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50 Things Every Parent Should Give To Their Children

50 Things Every Parent Should Give To Their Children

There is no profession, no challenge in the world more awesome and more fulfilling than parenthood. It’s exciting, exhilarating, complex, mind-boggling at times, and downright frightening on some days. It involves the lives of precious little ones who bring joy like nothing else can. Parenting creates an automatic legacy that is not highly related to money. What kind of heritage will you leave behind? As you ponder that question, consider 50 things moms and dads should give to their children.

1. Solidarity

Harmonious love from both parents working together on one accord to raise their children and build a strong family connection.

2. Real Love

Give your little girl AND your little boy genuine love, affection, hugs, kisses, and politeness, which covers a multitude of parental bloopers.

3. Bonafide I Love You’s

Your children must know without a doubt that you love them dearly and that you always will even when they are hardheaded and mess up, when they’re disobedient and rebellious.

4. Wisdom Nugget—There Are No Perfect Parents

Accept your imperfections and always be willing to listen, learn, develop and transform.

5. Stability

Provide a stable household atmosphere for your children; even if you must do so as a single parent, it can be done; commit to make it happen—there is help available for you and for them.

6. Security

Give your kids a protective shield that provides them with safety, shelter, food, clothing, medical and dental benefits, educational and social skills keeping them safe and sound, yet not suffocated.

7. Proper Assessments

Censure your children’s actions and behavior by isolating the deed from the doer, working towards solutions by means of discussions and by supplying justifications that explain why their behavior is unacceptable.

8. Fairness, Thoughtfulness, and Discernment

Avoid comparing your children with each other as well as with their peers in a pessimistic way, recognize their differences, do not take sides or fall for their attempts to manipulate you.

9. Open Expression: The Right to Disagree with You and Others

At the appropriate time, teach your children through real life demonstrations that they’re entitled to their own opinion, which must be expressed respectfully and with immediate apologies when they err.

10. Comedy

Wittiness is a product of the whole family environment; consequently, start teaching your children from infancy laughter with your goo-goo baby talk; then later explaining why things are funny, laughing at their jokes, and getting silly to help them develop a sense of humor and become happier, smarter, healthier, confident and better at surviving their challenges.

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11. Chastisement

Discipline your children by clearly explaining and consistently administering well thought out, rational rules, guidelines and punishments for blatant violations.

12. Leadership by Example

Strive to be cool, calm and collected—control your attitude and temper; yelling and screaming simply intimidate children while extinguishing their trust and feelings of safety; be quick to say, “I’m sorry” and mean it.

13. Freedom of Speech

Allow your children to express themselves earnestly and involve them in decision-making processes that directly affect them; thereby, empowering them to think and to make good judgments.

14. Patience and Recognition

When your children are stubborn and disobedient, resolve the issue with less conflict and aggravation for both of you by not forcing their compliance; stop and ask both yourself and your children “Why is this happening?” without overlooking the possible link between biology and behavior.

15. Parental Controls

Set up controls to filter and monitor your children’s Internet usage, report cyber bullying to the appropriate social media network, protect them from online grooming by strangers, make sure they are playing online games appropriate for their age group, and have a talk with them about pornography.

16. Premises of Optimistic Anticipation

Clearly define and kindly remind your sons and daughters what your reasonable expectations of them are—respecting their individuality.

17. Prescriptions

Set up structure and boundaries such as bedtimes and curfews for your children so they don’t grow up out of control, become unwise and struggle as adults with obeying local, state and national laws.

18. Strong Moral Foundation

Teach your kids what is right and what is wrong, trust them and produce an environment where they will quickly come to you with ANY problem or concern.

19. Nutritional Alignment

Inspire an overall healthy lifestyle in your children by providing nutritious meals, and allowing them to express their preferences instead of forcing them to consume your choice of meal entrees.

20. Desire for Physical Activity

Encourage exercise via extracurricular activities like T-Ball, ballet, swimming, track, tennis, and even family exercise routines so that for the children getting active and staying healthy becomes fun and easy.

21. Lessons about Money

When they are of age, teach your children how to count, and budget money, as well as how not to waste their money on consumer goods; but rather give to charity, pay themselves, and put some of it into savings.

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22. The Taste of Life

Refusal to shelter your children is a marvelous gift to give, for it allows them to experience life for themselves, to learn to make intelligent decisions and to face the consequences of THEIR choices.

23. Freedom of Choice

Give your children options; sometimes just make resources available and then let them fashion their own events and activities with your support and guidance, as necessary.

24. Mentorship

Demonstrate your virtues and be an excellent role model for your children; be the kind of person you want them to become.

25. Regard and Concern

Never, ever fight, argue, doggedly disagree and bicker in close proximity of your children.

