Parents wield incredible influence. For better or worse, you’re shaping a young person’s life – forever. It can be especially hard to do that in these modern times. Technology and pop culture seem more powerful than ever and you’re just trying to keep up. No matter how much things are changing, however, there are 11 values that will always be critical for your children.
1. Give As Much As You Can
The most important things in life aren’t things. It’s like the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” What matters most is how you treat others.
2. Take Time To Appreciate The Little Things
Nature is full of beauty. It’s those reminders to live life to the fullest. Encourage your child to notice them! Life moves by way too fast otherwise.
3. Never, Ever Settle
Your child should have high standards and big dreams. Teach your child to give their all in chasing them. They’ll be happier for it.
4. Always Be Grateful For What You Have
Recognizing privilege is important. As long as your child is fed, clothed, and sheltered, they don’t need much else. Reminding them of their privilege teaches them not to be greedy. It also helps your child develop compassion for people who are living with less.
5. Kindness Is The Most Important Gift
Selflessness is an important value. Helping out other people – be it a smile or a friendly word – teaches your children to be present and focused. They’ll be on the lookout for little ways to give. This will create a ripple effect of happiness with everyone “paying it forward” with other kindnesses.
6. Treat Everyone Respectfully, No Matter What
Agreeing to disagree is the root of empathy. It eliminates arguments and creates open-mindedness. Even if your child doesn’t understand another person’s opinion, they shouldn’t be critical of it. Help them see what they can learn from that different perspective.
7. Remember To Follow Your Heart
There are so many different options in life that it can start to feel overwhelming. If your child is struggling to make a decision, it’s time for them to get quiet. They need to figure out what they want to do, not what popular opinion thinks they should do.
8. Protect Your Joy
Self-confidence is critical. As much as they might want to, your child can’t change other people. Instead, they can only change themselves. The world might try to take away this power, but if your child stays strong, happiness will be theirs for good.
9. Your Thoughts Determine Your Reality
This is a truth borrowed from Buddhism, but it still applies! How your child reacts to challenges influences how overwhelming those situations may seem. Positivity breeds energy and resilience.
10. Learn From Your Mistakes
We can’t get everything right all the time. That’s OK. Making mistakes is what makes us human. Fear doesn’t have to be crippling. In fact, it shows us what not to do. Help your child learn to appreciate those mistakes and even embrace them. We can only grow from our failures.
11. The Earth Is Your Home
Environmental stewardship might seem like an obvious lesson. Yet if you look at pollution rates, it’s definitely not obvious for everyone! You have the responsibility to teach good habits to your children. It’s what will ensure the safety of our planet for generations to come. Remind them of the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
Which of these truths resonates the most? Are any of these sentences something you wish that your parents had shared with you?