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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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Last Updated on May 20, 2019

How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future

How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future

We sometimes hear people talk about the importance of living in the moment. We might hear about the different ways it will benefit us. It all sounds wonderful, but how exactly can we live in the moment when our mind is constantly racing?

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the benefits of living in the moment you may not be aware of. Then we’ll look at some of the obstacles, and why we worry. Finally, and most importantly, I’ll show you how to live in the moment and stop worrying using some simple practices that you can easily incorporate into your busy schedule.

The result: a happier and more fulfilling life.

Why Live in the Moment?

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” – Buddha

Living in the moment has innumerable benefits. Here are just a few that will enhance your life tremendously:

Better Health

By reducing stress and anxiety, you avoid many of the associated health consequences, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity. Studies have shown that being present can also improve psychological well-being.[1]

Improve Your Relationships

Have you ever been with someone who is physically present, but mentally he’s a million miles away?

Being with unavailable people is a struggle, and makes relationships with them extremely difficult.

How about being with someone who is fully present? We enjoy being with him because we can make a much deeper connection with him.

By living in the moment, you can be that person other people enjoy being with, and you make relationships much easier.

Greater Self-Control

You have greater control over your mind, body, and emotions. Imagine how much better your life would be if it weren’t at the mercy of a racing mind, and unpredictable emotions. You would certainly be more at peace, and much happier.[2]

Why Do We Worry?

Before we answer this question, it’s important to distinguish between worry and concern.

When we are concerned about something, we are more likely dealing with a real problem with realistic solutions. Then once we do whatever we can to address the problem, we’re willing to live with the outcome.

Worrying, on the other hand, involves unrealistic thinking. We may worry about a problem that doesn’t really exist, or dwell on all the bad things that can happen as a result. Then, we feel unable to deal with the outcome. Either way, we have difficulty dealing with uncertainty, which is a normal part of life.

Certainly, some of our problems may not have desirable outcomes, such as a serious health issue. Some problems may be beyond our control, such as civil unrest or economic downturn. In such cases, it can be hard to avoid worrying, but not impossible.

We sometimes worry when we don’t know how to deal with a problem. For example, have you ever received a letter from the IRS telling you that you owe more money than you thought, and don’t have the funds to pay it? This is enough to scare anyone who is not familiar with taxes.

How to Live in the Moment

Step 1: Overcome Worrying

In order to overcome worrying, we need to do two things:

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Learn How to Live in the Moment

By living in the moment, you calm your mind, and are able to see more clearly.

The reason some problems seem so daunting is that our mind is racing so fast that we cannot see things as they truly are. So we make up a bunch of possible scenarios in our mind, most of which are unlikely to come true.

In addition to seeing more clearly, living in the moment will help us think more realistically. Unrealistic thinking is fueled by confusion and uncontrolled emotions. Calming your mind will reduce confusion and calm your emotions.

Learn to Focus on Solutions Instead of Problems

Some people tend to be more solution-oriented, and others more problem-oriented. Some of the factors that may determine this are gender, upbringing, and education.

People with higher educations tend to be problem-solvers. That is what their years of education train them to do. In addition, their jobs probably reinforce this way of thinking.

If you’re not problem-solving oriented, don’t worry. You can train yourself to worry less. We’ll discuss that soon.

Step 2: Identify Obstacles to Living in the Moment

In today’s busy world, it can be a challenge to live in the moment. The reasons revolve around how our mind works, and outside influences.

Racing Mind

Many busy people have a racing mind that never seems to slow down. Their mind gets so agitated from too much sensory stimulation.

You see, anything that stimulates any of our five senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell) will trigger a thought, and that thought leads to another, and then another, and so on.

If you have a busy life, all your activities will overstimulate your mind, and make it seemingly impossible to slow it down. And an agitated mind wants to go to another place and time.

Unpleasant Situations and Troublesome Past

None of us want to be in unpleasant situations, or remember those of the past. They can bring up painful emotions, which we don’t want to feel.

So how do most people cope with painful emotions?

By doing whatever we can to avoid them, and we can avoid them by taking our mind to another place and time where things are more pleasant.

In other words, we avoid living in the present moment.

Some people resort to doing things that stimulate sensory pleasure, such as eating, alcohol or sex. Others will consume substances that dull their mind, and keep them from thinking about unpleasant or stressful situations.

