Growing up is never easy, and it’s getting harder than ever in this busy modern world. Today’s culture seems to center around creating the coolest caption for an Instagram picture or struggling to fit into a pair of size 0 jeans, which makes the prospect of raising children one day a terrifying concept.
We all know the importance of raising well adjusted kids who will be good citizens and good people, but for a 21 year-old, whose greatest concerns at the moment are choosing what to have for dinner and what to wear for a big night out, the idea of raising a family can seem light years away.
Nevertheless, it’s important to consider these things because one day, they will be a reality and, while you might be able to wing your way through a test at college, there’s no way you can just wing it when it comes to raising your kids.
So here are 18 essential lessons for children to be taught by their parents. These pearls of wisdom, given as parental advice, will be invaluable to their personal growth and will set them in good store for their future.
1. You are only human
Humans mess up – fact. You will make mistakes, that much is guaranteed. So you might fail an important test or burn the dinner, but that’s part of being human, nobody’s perfect. That said, always try your best.
2. Don’t be afraid to be quiet
Sure, communication is important, but silence is a good thing too. You don’t always need to be heard, just take the time to listen for a change.
3. Be forgiving
We’re all human, and that means others make mistakes too, so remember that and forgive others when their mistake messes up your life.
4. Spend carefully
Yes, spending money wisely is important, but that’s not what this is about. This is about spending your time. Spend it well on only the things and people that are positive influences in your life.
5. Be spontaneous
Don’t be afraid to follow your heart. Journey without a destination but make your adventure count for a lifetime of good memories.
6. Don’t compare your looks with others
So some girls are models. They’re a size 0 and have skinny long legs. We weren’t all made the same way, so be happy just being you and don’t yearn to be something you can never be.
7. Be close to your father
Your dad is one of the most special people in your life. Your protector, provider and head of the family, your dad will spoil you forever.
8. Date sensibly
Dating isn’t a pastime. You girls out there, remember your heart should never be given away lightly to just anyone. Keep it safe for that special someone who will treasure it. And boys, be chivalrous. Treat the girl you like with respect and show her your good intentions through your words and deeds.
9. Don’t stress
Worrying gets you nowhere so work your stress out in other ways. Go to the gym, go out with friends or get some exercise instead of staying in bed worrying yourself sick.
10. Don’t gossip
Think twice before you say anything about anyone, it’ll come back to haunt you. Sometimes staying silent is the best policy.
11. Make the right friends
Your friends are your second family, so be sure to develop close friendships with those who aren’t afraid to get close and bring out the best in you. Forge deep relationships that last a lifetime.
12. Enjoy the outdoors
Outdoors beats the air-conditioned indoors every time. Breathe the fresh air and your body will thank you.
13. Stay positive
Life can be tough. It can hand you some really bad cards that you have to deal with, but strive to see the positive in everything. Life goes on anyway, so look for the hopeful side of every situation.
14. Be creative
Try your hand at music, painting, art, whatever, just be creative and express what the world has given you.
15. Serve other people
Patience and humility are two key lessons to learn, and the best way is through serving others. Helping other people will give you the greatest satisfaction.
16. You are not a number
Value yourself as a whole and don’t focus on your weight. Counting calories is a chore that can lead to obsession. See yourself as others see you – as a person and not as a number.
17. Give yourself a treat
Every so often, take time for yourself. Treat yourself to something you really enjoy like a nice lunch or a new book. You’ve earned your free time so enjoy it.
18. Pay attention to words of wisdom
Have the wisdom to know that you are God’s most treasured possession, hold that knowledge in your heart and live your life through this principle every day. Learning to know yourself is the greatest lesson you can ever learn in your life.