If you want successful kids you have to teach them well. So buckle up because these are the most vital things that you need to teach your kids if you want them to be thriving adults.
Money matters. It’s the difference between being healthy and happy, and being ill and broke. Teaching your children the power of choosing a steady career and having no debt is one of the greatest things you can do for them.
Some people will say to teach your kids that health is much more important than money. Those people are wrong. If your kids end up broke because they didn’t choose a good career path then they are going to be miserable and at a greater risk of illness.
What I’m not saying here is to force your kids into a career they don’t want or like. What I am saying is to assess where your child’s passions are and to help guide them into a good career that aligns with those passions.
Debt also is a great stressor that harms people. How many people do you know who have a mountain of debt that are happy? That’s right: None.
Instill in your children that they can only buy things if they have the money for them. That’s where giving your child some pocket money and teaching them to save up for what they want instead of just buying them it is vital. It teaches them this life lesson and skill. Don’t spoil your kids by just buying them big presents all of the time, you’ll make them careless adults.
The most successful people know how to manage their emotions. Let’s face it life is hard a lot of the time. The modern work is constantly changing and you don’t know what life will be like when your child is an adult. But you do know that they’ll always have emotions and need to know how to control them.
Teach them how to be aware of their thoughts and how they affect their emotions. Teach them how to soothe themselves when they are upset or angry. Teach them how to channel their difficult emotions into productive actions.
This is where reframing thoughts, journaling, mindfulness, turning to others for support, exercise, creativity, and hobbies all come into play. These are just some of the skills that you can teach your kids to help them manage their emotions.
Knowing what foods to eat and how to cook them is the difference between fat and ill, and healthy.
Teach your children the joy of cooking by involving them in your meal preparation. This is where being an example for your children is vital. If you eat healthily then they will. There’s no other way.
Do you want your kids to have healthy relationships? Then be a role model (the only other alternative is to be a car crash or a hypocrite, and I want better for you.)
Teach them about respect for themselves and others. Teach them the importance of boundaries. And most importantly; teach them how to find a good healthy partner, good friends, and good colleagues!
The most important of these is teaching them how to find a good partner. Their friends might be terrible and they will learn and adapt, similarly for colleagues, but if they don’t learn how to choose a good partner it can ruin their lives.
Teach them broadly what a good partner looks like and behaves, that way when they search for one they’ll recognise them when they find them.
Have these conversations way way way before your child is ready to date. I can guarantee you the reason why many people end up with bad partners is because their parents didn’t think it was necessary for them to teach theirs kids what healthy relationships and partners look like. They thought that it’s just something their kids would magically decide on themselves as if somehow they instinctively knew the future partner for them and what would be best based on zero life experience. Newsflash: Your children won’t know what’s best for themselves unless you teach them how to make good choices.
How their bodies work.
How many people didn’t have a basic sense of what their bodies do and need even into adulthood? The answer is a vast amount of people. I’ve got a question for you:
Would you rather brave some potentially awkward moments teaching your kids about their bodies, or let them grow up learning as they go and potentially making huge mistakes?
Teach your kids about sex, about periods, about managing pain, about constipation, about IBS. Teach them things what they need to know or might need to know. Even if (hopefully) your kids never have something like IBS or cancer, when you teach your kids about the world it means they can have greater empathy with others and themselves. Instead of them “othering” people they can have compassion for them as they know the basis of what they are suffering because guess what: You taught them about it. It also helps eradicate shame around their own bodies, giving them compassion towards themselves for being human.
If you want to make the world a better place: Teach your kids how bodies work.
Self-control stops people from making bad decisions and also helps them have the grit needed to become successful. Helping teach this to your kids means to raise their awareness of their actions, praise when they work hard, give them chores to do, discipline them when they do bad things, and teach them the value of doing good things for themselves and others.
Managing their bodies.
Teach your kids good hygiene for the sake of the world and them. That’s all I’m going to say on that.
Also teach them the value of resting, sleep, and exercise.
Authentic wisdom about how the world works.
When I say authentic wisdom I mean wisdom that holds true in any situation and isn’t just a bias you have. Giving advice based on your own mistakes and life experiences saves your children from making the same mistakes or at least gives them a heads up of how they can do better.
The consequences of actions.
You’ve got to discipline your children when they do wrong in order for them to learn. It sounds obvious but often parents don’t do this.
In life if you show up late to work often then you get fired. If you cheat then you get dumped. If you steal then you get imprisoned. Your kids have to learn this in order to not make huge mistakes.
Disciplining can and should be done in a respectful way. It’s not about making your child scared but about making them realise actions have consequences. Removing privileges like tablets, TV, and phones, are all reasonable consequences for bad behaviour.
When you do this you show your children that actions have consequences. I recommend you take it further and openly showcase anyone that has made bad choices and has suffered as a consequence. It’s also important to highlight role models to your children, people who have acted with integrity and kindness.
How to learn.
Learning saves people, literally. The world is in constant change and those who survive and thrive and the people who can learn and adapt to the world.
Teach your kids to love learning.
Start by involving yourself in their learning. Learn things for fun together. Reward them for things they’ve learnt. Praise them when they tell you something they’ve been learning. Be enthusiastic about learning. These are all ways that they will learn how to enjoy learning and its value in the world.
By teaching your children these important things you make them into successful and healthy future adults. Don’t fail your children: Teach them what matters.