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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 who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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                      Last Updated on September 18, 2020

                      7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                      7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                      Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

                      Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

                      1. Exercise Daily

                      It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

                      If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

                      Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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                      If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

                      2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

                      Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

                      One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

                      This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

                      3. Acknowledge Your Limits

                      Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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                      Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

                      Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

                      4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

                      Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

                      The basic nutritional advice includes:

                      • Eat unprocessed foods
                      • Eat more veggies
                      • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
                      • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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                      Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

                        5. Watch Out for Travel

                        Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

                        This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

                        If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

                        6. Start Slow

                        Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

                        If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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                        7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

                        Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

                        My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

                        If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

                        I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

                        Final Thoughts

                        Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

                        Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

                        More Tips on Getting in Shape

                        Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

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