If there’s one thing that all parents have in common, it’s that they want nothing but the best for their child. Raising children is hard work, as you have to play many roles such as parent, friend, nurse, and teacher. It can be difficult to know when to ‘let kids be kids’ and when to use the time to teach them a valuable lesson in life. However, there are some lessons that need to be taught, some more delicate than others, and if you’re not sure how to approach the situations, take a look at these life lessons to teach your children and some suggestions on how to approach them.
The handling of money is something we all have to learn at some point in our lives, and it usually begins properly the day we move out and begin our own lives. However, you can teach your children the importance of proper money management as they grow up so that when they are young adults ready to fly the nest, they’re less likely to get themselves into money trouble. You can teach this by:
- Giving them an allowance for tasks performed around the home, and once they’ve spent the money they’ve earned, they cannot have any more money until they earn it.
- For older children, having them use part of their allowance (or wages if they have a part time job) to pay for certain items to teach them responsibility and help prepare them when they will need to pay their way with rent and other bills.
- Setting up a child savings account and encouraging them to save for more expensive luxuries they desire will teach them patience.
Teaching your children that money doesn’t grow on trees will also help them understand the importance of taking care of what you’ve got, because it’s not easily replaced.
Maintaining a healthy diet is imperative for everyone. Failure to do this could lead to eating disorders, obesity, and long lasting damage to their bodies. Lead by example by eating whole nutritious meals regularly as a family. You should teach them that the occasional treat is just fine, as long as the rest of the time you’re eating a healthy, balanced diet. In my award-winning book, “Busy Mom’s Cheat Sheet”, I share 45 family favorite healthy recipes and easy tips to have a healthy body and mind. Also, most recipes on my blog are 10 items or less since I believe cooking should be quick, easy, healthy and delicious!
Finally, mental health issues are becoming more common these days and thankfully, there’s more help out there than ever before. Even if you’ve never experienced bad mental health, it doesn’t mean your child won’t at some point in their lives. Openly talking about feelings and the way certain situations make you feel will help your child understand how important it is to talk about their mental health and most importantly, seek help if they are struggling with theirs. In my award-winning book, “Busy Mom’s Cheat Sheet”, I share easy-to-follow method on how to meditate as well as other ways to reduce stress and anxiety.
Thankfully, sexuality is more widely recognized and accepted than it was when you were a child. However, this doesn’t necessarily make it any easier for your children to cope with. Speaking openly about sexuality without any judgement will help your children understand that it’s okay to be who they are and whether they’re gay, lesbian, transgender or straight, you won’t feel any differently about them. Many people have struggled with this in the past due to slurs about sexuality from their family and other people around them, so creating a safe space for your children will allow them to be completely comfortable with who they are and most importantly, understand what it is they are feeling.
It’s also extremely important to speak to your children about ‘stranger danger’ and how children can sometimes be exploited. Keeping your children safe by again, speaking openly about body parts will help them understand what’s right and what’s wrong.
More and more children use the internet these days, and even though you may have parental control, it doesn’t mean they’re completely protected. Speak to your children about how important it is not to speak to strangers online or reveal any personal information to help keep them as safe as possible.
Hygiene is extremely important, and as your child grows into a young adult, their bodies will be constantly changing, causing different body odors. Cleanliness should always be a priority not only for your child’s general health, but also their mental well-being through ridicule from their peers at school.
Every single person on the planet has learned their social etiquette from their family or guardians, and how you act in front of your children could change how they behave in social situations. Take the time to teach them how to act around other people and in certain situations so that when they come across them, they know how to hold themselves.
Alcohol & Drugs
As your child becomes a teenager, alcohol and drugs will be something they have to avert themselves from being mixed up in. From early teenage years, be sure to teach your child how damaging they can be to their health, as well as their finances and relationships. Their school will be doing the same thing, but it’s important to reinforce this at home. You can do this by showing them videos or even talking about past experiences.
Death is a difficult thing to talk about, no matter what age you are. Unfortunately, you may not be able to avoid your children being exposed to death around them from any age, and that’s why it’s important to take the time to talk to your children about death and what it means. Explain how the life cycle works, and that sometimes people unfortunately don’t live as long as others due to illness or injury. It’s also a good idea to explain that it’s perfectly okay to feel sad about the loss of a loved one, and that if they ever feel sad they can come and talk to you about it. If your child has already experienced death, then taking them to see your loved one’s cemetery headstones will help keep your children connected and help them understand where your loved ones are.