The education system teaches children so much, but there’s still plenty that’s down to us parents to ensure we’re educating our children. Here are just three important life lessons that it’s worth working on with your kids from a young age.
A love of healthy food and exercise
Kids are notoriously picky when it comes to food, so getting them to eat well is something that most parents struggle with at one time or another. But instilling a love of home cooked, healthy and tasty foods in them from a young age is always going to be beneficial for them. You can sneak in plenty of hidden veg in dishes, chop it small and mix it with ground meat for meals like lasagne and chilli. Blend them into soups and fruit into smoothies which most kids will eat. Get them excited about exercise and being outdoors, it’s difficult in this generation when so many kids are focused on technology. But playing on their bike, at the park, having water fights in the summer, going swimming and trampoline parks are all things that will appeal and burn lots of energy.
Healthy coping mechanisms
It’s natural to want to wrap up your kids in cotton wool and make sure they never experience any kind of unpleasantness from the outside world. But life isn’t always this easy, and actually, showing them how to cope with things in a healthy way is one of the best things you can do. Things like the loss of a pet, a failure at a competition or an illness in the family are all examples of unpleasant things which you can teach kids how to deal with. Educate them in an age appropriate way about what’s happening- for example when dealing with an illness like cancer, you could explain to older kids how proton therapy centers make people better by using a type of laser beam that kills bad cells, and how chemotherapy is a type of medicine that can make cancer patients better. You could explain that while cancer is a serious illness, there are lots of ways that science and technology can help to make it better. Let them know it’s ok to cry, and how they can relieve stress by exercise, practicing mindfulness, talking or journalling. Many of us reach adulthood after having a shielded childhood with no idea of how to cope or face trauma as we’ve never had to deal with it. Going about things the right way with kids can actually help them.
How money works
Money is a concept that children can struggle with. Unless you’ve had to work for your money, it’s hard to understand that it’s not simply an infinite resource. One of the best ways you can educate children about this is by allowing them to earn money themselves. Simple chores around the home can be done to earn money which they can then spend or save as they wish. But by doing so, they realize that money does not simply ‘grow on trees’ and you need to earn yours in the same way. When they start asking for expensive technology, designer clothes and other expensive things, being able to explain why getting them right away isn’t always possible can be easier for them to deal with, rather than them simply believing that you’re being unfair.