26. Individualism

Respect your children’s privacy, and generally speaking, refrain from doing for your children the things they’re capable of doing for themselves.

27. Give Your Approval

Applaud your children with frequent acknowledgements, encouragements and validations so they feel prized, treasured and poised for positive thinking, good relationships, constructive imaginations, lessons in determination and resilience in setbacks.

28. Exhortation

Don’t be brief and miserly, give your children frequent, spirited, descriptive high praises and compliments so they will be incited to repeat and improve their performances—give them far more than the flimsy, “Good job!”

29. Conversational Excellence

Offer your children the greatest communication skills you can by employing words and actions that help build in them conviction, integrity, composure, dignity and self-reliance through precepts and examples.

30. Strong Constitution

Give up your gripping fears and worries for greater faith in God, your children, and their well-being.

31. Self-Defense Skills

It’s a great idea for parents to train their children at home and/or enroll them in self-defense or martial arts classes to diminish their fear of bullies and safeguard them from predators, making certain to engage the children in role playing which is critical for stimulating their confidence and personal power.

32. Firm Control

Refusal to let your children have everything they want—say “No” to them more often and follow it up with the reason for saying no or offer them a substitute option.

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33. Education

Assure your children will receive the best possible education at school from the invaluable life skills lessons provided during your time together; assure they develop strong reading skills because the American Academy of Pediatrics calls reading skills “the foundation for children’s academic success.”

34. The Value of Hard Work

Teach your children responsibility by giving them chores followed by an allowance, monetary or non-monetary—an extended curfew, additional play time, or other special privileges—as a return for those jobs well done.

35. Thoughtfulness and Perception

Avoid comparing your children with each other as well as with their peers in a pessimistic way, do not take sides, and for goodness sake, resist their attempts to manipulate you.

36. Self-Assuredness

Give your children a big boost in integrity and autonomy by teaching them to stand up for what they believe in and to take responsibility for their actions, thus supporting their uniqueness and their independence.

37. Prince and Princess Treatment

Make each child believe that he or she is the favorite child—exemplify no partiality which creates low self-esteem, sibling rivalry, disrespect and disharmony in the family unit.

38. The ‘Be True to Yourself’ Lecture

Your children must be trained not to waste their skills and talents trying to be someone else or what others think they should be, for happiness comes from within and true friendship cannot be purchased.

39. Involvement in Their Lives

Take them to a community park, skating rink, a fishing trip, local library, amusement park, museum or a puppetry show; go on a school field trip with them; attend their extracurricular school activities; take them to Sunday School and children’s church.

40. Standard Appointments

Set aside a time to talk to your children individually and equally each day; avoid getting distracted with work, other people or with your cell phone.

41. Honesty

Children take hints from their parents so avoid any kind of deception and DO NOT overreact if your children lie to you; instead, help them understand the importance of telling the truth.

42. A Listening Ear

Pay attention to and respect your children; honor what they want to do with their lives, and don’t weigh them down with rigid, overwhelming demands.

43. Strict Commitment

Make time for your children because they need your presence much more than your presents; give them sincere devotion and be there for the important events in their lives.

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44. Hearts of Thanksgiving

Encourage gratefulness and appreciation for even the smallest act of kindness by expressing gratitude to each other in front of your children, and by thanking them profoundly and excitingly when they bring you a bouquet of weeds or a picture of a stick family with a little heart on it.

45. The Golden Rule

Help your children see that that their words and actions cause other people to be happy or sad, and that they should be kind to other people in the same way they want other people to be kind to them.

46. Liberty from your excess baggage

Together, focus on creating your heartfelt dreams and aspirations rather than empowering fears from your past and entrapping your children in them.

47. Date Night

A Date Night Out strengthens marital and family relationships by offering parents a great opportunity to de-stress, relax, and wound down a bit creating guilt-free balance and wholesomeness; while allowing the children to indulge in developing new friendships and a new kind of pleasure especially if they, too, are removed from the home to a safely supervised, entertaining and fun setting.

48. YOUR BEST Body, Mind, Soul and Spirit

Overcome your vices—alcohol, drugs, gambling, rambling, promiscuity, etc—because they jeopardize your children’s health, character and success.

49. Your Full Support

Help your children cultivate a healthy self-image by implanting a positive mindset in them that they are lovable, capable, and unique so they know that being different is acceptable, and that they DO NOT need to follow the crowd.

50. Individual Person Acknowledgement

Your children are not a replica of you, they are not here for you to relive your life through; but, they are sons and daughters for whom you are accountable to develop and nourish according to their own natural abilities.

Don’t give up! Parenting is a lifelong assignment. Each day try to become a better one.

Featured photo credit: http://www.clearpointcreditcounselingsolutions.org via clearpointcreditcounselingsolutions.org

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Published on May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

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Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

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