Raising kids in the modern age is a challenge. As parents there are so many things you want your children to learn, so they can grow up as well adjusted, happy, loving people. Instilling life lessons from an early age goes a long way laying the foundation for their future success.
Kids are fast learners. They behaviours they soak up at an early age requires you to be an ideal role model in important life lessons.
1. Getting Active
In a world of smartphones and tablets, teaching children the importance of being active can be challenging. Physical exercise is crucial for growing bodies, especially with 1 in 5 school age children suffering from obesity in the United States. Promote healthy activities by making it fun. Look for play equipment that kids will love so they have a reason to play. Look past the simple soccer ball or frisbee – there are so many interesting choices today. From monkey bars, backyard water slides, to a bouncy castle – there are many options available.
2. Eating the Right Foods
Fussy eaters can test your patience when trying to promote healthy food options to children. It’s important though, that they develop a taste for healthier options such as fruit, vegetables and salads as they grow up. While junk food can be appealing for its convenience, price and taste, studies have shown that eating patterns established in childhood continue into adulthood. Limit processed foods such as chips, soft drinks, and items high in sugar and show them how fresh foods can be just as fulfilling.
3. It’s Okay to Make Mistakes
Children are going to make mistakes – it’s simply a fact of life. What’s vital is that you let them know it’s okay to make mistakes, and that they should take this opportunity to learn a lesson. Let them know that nobody is perfect, and there are going to be challenges in life where they will fail. Outline the positives of making mistakes, because that’s how we grow as people.
4. Be Grateful
Being grateful, even on your most difficult days, is also a lesson that can be instilled at a young age. It starts with the basics, good manners - saying please and thank you. Involve your children to show kindness to others. Do not spoil them as it is a strong way to feed ungrateful behaviour, because the more you give a child, the less they may appreciate it. Instead, make them earn stuff, which further imparts a connection between work and rewards. And finally, be grateful as yourself as parents.
5. You Are What You Think You Are
Make sure you kids know to be caring, confident and assertive. Don’t use negative language around them about yourself, such as saying that you’re “lazy” or “stupid”, as it reinforces that it’s ok to put yourself down. Speak to them in how they see themselves as it will give you the opportunity to challenge their thinking if necessary.
Identifying poor self-esteem is critical, as they may let others treat them poorly. Assisting with their self-esteem during childhood goes a long way in ensuring they have the skills and mindset to succeed later in life.