A Wandering Mind

From the moment we are born (likely sooner) until the time we die, our body and mind are active performing some function. So it’s natural for our mind to have some level of activity, whether conscious or unconscious.

Generally, a wandering mind is unproductive. As noted above, one thought starts an endless chain of thoughts. The reason is that one thought reminds us of something else, and this process can go on until we need our mind to perform a specific function, or until we get distracted with something else.

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Now, there are times when a wandering mind can be productive, such as when creating works of art, or trying to find creative solutions to problems. In such cases, we need our mind to explore different possibilities.[3]

Outside Influences

Most of us are not fully aware of how our environment and social norms influence our thinking and behavior. People and institutions are constantly competing for our attention. The news media draw our attention to the past, and advertising usually to the future.[4]

Many people around us who dwell on the past or future try to draw us to their way of thinking. Even the whole concept of the American dream is geared toward the future. It tells us that if we acquire things like a good career, family, and house, then we’ll be happy.

Step 3: Practice Mindfulness

So how can we live in the moment in a world that is constantly trying to draw our attention to the past and future?

Before we get into concrete actions you can take, it’s important to understand what mindfulness is. You’ve probably heard the term before, but may not fully understand what it means.

Understand Mindfulness

The concept of mindfulness is actually quite simple. To be mindful IS to live in the moment.

When you are mindful, your attention is focused on what is happening in the present moment. When you are mindful, you are fully in touch with reality because the present moment is where reality is taking place.

You are aware of what is happening in your body, mind, emotions, and the world around you. This is different than thinking about these things. To develop greater understanding, you don’t have to think about them so much, but rather just observe them.

This may be counter-intuitive to many people, especially intellectuals, because they’re so used to using logic to develop greater understanding. With mindfulness, we calm our mind and emotions so we can see clearer. Then much of our understanding will come from simply observation. When we develop mindfulness, we literally expand our awareness.

To develop mindfulness, we need to train ourselves to observe things more objectively, that is, without our emotions or preconceived ideas influencing our views.

You’d be surprised to find out just how much your emotions and past experiences influence your judgments. What many of us do, including intellectuals, is make a quick judgment about a person or situation, then add the reasoning afterwards. That is not logic, but rather rationalization.

When you are mindful, you reserve judgment until you have more information. Notice how I said “more information,” and not “complete information.” It is impossible to have complete information about something because there are infinite numbers of factors affecting it. So the best thing to do is be as objective as possible, and always be open to new information.

Viewing the world in this manner can be a challenge, and takes some practice to overcome years of habitual thinking. But it can make our lives infinitely more fulfilling, as we’ll be able to make much better decisions that will result in real happiness and inner peace.

So if you’re ready to live a better life, read on for some simple mindfulness practices that you can incorporate into your busy life to help you live in the moment, that is, reality.

You don’t have to do all of them, but rather choose the ones that appeal to you, and suit your lifestyle.

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is the mainstay of developing mindfulness and living in the moment. To practice mindfulness meditation, all you really have to do is sit quietly and follow your breathing. When your mind wanders off, just bring it back to your breath.

Notice how your lungs expand with each in-breath, and contract with each out-breath. Let your breathing become relaxed and natural.

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You don’t have to do it perfectly. The idea is to give your mind a rest from the constant sensory stimulation of all your activities, and just allow it to settle down naturally. Start with about 5 to 10 minutes per day and work your way up to about 20 minutes or longer.

This practice is highly effective, and can have both short-term and long-term benefits.

If you want to learn more about mindfulness meditation, take a look at this article: How to Practice Mindful Meditation to Calm Your Thoughts

Also, there are many good books on the market that explain the concepts and techniques in greater detail. Some examples are

Mindful Breathing

While this may sound the same as mindfulness meditation, all you’re really doing is taking short breaks occasionally (10 to 15 seconds) to observe your breathing. Stop whatever you’re doing, and take a few mindful breaths, then resume your activity. That’s it.

You can do mindful breathing at any time of the day during your busy schedule. What it does is interrupt the acceleration of your mind. It is like taking your foot off the accelerator while driving. It’s a nice refreshing break you can take without anyone noticing.

Here’re some breathing exercises you can try to learn: 5 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety (Simple and Calm Anxiety Quickly)

Mindful Walking

Walking is an activity that you perform several times throughout the day. We often think we’re being productive by texting, or calling someone while walking. But are we really?

