned mummy blogger dedicated to inspiring mums to be the best versions of themselves through her site More To Mum. We asked her about how to bring out the best in our kids and here’s the life lesson she shared:
“I think it’s important to teach our kids that they have choice in life. They can choose to do the right thing, to love, to show compassion, to be respectful, to work hard, to change their attitude, to choose a different path, to change their mind, to be curious, to be a leader, to try again, to keep practicing, to dream, to set their own goals and to look after their own wellbeing. They can be proactive and choose a helpful response to whatever situation they find themselves in, rather than feeling trapped or seeing themselves as a victim.”
6. Self-esteem starts with yourself
Avoid negative self-talk around your kids because they’ll likely pick up the habit. The secret to confidence in all its forms is believing you are worthwhile (and you are!).
7. Treat others with respect and they’ll return the favour
It’s an oldie but a goodie; treat others how you wish to be treated. Everyone wants and deserves to be respected in life but sometimes it’s hard to get along with others. Lead by example and treat everyone (even those people you dislike) with respect so that your kids will do the same. When they have a disagreement with their peers remind them to take the high road to recovering the friendship.
8. Growing up is good
This one is for both the kids and the parents. It can be bittersweet looking back on the times you put them to sleep in their crib and they needed you to make the whole world work. Then one day they had grown and you were putting together a big kid bed all their own, and soon you’ll be raising a teenager and they’ll be needing an adult bed instead. Parents sometimes find it hard to let go of the crib years and kids can be afraid to grow up; but neither should worry. Teach your kids now that there are many exciting steps ahead of them so they aren’t anxious about the idea of growing up. The more you reassure them of the great things they’ll achieve, the more you’ll reassure yourself that growing up is what they were meant to do.
Life is about the journey, not the destination. If there’s one final lesson we could all learn it’s to enjoy the ride.