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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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How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality.

I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

1. The Inner Critic

This is your constant abuser. He is often a conglomeration of:

  • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
  • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
  • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
  • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

He is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

Why else would he abuse you? And since “he” is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

2. The Worrier

This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

He is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it.

Occasionally, he is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

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3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

He is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

He can be set off by words or feelings. He can even be set off by sounds and smells.

He has no real motivation; he has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

4. The Sleep Depriver

This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

His motivation can be:

  • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
  • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
  • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
  • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

How can you control these squatters?

How to Master Your Mind

You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

There are two ways to control your thoughts:

  • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
  • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

For the Inner Critic

When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

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You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

“Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

  • He riles up the Worrier.
  • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
  • He is often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
  • He is a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
  • He is the destroyer of self-esteem. He convinces you that you’re not worthy. He’s a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get him out!

Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

Replace him with your new best friend who supports, encourages, and enhances your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

For the Worrier

Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tense

Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

“Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

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Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

For example:

If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

“I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

“Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tension

I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

Breathe in through your nose:

  • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
  • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
  • Focus on your belly rising.

Breathe out through your nose:

  • Feel your lungs emptying.
  • Focus on your belly falling.
  • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

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One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

For the Sleep Depriver

(He’s made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

  1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
  2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

You can also use this technique any time you want to:

  • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
  • Shut down your thinking.
  • Calm your feelings.
  • Simply focus on the present moment. 

Becoming the Master of Your Mind

Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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