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10 Life Skills Every Parent Should Teach Their Kids

10 Life Skills Every Parent Should Teach Their Kids

Every parent wants the best for his or her children. We want to raise our kids right and be there for them. While we can’t instill in kids every skill imaginable, there are some essential life skills all parents should teach their kids. I’m not just talking about how to ride a bike, play a musical instrument or drive a stick shift. These essential life skills will help your child better cope in the world and grow into a responsible, respectful and valuable member of society.

1. Teach kids to never stop reading and learning.

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    The more you read and learn, the more you open your mind to a wide range of possibilities and know all sorts of things that make you smarter and wiser. Children should also know learning does not involve reading textbooks only. There are many ways to learn. Encourage your children to be open-minded and receptive to learning from life situations (both positive and negative), other people who are good role models, as well as their parents.

    2. Teach kids to play well with others.

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      Today’s world has become a global village. The value of teamwork and accepting others for their differences cannot be emphasized enough. Encourage children to team up and work with others toward common goals. This way you instill in them not only tolerance for divergent views, but also empathy and the will to take other people’s thoughts and feelings into account.

      3. Teach kids to resolve disagreements amicably.

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        Disagreements are inevitable in life, especially in today’s hyper-competitive, self-serving world. Children should practice keeping a level head in the face of confrontations and disagreements. Encourage them to breathe, weigh all sides of an issue and ask questions like “why” and “what if.” That way they focus on the problem and not the person, and it become easier to control dangerous emotions like anger and rage.

        4. Teach kids to let their voice be heard, but in the right way.

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          Let kids know that you as a parent won’t always be there to protect and defend them. Encourage them to stand up for themselves, speak what’s on their mind boldly and respectfully, and lead the way when the situation calls for it. The ability to stand up for yourself (and others), to communicate effectively and to lead are some of the most valuable skills anyone can possess in the modern world. It should be learned early.

          5. Teach kids to apologize when they are wrong, and forgive when they are wronged.

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            Children should know everyone makes mistakes, but forgiveness can heal the worst of mistakes. There is no shame in asking for forgiveness and in forgiving others. In fact, asking for forgiveness and forgiving others is a mark of true courage. Encourage kids to cultivate an attitude of forgiveness and move past hurts and wrongdoings.

            6. Teach kids to show unexpected kindness and help the less fortunate when they can.

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              Showing unexpected kindness is not only a sweet thing to do, but also the easiest way to touch a life. Encourage kids to show kindness and lend a helping hand whenever they can. It will help them develop compassion and will help them understand the difference between wants and needs in life.

              7. Teach kids to remain positive and focus more on the brighter side of life.

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                Life is not all sunshine and rainbows. It is also not all gloom and doom. Life is a mix of good and bad experiences. If you focus on the positive side of life more than the negative, life isn’t so bad after all. Encourage kids to remain positive, count their blessings and extract joy and happiness from “little” things in life, like a beautiful sunset or wonderful family. Positivity and laughter can shield from the stress, pain and malice in the world.

                8. Teach kids to protect the environment and care for animals.

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                  Kids should know people only have this one planet to live on. We all, therefore, need to protect and care for it. That means caring for plants, animals and the natural environment all around us. Encourage kids to feed the birds, walk the dog and even water plants. That way they will become mindful and protective of the planet and all that is in it.

                  9. Teach kids to brush, floss and keep neat.

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                    Cleanliness, they say, is next to godliness. Kids need to learn how to clean and floss from an early age. Encourage, and even reward, them for good hygiene behavior and healthy living, including eating well and exercising regularly. When kids are clean, healthy and happy, everyone is happy.

                    10. Teach kids to love unconditionally.

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                      Love is the greatest virtue of them all. Everything hinges on it. Without love everything crumbles. Teach kids to love themselves and others not for what they do, but for who they are. And when kids are old enough, let them know the importance of loving their partner unconditionally and practicing safe sex. It might be uncomfortable, but don’t forget to teach kids how to recognize and say “No!” when someone is using or abusing them sexually.

                      Featured photo credit: The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice/symphony of love via flickr.com

                      More by this author

                      David K. William

                      David is a publisher and entrepreneur. He is also the founding editor of Web Writer Spotlight.

                      How to Construct a Killer Meeting Agenda That is Simple and Effective 25 Brain Exercises for Memory That Actually Help You Remember More 5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team 10 Amazing Health Benefits Of Beer You Probably Never Knew 15 Funny Idioms You May Not Know (And What They Actually Mean)

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                      Last Updated on October 16, 2018

                      The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

                      The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

                      It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

                      If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

                      One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

                      Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

                      In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

                      Why you can’t sleep through the night

                      The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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                      Stress

                      If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

                      Exposure to blue light before sleep time

                      We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

                      While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

                      Eating close to bedtime

                      Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

                      Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

                      Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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                      Medical conditions

                      In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

                      The vicious sleep cycle

                      The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

                      Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

                      You get a bad night’s sleep
                      –> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
                      –> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
                      –> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

                        You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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                        How to sleep better (throughout the night)

                        To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

                        1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

                        What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

                        Here are a few suggestions:

                        • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
                        • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
                        • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
                        • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
                        • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

                        2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

                        What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

                        • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
                        • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
                        • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
                        • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

                        3. Adjust your sleep temperature

                        Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

                        Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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                        Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

                        Sleep better form now on

                        Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

                        I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

                        As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

                        Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

                        Reference

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