As the new year approaches I’ve been thinking about what I could do to be a better person. How can I expand my growth further this new year? As I was thinking about this I came across this idea of what makes kids good adults. What do we learn as a child that is necessary to survive as an a loving, caring, successful adult? These are a couple things I think are important for kids to learn, things we should do to teach them, and a few things our kids can remind us of.
Kids are kids but we should be expecting more out of them with age appropriate guidelines. We need to make them do “chores” and not expect money for it. They need to understand as they’re old enough, to not throw fits in restaurants and stores, that it is not appropriate. They should know better and we should give them consequences that fit the guidelines.
Kids should be taught to make contributions, they need to learn to cook, clean, help each other out, help parents out, help other family members out and not expect a reward or payment for doing so. This is beyond chores this is babysitting your cousin and not expecting payment because it’s your cousin, helping your grandparents mow the lawn and not expecting payment because you love them and they’re your grandparents.
Kids need to understand the nature of giving and not always receiving in return. Make volunteering and caring for others a priority. Teach them how it feels to help out others. Teach them about differences in people. Befriend the kid sitting alone at lunch. Befriend the kid with a disability, down syndrome, in a wheelchair, etc. Realize that we can find things in common with those that seem so different then us and how valuable that is. Great relationships can be nourished by being open to them.
Kids need to learn to be self-reliant, this means if they forget their homework then they forgot their homework and have to deal with the consequences. This also goes for goal setting. Kids should learn how to set a goal, make actionable steps, and stick to them. Help them make goals and teach them about how great it feels to reach those goals. Encourage their dreams but make sure they give themselves realistic steps to achieve them. This will help them realize that they can reach their goals and achieve their dreams they just have to make small steps to get there.
Kids need to learn the joy of working for something. This means teaching them to earn what they get, no more instant gratification, goal setting, earning money, saving, are all things we need to teach them.
There are also many things as adults we need to remember and learn from our kids.
We need to remember to live life a little more care free. Kids are great about enjoying themselves, little anxieties, most of the time they are just living in the moment. This brings joy and happiness. Sometimes as adults we lose ourselves in the stress of work, bills, and the day to day monotony we need to remember to put things aside and live in the moment sometimes.
We need to remember to express ourselves freely. There’s a line when kids start to learn how to express themselves by knowing their audience. They learn when not to say certain things, which is good, the filter is a necessary thing to have but as adults we tend to over utilize the filter. We avoid conflict and stress ourselves out. We don’t express ourselves when we need to say or feel something. Remember that for your own happiness sometimes the filter can be thrown aside. If you need to cry, cry, if you need to laugh or yell then do it. Don’t care what other people think all the time.
We need to remember to love unconditionally. Kids are amazing at this and it is something I want to instill in my kids just like my parents instilled it in me. This goes back to give without expecting anything in return. To be loving and giving to friends, family, loved ones.
I’m hoping, as I raise my kids, to not only teach my kids these things but also to remember the things they can teach me. I want to be open to them and their childhood wisdom, I want to give them a great, happy, joyful childhood, and I want to teach them necessary things to become great adults.