Well Balanced Child
Raising responsible children is your way to change the world. Teaching them how to assume personal responsibility, exercise self-discipline, and be proactive will make their lives much easier. They will also be able to make a positive contribution to society. The result will likely be a well balanced child eventually growing up to be a responsible and concientious adult.
Moreover, these three qualities are something that you will teach them throughout their childhood and into their adolescent years. In fact, you may even have to remind them of these invaluable character traits even when they are young adults.
The way to teach these three character traits are through habits that automatically build them.
Let’s take a look at how teaching five habits can make them more responsible, self-disciplined, and proactive:
1. Teach Your Child How to Look After their Expensive Stuff
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When smartphones first came out, parents bought them for their children to use during emergencies. Now, however, they are an indispensable part of life. Besides calling and texting, they work as essential personal life organizers. Your children can use them to stay organized throughout their day, from scheduling homework to reading an ebook to doing online research to finding an address. Smartphones are no longer a luxury, but a necessity.
When you buy your child a smartphone, one invaluable life lesson you can teach is how to take care of their device. It’s an opportunity to keep your kids accountable for how they treat their stuff (and by extension your stuff, since you paid for it.) If, say, you buy your child an iPhone 7 or Samsung Galaxy S7, then also get a BodyGuardz screen protector with it and explain to your child how this safeguards your investment.
2. Teach Your Child to Clean Up their Own Messes
Adults make messes all the time. They let dishes pile up in the sink. They don’t wash their cars. They forget to shave or comb their hair when they leave the house. In some neighborhoods, you see wrappings, bottles, and Styrofoam cups littering the sidewalks.
Somewhere back in their childhood, these adults never learned how to pick up after themselves. Unfortunately, this physical clutter also permeates into other aspects of their lives. For instance, they don’t balance their checkbooks, and they spend more than they earn, making up for the difference with credit cards. By teaching your child from an early age to be neat, clean, and well-organized, they will excel in school, on the job, in their relationships, and in life. Naturally, it’s tempting to do everything yourself—it’s faster and easier, but you have to practice patience and teach them how to do things for themselves. You also have to be kind about it, and not lose your temper when they spill or break things. Learning to clean up messes goes beyond the mess itself. It’s a skill to manage life better. Be positive, firm and gentle, and keep on teaching this lesson until it becomes second-nature for them.
3. Teach Your Child the Value of Self-Care
If learning to clean up messes is a subtle way of teaching life management principles, another idea that follows closely behind it is teaching self-care and consideration. We care about what we respect, and when we respect ourselves, we take care of ourselves. Self-care goes beyond daily bathing, wearing fresh clothes, and grooming. It includes eating healthy foods, exercising,drinking plenty of water, managing stress, and getting enough rest and relaxation. In other words, there are many ways; we can be self-neglectful.
4. Teach Your Child the Value of Consideration for Others.
Self-care has to be balanced out with consideration for others. Consideration is about being mindful about the impact one’s words or behavior has on other people. For instance, leaving a mess affects a shared environment, and saying cruel and insensitive things ruins other people’s self-esteem. By teaching your children to be considerate of other people’s needs, they will experience a much easier life than if they learn how to cut corners to get what they want in life.
5. Teach Your Child a Love of Learning.
We are rapidly moving into an unbelievably high-tech future. In the past, what differentiated the quality of life was race or social class. Later, as society became less bigoted and more democratic, what differentiated the quality of life was money. While this is still part of the societal paradigm, we are moving into a space age culture where the new focus will be on knowledge workers. Those who do not love to learn will fall behind. They will be the ones who struggle. A love of learning will make all the difference to their lives. It will differentiate the haves from the have-nots. The meritocracy of the future will be based on applied intelligence, and the paradigms that accentuated the privilege of birth or economic good fortune will be a historical footnote.
Your Biggest Challenge
Your biggest challenge will be that your child will point out example after example of people who are messy, who don’t look after their stuff, who don’t take care of themselves, who are inconsiderate to others, and who take pride in their ignorance. However, you have to explain to your child that the world is in the mess that it is in life because of people who aren’t looking after themselves, each other, and the world.
Point out the benefits of each of these five habits and how it will make a world of difference to them throughout their lives. The result will likely be a well-balanced child eventually growing up to be a responsible and concientious adult.