We as parents should not expect thanks for doing the basics. What are those basics? Well, putting a roof over your child’s head, feeding them, making sure they’re warm and able to live a normal life of school, education, and fun. The real test of parenting comes when we teach them life skills. These skills will serve them well, long after we are dead and gone. They will love and cherish you forever if you can teach them about the way of the world. Let’s be honest, we shouldn’t expect thanks for feeding and clothing our children. We brought them into this world and the least we can do is to take care of the life we chose to make. Now, as they grow older and their brains start to develop more, we have to teach them the trials and tribulations of the world. Life is going to challenge them in so many ways and a child that hasn’t been prepared will be doomed to fail. So, let’s put on our thinking caps and figure out how we’re going to do this.
It’s not them, it’s you
Children don’t often get into anything serious when it comes to relationships, but they will begin to interact with the opposite sex more romantically at some point. When they’re toddlers, they’re too young to be taught about the birds and the bees and where life comes from. However, it’s incredibly sad to watch them get their heart broken for the first time. Your son or daughter might ‘like-like’ another kid at school, but they don’t like them back. We need to sit them down and tell them that it’s not the other person’s fault or their own that they have been rejected. They haven’t lost their value or become worth less in the eyes of the other kid. Talk to them about how when it comes to relationships and sexual attraction, we’re all very different. Just because you’re not someone’s type, doesn’t mean you are a bad person or need to improve on something. Don’t leave their feelings to fester and swirl around, as even at a young age, children can feel the bitterness of being rejected by someone they’re attracted to.
Going nowhere fast
Life has a way of becoming stagnant and no longer fulfilling. We get stuck in this routine and we just accept it as normal. Sometimes we are hit with an epiphany and we realize that there is more to our life if we so choose there to be. The trouble is, how can we explain such a complex thought process to our children so that they can notice when they feel like they are going nowhere fast? The hit show Waitress is a show that expresses this question in all of us. It’s safe for children to watch as there’s nothing obscene or too distressing in the show. We follow Jenna, a woman that seems to be trapped by her own inability to really chase after what she wants in life. Her husband has grown apart from her and she is sick of staying in a small town that doesn’t have many opportunities to better her life. The story told, shows how she gathered enough courage to break free from the bonds she had slipped into and find happiness by doing what she really felt she was meant to do. Through this live performance, our children can learn the value of remaining a sovereign individual. Always making sure that they aren’t living their life for someone else but just for themselves.
Test of will
Failure is something that children need to acknowledge but refrain from getting used to. Again, a tightrope for parents to walk across over. How can we teach children that failure is something they will encounter in life, but that learning from mistakes so that they improve and lessen the chance of failing in the future may happen? Firstly, we have to explore with them the nature of not giving up. This is simple as they do this every day with their homework. They have to work out answers to the questions in their math and science books so they already know what it’s like to try and figure out the correct answer. Therefore, if we sit down with them from start to finish and help them with their homework, we can help them to realize when they are failing to get the right answer, and how looking at a problem from different angles, helps us to learn where we went wrong in the beginning. It’s test of willpower to break through a wall that is crying out for them to give up, but you can hoist them over it.
The trials and tribulations of life have an impact on our lives in different ways. Children need to learn early on in life that stories of courage and self-improvement can help them in their own lives.
This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.