Instead of getting on your cell phone, or letting your mind wander off, why not use your walking for training yourself to live in the moment?

Mindful walking is similar to mindful breathing. But instead of focusing on your breath, focus on your walking. Pay attention to each footstep. Also, notice the different motions of your arms, legs, and torso. When your mind wanders off, just bring your attention back to your walking.

You can even make a meditation out of walking. That is, go walking for a few minutes outside. Start by slowing down your pace. If you slow down your body, your mind will follow.

In addition to paying attention to your walking, notice the trees, sunshine, and critters. A mindful walk is enjoyable, and can really help your mind settle down.

Mindful Eating

Eating is an activity that most of us perform mindlessly. The reason is that it doesn’t require your attention to perform. So what many of us do is try to multitask while we eat. We may talk on the phone, text, watch TV, or even hold a meeting.

The problem with not eating mindfully is that we don’t eat what our body and mind need to perform at an optimal level. We may eat unhealthy foods, or too much. This can lead to various health problems, especially as we get older.

Mindful eating has many health benefits, such as reduced food cravings, better digestion, and even weight loss.[5]

So how do you eat mindfully? Start by slowing down, and avoid the temptation to distract yourself with another activity. Here are 3 different aspects of eating where you can practice mindfulness:

  • Eating itself: Focus your attention on choosing a portion of food to insert into your mouth. Notice the smell, flavor, and texture as you chew it; then finally swallow it. As with following your breath during meditation, pay close attention to every aspect of eating.
  • Choice of foods: Although you’ve already chosen your food before you have begun eating, you can still take the opportunity to contemplate your choices. Think about the nutrients your body needs to sustain itself. Ask yourself, “Is this what my body and mind need to be healthy, and perform at an optimal level?” “Is it sufficient, or too much?” By asking yourself these questions, you will be more inclined to make better choices in the future.
  • Contemplating the sources: Most of us don’t think about all the work it takes to provide us with the food we eat. While you’re eating, consider all the work by the farmer, shipping company, and the grocery store. These are real people who worked hard to provide you with the food necessary for your survival.

You can find more tips about mindful eating here: 7 Simple Steps to Mindful Eating

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Mindful Activities

Choose an activity that you perform regularly, such as washing dishes. Focus all your attention on this activity, and resist the temptation to let your mind wander, or get distracted. When it does, then just bring your attention back to washing dishes.

Notice some of the specific movements, or sensations of washing dishes, such as how the soapy water feels on your hands, the circular motion of scrubbing the dish, or the rinsing. You’d be surprised at how such a mundane activity can truly expand your awareness.

You can choose any activity you like, such as ironing, folding clothes, mowing the lawn, or showering. Over time, you will begin doing all these activities with greater mindfulness.

Bonus Suggestion

Here is one activity that is not generally considered a mindful activity. It is physical training. For those of you who already workout, it may be easy to see how physical training requires you to live in the moment.

Here’s how it works:

In order to perform an exercise to get the desired benefit, you need to use a proper technique. In order to use the proper technique, you need to pay close attention to how you are doing the exercise. In other words, you need to be fully present in the moment.

Another aspect of training that helps you live in the moment is tuning into what is happening in your body. First, during exercising, you need to pay close attention to how your body feels. Are you exercising hard enough, or not enough?

There are times to go easy, such as during warm-up exercises; and times to push yourself hard, such as when you’re warmed up and want to stimulate growth.

Second, when you’re not in the gym training, you need to pay close attention to the signals your body is sending you. What nutrients and how much do you need to consume to support your training? How much rest do you need?

By tuning in to your body, you force yourself to be in the moment. So, physical training done properly is just about as effective as meditation, or any mindful activity, for developing mindfulness. It’s also great for your health.

Final Thoughts

Practicing mindfulness is like regularly putting small amounts of change in a jar. They will all add up over time. And this will add up to greater peace and happiness.

Remember, you don’t have to do the mindfulness practices perfectly to get the benefits. All you have to do is keep bringing your mind back to the present moment when it wanders off.

Practicing mindfulness may be a bit challenging in the beginning; but I can assure you, it will get easier fairly quickly.

The benefits of living in the moment are well within your reach, no matter how much your mind is racing. If you stick with these mindfulness practices, you too will learn how to live in the moment and stop worrying; and when you do, a whole new world will open up for you. This is what Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh calls the ultimate reality.

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Reference

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