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Last Updated on March 12, 2021 by Diane Hoffmaster
When your child is born, you learn how to change diapers, cook dinner one handed, and treat a fever without panicking. There are parenting books to teach you those kinds of things. But there are no parenting books teaching you the important life lessons for kids that you need to make sure they learn.
It kind of freaks me out some days the number of important life lessons I am expected to teach my children. Not just the normal stuff like how to do laundry and cook for yourself so that they can survive on their own once I kick them out. It's the BIG stuff that scares me. Compassion, a strong work ethic, religious tolerance, environmental awareness, and a host of other social and moral lessons that will help mold them into decent adults.
Where is the guidebook that teaches parents how to raise successful, compassionate and well rounded children? Fevers are easy.....teaching them how to follow their internal moral compass though...not so simple.
Important Life Lessons for Kids
Over the past few years, I have noticed a trend in parenting that disturbs me. From parents who don't want to use the word NO with their toddlers to teenagers who are not given curfews, it seems like there is a trend towards UNparenting! And, yes, there is such a thing as uparenting....the entire concept revolves around a child never suffering negative consequences. What kind of adults are going to be running this place in 20 years with that sort of attitude?
If you don't go to work, you get fired.
Forget to pay the bills? You don't watch cable. And if you don't learn to take care of yourself you will be hungry and wearing wrinkled clothes. Life is all about consequences, right? Give them summer chores and a weekly to do list. A strong work ethic is important. Have your teen get a job, take on a few responsibilities, and learn the very vital concept of cause and effect.
Want to raise a child who is truly successful? Here are a few important life lessons for kids that you need to make sure they learn.
Somebody in life is going to win...it might as well be you.
When did it become taboo for a game between children to have an actual WINNER. For some reason, people seem to think our children will be scarred for life if the tug of war game at field day ends up with one team face planted in the dirt. Teach kids to follow the rules, be respectful, have fun and be a good sport but let them learn what it feels like to actually win...and lose!
There are important life lessons for kids to be learned by both winning AND losing. When they win, make sure they are gracious about their success. And when they lose, tell them you like the effort that they put in. Ask them if there are ways that they could improve next time and remind them that sometimes, another person might just be better at it than they are.
Raising children who never know what it is like to WIN will ensure that your child never works hard enough to get that feeling again!
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Knowledge is power.
I have told my kids repeatedly that if they don't want to be flipping burgers at the local fast food restaurant the rest of their lives than they better get good grades. There are school districts nowadays that are trying to do away with traditional grading systems and abolishing letter grades. WHY? The reasons range from making teacher's lives easier to ill feelings between students.
Teaching to the test drives me nuts and loss of creativity in the classroom but there needs to be some way to differentiate A work from C work. You won't get very far in life with a C effort, might as well learn that young!
One of the most important life lessons for kids, though, is that not everyone is good at everything. Is your child not a good book learner? Get them into an auto mechanics program or something else they can do with their hands. Knowledge doesn't have to come from a book. The key is that the effort that you put in will be returned to you 10 fold.
Learn something. Whether it is geometry, how to fix a leaky pipe, or an online computer class, knowledge will take you far in this life.
There are rules for a reason and YES, they apply to you.
This is something kids learn directly from their parents. So, mom has 25 items and wants to zip through the express lane even though there is a 15 item limit? You think your kids can't count? Or do you let your child play on the brand new grass despite the 'Stay Off Grass' sign? When they get older, they will be blowing through stop signs and cheating on taxes because clearly rules were not meant for them.
Don't like the rules? Too bad, either follow them or do something to get them changed. Rules shouldn't be broken, they should be fixed!
Following rules is one of the most important life lessons for kids that you can teach them. When they get a job, do you think a boss wants to have someone in the company who is incapable of following the rules he makes? I think not. "My rule breaker will be his own boss" you think? It's not very likely, especially without working their way up the ladder a little bit.
As a parent, follow the rules. Your kid is watching and it WILL make a difference.
There are so many important life lessons for kids to learn that I seriously worry how I will ever get my kids to learn them all. I can only pray that these important life lessons are actually getting past the iPod earbuds and into my kid's heads. Of course, raising good kids depends a little bit on good parenting and a whole lot on sheer luck!
What sort of important life lessons do you want to make sure YOUR kids learn?
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Here are some tips for raising well rounded teenagers.
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.