“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.”- Franklin D. Roosevelt, Great speeches
In the dawning of an era where parenting is merely an extension of submission to a kid’s demands, you might believe that makes the little one happy, but that you believe to conceal your own guilt of compensation with money for time. Parenting is not merely supporting the growth of a child but to have active participation in the growth. There is no way we can prepare tomorrow to our kid’s requirements, but we can sure modify our kids today to prepare them for their tomorrow- whatever it will have in store. Alright, enough said, I don’t mean to cut down on your child’s Hershey’s bars (even an adult can throw pardonable tantrums for those) but there are those time when these important life lessons well learnt now will ensure a smooth sailing life boat in the future. Not interested? You might as well not be. Doesn’t look like you’re fond of smooth journeys maybe?
Here’s what if you teach your child once, it will remain as legacy with them and beyond.
10. Where did all the money go? They are better not wearing it.
Alright, a life lesson about money seems materialistic, but real like it is- even the virtuous need money for survival if not more. It is inevitable to teach your child how to manage their finances. They should be taught from childhood to spend on extravagance only when they’ve taken care of their needs, invested for their future, saved enough for emergency and if there’s still left their ain’t no one who’d mind them in their Armani Junior pants, unless of course they plan to soil them. So the point is, if they start with their pocket money- they are sure to adopt the habit with their salaries. So the next time you ask where did all their money go, you’ll hopefully not be told that they chose to wear it.
9. They don’t stand in queues; they might as well stand on their heads
Discipline is inevitable and this your child should know. All notorious and fun deeds apart, you should never compromise with the discipline, or maybe then be prepared to bear the grunt of it long after they are adults and beyond. If they refuse to take commands for their discipline, they are obliged to take commands for their punishment. They won’t eat on the dining table? Better still they don’t eat at all till it is on the dining table. They’d rather not stand in queues? They can always stand of their heads and increase the circulation in their brains so that it works better the next time around.
8. They are foul losers? Be pleasant to the losers when your kid wins.
One of the most important life lessons ever is to win with humility and to lose with grace, and if your child’s a foul loser- try and point where you went wrong. Most often than not parents are overpowering with their quest for their child to ace and often end up making the child a foul loser. It is mandatory for you to instill in the kid’s minds that winning and losing has to happen and that you would appreciate the efforts even if they lose. Even when your child wins, make it a point to walk up to who didn’t win and congratulate them for the efforts. Your child often tends to be scared of being reprimanded on losing and that makes them foul losers.
7. They choose to lie? Stop believing when they are being true
A habit children often pick up is to lie and be dishonest, but the most morally important life lesson you need to teach them without fail is to learn to be honest, not matter what the consequences. They might have been dishonest for good, but they need to know that dishonesty is not good. If the habit has been inculcated in their daily lifestyle, try and adopt methods to make it go away. Pretend not to believe even when you know they are speaking the truth and when they reach a point of saturation of trying to please you, talk to them of how if they lie once- no one will believe them ever.
6. Cannot donate the old to the poor? No new presents for them too
Children today, in their abundance of materialism seem to lose out on the basic driving forces of life- one like charity. If your child has begun to look down on the poor and would not donate products to them, it is time your start to panic. Sensitivity is losing out on him. Make your child more sensitive towards the miseries of the poor by not providing new stuff for him, even in dire need till he realizes that he can do away with the old stuff already and donate it to the poor. He needs to know the life of living in little to help others gain a life of more.
5. Cannot see the good in others? Make them see the bad in them
Negativity can not only tarnish your child’s image with others but will sooner or later lead your child to self-destruction too. Now is the time to prevent the damage. If your child seems to point out all the drawbacks of someone and not their ideal virtues, its time you lead them to discover their own vices. Often many times children look down on others and inculcate a superiority complex. It is but the duty of a parent to make the child see the bad in himself and thereby realize the good in others.
4. They don’t own up on their mistakes? Rather not own other stuff too.
One very important life lesson you need to teach your child is to not play the blame game and own up for the mistakes he has done, no matter how wrong, no matter what the consequences be. If only they own up for their mistakes would they not repeat it in the future. Reprimanding and thrashing can never make them own up, only be more scared to do so. If they’ve broken a toy and won’t own up- police their access to other toys till they confess of their mistake and promise to never repeat it. Owning up on a mistake is almost half undoing it.
3. Depend on you for solving the problems? You be the problem
You need to tell your child and make them believe it that you’re not going to stick to them forever to clean the mess they’ve created. If they screw up, they need to sort it out too. Do not talk to others on their behalf for covering up for them- ask them to do it themselves. In times of laziness when they need you to write a note to the teacher for not doing the homework, write a note instead of how they purposefully made you write the note. Sure you won’t like the scolding they’d face but they’ll at least learn to face their problems on their own.
2. Who’s got to be punctual and hard working? Who needs rewards anyways?
One life lesson not just your child but anyone can never do without is learning to be punctual and willing to work hard. Punctuality and hard work are the biggest virtues and milestones to success. However they don’t come on their own. Need your child to learn of how to be punctual? Play the point game where they get 100 points for being on time and lose out on 200 if they are late. Similarly with hard work. Set them a target and once they are at it, they may get a reward of their choice. This is a guaranteed way of getting your child to be on time and working hard too.
1. God is a myth- Respect is overstated; No company ain’t too bad a try
The most important life lesson you need to teach a child is to fear god, to respect all and to believe in love. Respecting people automatically reduces all other vices from their view of you. Being god fearing automatically inculcates in you all the other virtues for you know you’d be punished for the vices. Loving one and all will make you believe in the unity of mankind and be optimistic about yourself and the world. And all this your child should know and learn in their early days. If however you face resistance, keeping them grounded for definite periods of time when no one speaks to them till they learn to respect others in their lives is always an option. Or maybe then you can always bribe them with those huge gifts and let all the other life lessons go in the trash bin.