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13 Crucial Survival Lessons the Teachers Wouldn’t Teach Your Child

13 Crucial Survival Lessons the Teachers Wouldn’t Teach Your Child

There are things that our children should have so they can lead a rich and fulfilling life. Sure, if we wanted them just to survive, to just get by, they could do so. But that’s not living. We want our children to go out and have experiences that turn them into better people.

While a well-rounded education is important, these 13 things below are also necessary. You might think they are common knowledge or not even a big deal, but it would surprise you how many kids are growing up to become “adults” still dependent on their parents, teachers, and co-workers, amongst others.

Our children aren’t going to turn 18 and magically turn into responsible, capable adults. We need to do our best to equip our children with the knowledge and skills they need to go out into the real world and have a successful, rewarding life. It’s best to start teaching them these things when they are young. That way, they grow up with this knowledge and can better understand the importance of it.

In addition to a sound education, things your child needs include a basic knowledge and understanding of:

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1. Finances

Money is extremely important. Teach your children how to budget, how to save and how respect things that you bought for them or they bought for themselves. They need to know that swiping a card means money is being transferred. Teach them how to be responsible with credit cards and how to stay out of debt.

2. Politics

Does your 3-year-old really need to be able to explain to you the reasoning and history behind a checks and balance system? No. Could a 3-year-old see a picture of the U.S. President and be able to identify him? Of course. They might not be mature enough to understand what it means to be president of a country, but they can know who their leaders are.

Show your children the importance of being active in your community politics by participating yourself. Talk to them about when you go and vote. Tell them who you voted for and why. Discuss these things with them and prepare them to take an active role in the community themselves.

3. Vehicle Maintenance

This isn’t to say that they should be able to do a full engine overhaul. But they should know how to check and top off all their fluids, how to check their oil, how long they can go between oil changes and how to change it, how to change a flat tire, how to replace windshield wipers, etc. These are all simple things that if you are going to own and drive a car, you should know how to do. A car is an investment. You need to know how to take care of it.

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4. Nutrition and Health

Obesity is on the rise in America, especially in children. This is one of the saddest things in my opinion. Children are losing out on their childhood because of health issues that could have been prevented. Parents need to take responsibility for their children’s health. They are the ones in charge of what their children eat. If a young child is obese, that is on the parents’ head. But later on, as that child grows up and becomes an adult, they won’t have the knowledge they need to be healthy. They risk having heart problems, diabetes, asthma, and other health issues. There are so many health risks out there that could easily be prevented with a knowledge of nutrition.

Teach your children to choose an apple over a candy bar. People always say that it’s too expensive to eat healthy. So, instead of buying the bag of oranges, they get a bag of chips. Guess what? They’re about the same price. Go the healthier way: buy the carrots instead of the cookies. Buy the granola instead of the sugar cereal. Your kids might complain at first that there’s nothing to eat, but if they want a snack bad enough, they’ll take the carrot. Soon, they won’t hesitate to eat fruits and veggies.

5. First Aid

You never know when something bad will happen, whether it’s as small as a scraped knee or as big as a car accident. Your children should know how to use bandages and Neosporin, what medicine to take for what symptoms and how much (make sure they are mature enough for this), as well as how to call 911—but please don’t practice this, just help them memorize the number! The better equipped they are for an emergency, the more chances they have at being able to stay calm and help.

6. Outdoor Survival and Emergency Preparedness

Everyone should know how to build a fire. You might think that sounds ridiculous, especially if you live in a big city and have never spent a night outdoors, but it can be a life saver. A few years ago, the power in my parents’ city went out. It was out for a whole week. That might not seem like a long time, but it really was. They couldn’t go stay somewhere else because they had to be close for work, and the hotels filled up pretty quick anyway. Luckily, both my parents could take care of themselves. But they had several neighbors who had no clue what to do in this kind of situation. My parents told them to just bring over their share of the food, and they would teach them how to cook. They dug a fire pit in the back yard and made a Dutch oven dinner every night. Even though there were other options, my parents didn’t worry, they could take care of themselves and help their neighbors.

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You children should also have:

7. Social Skills

Yes, people need to know how to act in social situations. Teach your children manners. They need to know how to hold the door open for someone, to say please and thank you, to look at someone when they’re talking to them, all these things and more. With today’s technology we also need to teach our children when it is appropriate to be using our phones and tablets and when it is not.

Social skills are more than just manners. You don’t have to tame a creative personality to fit into a conformist ideal, but you can teach them when certain comments, behaviors and language are not right for certain social situations. Encourage your children to make friends and join groups and organizations. These will give your children opportunities to learn how to socialize.

8. A Sense of Self-worth

So many children today are suffering from a lack of self-esteem. Your home should be a place of comfort and peace. Let your children know they are important, that they are special. Find ways to help build their self-esteem; compliment them, point out their good attributes, support them and be there when they need help.

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9. A Desire to Learn and Curiosity

Someone who enjoys learning is someone who will always find a reason to get out of bed in the morning. These are the people who go out and make things happen. Help your children learn to love learning. Find out what they are interested in and run with it.

10. Common Sense

This may seem like a no-brainer, but unfortunately, I have met several people with absolutely no common sense. Find ways to help your kids see what’s right in front of them and to think for themselves.

11. Problem Solving Skills

I have seen kids throw the biggest fits because they can’t figure out how to fit a square into a circular hole. The kids that throw those tantrums are the ones who usually have parents jump over and put the square into the square hole for the child. Those poor kids never learn how to experiment and figure things out on their own. They have the answers handed to them. It can be hard to watch your children struggle, especially when you have the answer, but sometimes we need to just back away and let them try and fail a couple of times. They’ll find the answer on their own, given the chance.

12. The Ability to Adapt

Change is the one constant we have in life. It will happen, no matter how much we try to avoid it. A healthy person is able to face changes in their life, adapt to them and move on. A set schedule is important for children as they’re growing, but too much structure is stifling. A structured life that never changes prohibits a child from learning how to take change in stride. Mix things up a bit. Try different things, whether it’s games, food or places you visit. These small changes will make a big difference in your child’s life as they grow up.

13. The Ability to Respectfully Resolve Conflict

Your kids will have problems with other kids; it’s unavoidable. When these things happen, sometimes parents need to intervene, but give the kids the chance to work it out first. Even if you have to step in, let the kids try talking with you there. You want to protect your kids and help them every chance you get, but they need to learn how to resolve conflict on their own. Conflict happens when you’re young and it happens in the workplace as an adult. Teach them now how to talk to others and be respectful and they will be better prepared for it later on in life.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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