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There are many roles that parents have to play in the lives of their children. You are their friend, their mentor, their shoulder to cry on– but most of all, parents strive to be a teacher.
Teaching comes in many different forms. If you homeschool, then you are literally a teacher; the person responsible for instilling knowledge about the world to your child. However, it’s not just homeschooling parents that have valuable lessons to give to their children; nor does the completion of the day’s lessons cease the need for homeschooling parents to teach. The people that our children will grow up to be, the way they live their lives, are all a product of the non-educational lessons that we will share with them.
For the most part, these lessons are unspoken. Children learn through observing the way that their parents act; if you set a good example, then your children will respond to this. However, sometimes it’s helpful to have a nudge in the right direction, just to ensure you’re on course to cover all the non-educational ideas you’re going to want your children to absorb. Below is a look at the lessons all parents are able to teach their children, why you would want to, and how you can best get the message across.
Lesson #1 – Be Polite and Gracious
As a famous saying once put it: manners cost nothing. The vast majority of children learn their manners and how they interact with the world from their parents. If they see you being courteous and considerate of others, they will quickly learn that this is the best way to be.
You can reaffirm this lesson constantly without needing to make the point in a, particularly overt way. Just little things like ensuring your children always use “please” and “thank you” when in your presence will help to instill the idea that politeness is not only accepted but expected. If you do ever notice your children saying or doing something out of turn, then take this as a learning opportunity to explain the issues with what they have done. Over time, with a consistent application, the message will undoubtedly get through.
Lesson #2 – Think For Yourself
Independent thought is one of the most vital lessons that any parent can ever give their children, because of the tools it brings them in life. If your children can think for themselves, then they will be able to resist peer pressure, and always look for a reason behind their actions.
It’s a good idea to always encourage your children to ask questions, to query authority rather than just automatically doing as they are told. Obviously, there are ways and means of doing this. There’s a big difference between a calmly asking: “why do I have to go to bed at that time?” and demands about a later bedtime being shouted. Wherever possible, justify your choices to your child and encourage them to ask for clarification. Questioning isn’t a bad thing; it shows that your child is learning to think for themselves, to be independent, and exercise their own judgment.
Lesson #3 – Do What You Say, You Will
With January just around the corner, you might already have wondered what your New Year’s Resolutions are going to be this year. If you announce that this is the year you’re going to quit smoking, then it’s vital that you head to the likes of Ecigwizard to stock up on vaping supplies and actually quit. If you’re going to join a gym, then join it and continue to go past February.
If you do these things, not only will your health benefit, but your children will see that words and intentions have to mean. Teaching your children that they should follow through on their intentions is a lesson that will continue to benefit them throughout the rest of their life, give them focus and application, and ensure they are always thinking one step ahead. Set a good example in this, and encourage them to follow your lead. For example, if they declare they’re going to finish a book they are reading, encourage and check that they managed to do so– even small things like this can ultimately make a big impression.
What we teach our children isn’t just about facts, figures, and faith– these things are incredibly important, but the way we behave and act are also key lessons for children to learn. With your child being set a good example by you and encouraged to use their own independent thought, you can be confident that they are destined for a life of happiness and success.