Ultimate life lessons for your kids

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Wouldn't life be so much easier if our kids took everything we said more seriously?

Some things can only be learnt through experience but what's important is that you provide your children with the right tools to deal with whatever comes their way. 

Read more: 8 things my dad told me that now make sense

Consider the following few lessons every parent can teach their child: 

Manners maketh a man/woman

A kind and well mannered attitude can go a long way. Showing manners shows that you can appreciate something someone has done for you.

In Taming the Teenager Gavin Fish names three simple phrases as an example of good manners: 'may I', 'thank you' and 'I'm sorry'. Teaching your child good manners will leave a good impression on the people they interact with. 

Always speak the truth 

Kids are usually pretty creative and imaginative when they relay a story to someone. Sometimes the story might become warped or untrue. In fact we all do it at some point but it can become a bad habit and a real problem if parents let it slide to often. If you're aware that your child is decorating a story enough for it to become untrue, question them and point out the the real story was just as interesting without all the added, false information. 

Lying is probably one of the most common wrong acts that we carry out. One small lie has the potential to lead to other lies and life can get complicated when you're having to cover up one lie with another . Honesty is usually the best policy (and far less complicated).

Stick to commitments

Before cellphones and instant messaging came about, if you set a time and date to meet someone you'd have to stick to it and if you were late you'd hope that that person would wait around. 

With today's technology it's so easy for us to postpone, cancel or change an arrangement we've made with someone. Both adults and children have become far more tardy when it comes to sticking to plans and this is another bad habit worth addressing.

Parents who cancel or change plans on a regular basis teach their children the same behaviours and it'll count against them in the workplace. 

Be realistic about what you want

Without killing all your child's hopes and dreams, guide them in such a way that they don't end up being disappointed more than often. Becoming a pilot is achievable, becoming a pilot next week at the age of 12 is not.

Having said that, don't hinder your child's ambitions by constantly trying to protect them from major upset just because you're not sure if their plans will end the way they hope. Teach your child that striving for something, even if they fail, is a far greater experience than always getting what they hoped for.

Sticks, stones and words CAN harm you

Children especially can be mean and with school bullying being talked about more openly, most parents are aware that it's a serious problem. You can't bully proof your child but you can give them the right tools to help them manage how they react to it. 

It's easy to tell a child that words can never harm them, but even in our adult years we sometimes struggle with hurtful things that people say. Teach your child to understand that sometimes people say mean things as a reflection of themselves. It helps a child to know that often the real issue comes from the other person's insecurities and that that person is probably projecting their issues onto your child.

Turn negatives into positives

Negative feedback and outcomes from school, friends or a situation can be painful for a child and seeing them be let down can be heart breaking for a parent. 

When things don't go the way your child hoped try point out any positives from the situation i.e. lessons learnt, the opportunity to try again with better experience or the opportunity to challenge the outcome.

It's important to learn to shift negative outcomes into positive ones because your child will go through plenty of let downs in his/her lifetime. If your child carries around all of that negative energy this can weigh him down and affect the quality of his life. 

What life lessons do think are important to teach your kids? Send us your comments to chatback@parent24.com. 

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