Every parent knows how difficult the job of parenting is. Most parents today are baffled when they see their teenage kids doing drugs, having their bodies pierced or teenage daughters getting pregnant, etc. as to what went wrong in their parenting that their kids turned out this way. It is not entirely the caregiver’s fault that such things happen but there are things that we need to teach our kids before they become of an age when we no longer have control over them. These days either parents are so busy in their own lives or are trying with all their might to try to make both ends meet that they can’t spend enough time with their children. This time when I came back home during the summer vacations I got to meet our helper and her kids. She was working at our home to get that extra money needed to get her children to school. That is what most parents want for their kid that they could have the best of everything with whatever income they get even if it means that they have to cut back in their own needs or luxuries. But we have become very materialistic in nature. The money minding attitude of us is resulting in the diminishing of the teachings and values that our ancestors have taught us.
Whatever we do for our kids, there are things that we must teach our kids before they start living their life according to their own wishes and their decisions start affecting others who are associated with them. Here is the list of top 10 things you must teach your kids.
Every one of us has a different notion about the existence of God. Some believe that there is a God who expects us to live according to the laws that he has given while some believe that there is no almighty and want to live their lives at their own wishes. Whatever is the case we must give our children the opportunity to understand this concept on their own when they become old enough to take their decision. We as parents have a duty to instil in our kids the habit of praying daily and reading the holy books like the Bible, the Quran, the Ramayana, etc. Whichever be the religion, the concept of God tells us the best way to live this precious life and how not to waste it in only fulfilling our mere physical desires.
We as parents are the best role models for our kids. They look at us and understand that sometimes it is alright to say a lie or two. We must ask this question to ourselves that how many times we have uttered a lie just because we didn’t want to hurt somebody’s feelings or there was no other way but to tell a lie. We can kid ourselves with such words but the innocent minds of our kids don’t get the complicated rules of life by which we live. They just get the fact that lying is alright because mom or dad has done it. Before we teach our kids that Honesty is the best policy, we must adhere to it ourselves. This is the only way to get them to understand that any type of lie is wrong. We must tell them to not play the blame game i.e. blame the other person when you are caught red handed. When you find your kid lying, you must be sensible enough not to overreact but help him or her in understanding that it is better for both of you to tell the truth.
8. Taking Challenges
It is imperative that parents encourage their kids to take on a challenge and help them in completing those tasks to the best of their ability. This is the way to make a child understand his capabilities and to make the optimum use of them. It is imperative to make them understand that it is alright to face failures. When faced with failures they must take it as a new challenge and try with all their might to do it better than the previous attempt. The kids must be made to understand not to take a failure personally but understand that practice makes a man perfect. Parents themselves must understand the each kid has the right to have his own set of dreams; they do not need to have your unfulfilled dreams also shoved on them.
We believe that kids are naturally affectionate towards others. That is true but that love to remain so, it must have to be reciprocated in other person’s behaviour too. So first of all we must tell our kids that we love them. A simple I love you after a day’s work will not cost you anything but will brighten the kid’s day. Jesus said “Love thy neighbour just the way you love yourself”. This is a thought that must be told to little children to sow the seeds of goodwill and peace in them from a young age. If we ignorant people had learnt this message earlier enough there might not have been any Holocaust or world wars.
Children must be taught that their actions have consequences and they must take the responsibility of their actions. They must be taught that when they know that have done something wrong whether they did it knowingly or unknowingly they will have to make up for it by first apologizing and then doing whatever it takes to undo the wrong they have done. They must know that just by saying sorry they won’t be off the hook; they will have to make amends. This will help the child to judge fairly when he needs to do it when he is older and does not succumb to peer pressures.
There is a saying that curiosity killed the cat. But don’t worry if your kid has the habit of asking many questions then it is a habit to be encouraged. They must be made to understand why things happen the way they do. It is the age when their brain develops the fastest and at this tender age they can be taught anything new without much effort. They should be taught to love science and we must get them to ask “why” and “how” when they see a new thing. We must inculcate the habit of searching for answers and discover new questions to ask.
4. To be human
We expect our friends to be loyal to us. We don’t expect them to turn their backs on us when we need them. Our children must understand the meaning of the saying “A friend in need is a friend indeed.” They must be taught that it is not good to gossip about someone even when he or she is not present with us and that especially has to show in our own behaviour. Our kids must be taught to lend a helping hand whenever they can irrespective of whether they like it or not, either it is for a friend or a foe. They must be taught to be human and not bind them in the clutches of caste system. They must be told that religion and castes are made by humans and everybody has the same blood running in their veins irrespective of the caste they are born in.
Contentment is a trait that must be present in a person and this has to be inculcated from a young age itself. A person must tell the kids that they must not whine if they do not get their favourite chocolate or sandwich in their lunch box. They must be taught to be happy with whatever they get especially in case of materialistic things.
Children must be taught simple courtesies like saying “thank you” or “please”. They must be taught the manners on how to behave appropriately in front of others. They must be taught to respect their elders and love those who are younger to them. They must be taught to speak politely with everyone even when they are talking to people. You must realize that they will copy your behaviour only so you must talk respectfully with people who work for you like your servant or a waiter.
1. Being proud of who you are
This is the thing that I believe is the most important of all as compared to the other things that we all try to teach our kids. But being proud of who you are, is often not given much importance. This is the reason why most people develop feelings of insecurities in their lives later on. They must be told that every creation is unique and no one superior to other rather all are equal. We all have different interests and capabilities. We all look differently but we are made up of the same cell structure.