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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

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                      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 January 21, 2020

                      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                      Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

                      your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

                        Why You Need a Vision

                        Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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                        How to Create Your Life Vision

                        Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

                        What Do You Want?

                        The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

                        It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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                        Some tips to guide you:

                        • Remember to ask why you want certain things
                        • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
                        • Give yourself permission to dream.
                        • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
                        • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

                        Some questions to start your exploration:

                        • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
                        • What would you like to have more of in your life?
                        • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
                        • What are your secret passions and dreams?
                        • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
                        • What do you want your relationships to be like?
                        • What qualities would you like to develop?
                        • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
                        • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
                        • What would you most like to accomplish?
                        • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

                        It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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                        What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

                        Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

                        A few prompts to get you started:

                        • What will you have accomplished already?
                        • How will you feel about yourself?
                        • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
                        • What does your ideal day look like?
                        • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
                        • What would you be doing?
                        • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
                        • How are you dressed?
                        • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
                        • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
                        • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

                        It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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                        Plan Backwards

                        It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

                        • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
                        • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
                        • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
                        • What important actions would you have had to take?
                        • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
                        • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
                        • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
                        • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
                        • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

                        Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

                        It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

                        Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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