When it comes to having kids, there’s so much to think about and worry about. You’re worried about their safety, education, diet, friends. The list is endless. Teaching your kids some of the important life lessons you’ve learned over the years is a simple way to help them get ahead in life without having to make some of your same mistakes. A parent’s job is never done, but these 7 top life lessons are a good place to start.
Treat Others the Way You Want to be Treated
Otherwise known as the golden rule, this is one the most fundamental life lessons a child can learn. Helping your child understand what it means to be kind and accepting can set them up for a lifetime of success in their personal and professional lives. A child who has empathy and compassion will grow into a caring adult.
Establish Healthy Boundaries
Having healthy boundaries is a great way to make sure your children are thinking before they act, and staying safe. Healthy boundaries can mean knowing the difference between who is a suitable friend and who isn’t, or whether or not a romantic relationship is toxic. A child who understands their boundaries is less likely to test the limits and make obvious mistakes.
Peer Pressure is Real
Throughout life, your children will be faced with challenging decisions. Friends will offer them drugs, alcohol and a myriad of bad choices. If you don’t want your kids to end up in a drug rehab center, talk to them about these stressful situations and let them know that it’s ok to say no. To begin, let them know what the negative effects of substance abuse can be. Tell them how it can lead to losing relationships, friendships, and health. You can also educate them about outpatient and inpatient drug rehab options, as well as how addiction recovery can be done. This might probably motivate them to stay away from negative influences.
It’s Ok to Fail
Failing is a side effect of trying. If you let fear paralyze you, you’ll never take risks. If you never take risks you’ll never succeed. Kids are under so much stress to be perfect in school, with friends and in life. Cut them some slack and let them know that even if they fail at something, you’ll always be proud of them for trying.
Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
Life is funny. There’s pretty much always room to laugh at yourself and your situation. If you feel stressed or upset, just take a step back and laugh. It’s ok to have flaws, make mistakes, and be embarrassed. If you’re able to laugh situations off, it can help take the sting out.
Accept Responsibility and Learn to Apologize
Learning to accept responsibility for their actions is a tough lesson to learn. No one wants to admit when they messed up and apologizing can be a painfully embarrassing experience. But it is the respectable thing to do and it is a commendable act that will earn them the respect of their peers.
Not Everyone Wants to be Your Friend
No matter how funny, smart or interesting your child might be, they need to accept that not everyone they meet will be interested in being their friend. This doesn’t reflect negatively on them in any way, it’s just a difference in preference. Your child will not like everyone they meet and that’s ok too.
You have a lifetime of sage advice to give, so pace yourself. Start off with some of these basics and work your way up. Your children will thank you for it, someday.
Abigail Clark is an upcoming freelance writer. She graduated from The University of South Florida with a bachelors in marketing, minoring in journalism. When she isn’t up to her neck in coupons she is enjoying the outdoors fishing. She loves doing reviews for technology, home products and beauty products. If you would like her to do a review for you look her up on twitter @downtownabby17.