Doesn’t every parent want to see that their parenting seeds produce fruitful trees? I mean, it’s not just about giving birth to children, but deriving joy from those children through their relationships with you and with the world around them. Well, most of this depends on your parenting. Here are a few parenting lessons parents are likely to overlook but are necessary in life.
1. Living by example
Do you live by example? Do you expect your child to be gentle and polite when you’re aggressive and rude? Do you call them negative names and expect them to be positive in their outlook and behaviour? Your child will only exhibit what they see you do more than what you say they should do, so be aware of how you behave around them. Not only how you treat them but also how you treat yourself and others.
When you make a blunder, don’t just sweep it under the rug, admit it, talk about it with them and take the necessary steps to right your wrong as much as you can.
2. Imbibe in them a sense of justice and fairness
This will help them own their shortcomings and act fairly. Having a sense of justice means taking pleasure in others getting ‘what they deserve’. In other words, it is pleased when people who have done good things get rewarded, or ‘bad’ people get their comeuppance, and sorrow if ‘bad’ people seem to do well, or good people suffer.
To be fair is to be honest and have integrity.
3. Teach them gratitude
It’s not just some religious injunction that we show gratitude for good deeds that are done towards us. Scientific studies have shown expressing gratitude produces a compassionate, generous, helpful and healthy personality in people -children included. The best way to achieve this in your child is to be an example and encourage them to do same. Show gratitude to your wife when she does even the smallest favour for you. Do the same to the child when you send them on errands; even when they don’t get it right. When you or someone else does something for them and they don’t say “thank you”, remind them to do it. Don’t get tired of doing this as repetition and practice is what makes the character perfect.
4. Create a sense of global awarness
Encourage them to stay informed. Build in them a keen interest in local and international news and a desire to stay updated. Expanding your knowledge will get them to be open minded with people around the world.
5. Teach them to have fun
Make it a regular thing. It doesn’t have to be a trip to Disneyland, simple stuff like playing Candy Crush on your mobile phone, reading a book or riding your bicycles. Whatever makes you guys laugh. When they have fun with you, they know that you care about them and they also return the favour by taking time to do stuff that will make you – and probably others, laugh.
6. Teach them to serve
This is the physical manifestation of all that talk about justice, fairness, caring and compassion: serving others. You join a cause -something they will be interested in, and then make them tag along. It could be an old people’s home (if they like grandma), an orphanage (if they are interested in other less privileged kids) or helping out at church. Serving, especially when they’re not being paid, this gives a soul-deep feeling of a fulfilment.
7. Teach them to be in touch with themselves
Make it a routine to ask them how they feel/felt about an incident or at a particular time. Explore those feelings by asking why they felt like that and how they’ll feel if things had gone in the opposite direction. By being in touch with their emptiness, they’ll be able to control their feelings and so keep from acting irrational in situations that other people might lose it. They’ll be in full control of their responses.