The joys and challenges of parenthood are manifold. From ensuring that your child has everything they need in order to grow up safe and content to finding the time to engage in various fun activities that are instrumental to their development, raising a kid is a full-time job. But one of the most important aspects of child-rearing has to be the education they receive prior to attending school. The first six or seven years of a child’s life are an essential period, during which they get acquainted with most of the life values they’ll continue to harbour in the years to come. To that end, certain values are essential to be instilled from a very young age.
The value of truthfulness is something that children naturally tend to come equipped with. However, when they learn that sometimes lying comes with certain benefits, many kids start incorporating it into their daily routine. Discourage this kind of behaviour by letting them know that telling truth will alleviate any mistake they may have done. Moreover, try to create a truthful environment where no member of the household uses lies or evasions. Among others, this means not becoming a partner in your child’s lies or asking him or her to lie for you in any situation. In the adult world, the occasional “white lie” is generally permitted, but the nuances of such behaviour should be left for puberty.
Hard work and dedication are two of the prerequisites of getting anywhere in life. Without being too pushy, try to teach your child the value of taking on challenges on a regular basis. From washing the dishes after dinner to finishing their homework on time, such activities can be essential in strengthening a child’s work ethic. Additionally, children should be allowed to follow their passions from an early age, with parents providing honest feedback and support. You can even encourage them to develop an entrepreneurial mindset by purchasing various board games such as Monopoly or helping them set up a makeshift shop.
The ability to understand how others feel typically develops over time in people, with plenty of fully-grown men and women still having trouble with it in adulthood. So don’t judge your child too harshly when he or she fails to show enough empathy for the world around them. Nevertheless, encourage a higher level of empathy by constantly asking your child to place himself in other people’s shoes. You can also find many empathy-building exercises online that you can regularly practice with your children in order to prevent the onset of nasty habits such as bullying.
In this day and age, teaching tolerance is a must if you want your child to grow up well-adjusted in a world that continues its path towards diversification and globalisation. Impart lessons on the kinds of people he’s likely to encounter, and how things like race, age and religious affiliation should never be obstacles in liking or trusting someone. Children may initially have difficulties relating to individuals that don’t look like them, but with a little bit of patience they can assimilate this all-important nugget of wisdom.
Finally, learning the basics of human respect is essential in life and can go a long way towards building long-lasting relationships. This doesn’t just refer to the respect that children are generally expected to show to their elders, but to the basic level of consideration deserved by everybody. Simple things like teaching your kids to say “thank you” or “please” can make a world of difference, as can imparting related values such as punctuality and privacy. Also, make sure they know that respect is a two-way street, and that they should always do unto others as they would have others do unto them.
By working to instill these values, you’ll be doing your part to prepare your child for the life that awaits. Keep in mind that children tend to have a rascally mindset, so it may take awhile before each lesson sets in. Nevertheless, young children especially are incredibly fast at picking up new things, making this period the best time to impart good teachings that will ultimately make them better human beings down the line.