Life Lessons No School Could Teach Your Kids

One of the biggest things that most parents don’t understand is that school teaches by rote. We learn the basics of history, math, science, English, geography. But many of us don’t learn life skills that we could apply later in life. Those life skills are up to parents to do, and that means that there are plenty of children out there who go without because their parents either are too busy, or are not interested in teaching their children the very basics of life.

For example, schools are not going to teach your children a BLS certification, but they are going to be able to teach your children how to measure into a beaker in science. Control of what else your children learn and what you want them to understand before you send them out into the world. Making sure that they have their first aid certification when they’re a teenager is just one of the important things that you could be teaching them.

Parenting itself is not complicated. Yes, it’s absolutely a challenge, but ultimately the role of a parent is very simple. You have to care for your child. You have to model the kind of behavior that you want your child to adopt. You teach them right from wrong. You keep them safe from harm, and you love them no matter what, no matter when, no matter why. Those are the basics, so here are 10 very simple but very vital life lessons that you need to teach your children before they grow up and move out.

One of their most important achievements in life will be kindness. The child in their class who sits alone to eat lunch. If your child is the one to reach out a hand of friendship, you’ve managed to successfully teach your child to be kind. When other kids are laughing at one child’s stuttering or stumbling over their reading and your child instead encourages that other Child to speak, your child has learned empathy and kindness. Accomplishing high grades is great, but it’s not one of the things that your children should go into adulthood knowing absolutely. What truly matters is how they treat people, including themselves. 

There is more than enough love to go around. If they have siblings, then your child needs to learn that they are just as loved as their siblings, that your heart has grown with every birth. Only children may feel like they can only love their other parents, but that’s not true. There is always more than enough love to go around and they don’t even have to beg for it because you do this freely, openly and without any concern.

Everything about their body is beautiful. This really doesn’t need to be expanded on too much, but children get to a certain age and they become more aware of how their body looks, feels and is shaped. Often children are teased or taunted for the way that their body looks or for the colour of their hair by people around them, in their classrooms or even under their same roof. This is something to nip in the bud very early and have open and frank conversations about. Their body is not for the opinions of others, and as long as your child understands that, they will be able to maintain their own confidence. 

Hygiene is important. This may get covered at school under personal education. But parents are the ones to impress upon their children how important hygiene is. Brushing their teeth twice a day and having a shower everyday, or at least every other day, is so important. The simple act of being able to present themselves in a way that is comfortable for them and for those around them is important. Taking good care of their body by cleaning it, feeding it enough, keeping it healthy and strong is going to help their body to be good to them. You just have to let your children know that it’s OK to look after themselves too.

Everybody is unique. We all have different gifts, different talents, different likes, different dislikes. They don’t have to be the best at anything, they just have to be able to do their best with everything they do. Their best is the best that they can always do, and whether they are a straight age student or not doesn’t reflect on what their best can be. It’s important as parents that we encourage our children to be their very best, whether that’s during lessons at home or during gardening and planting seeds.

They will never be alone. A life lesson you can teach your children is that they will never have to deal with anything by themselves. If they are having a problem, they can come to you with that problem without judgment, without vilification, and without you telling them that they’ve done the wrong thing. They’re going to know that they made a mistake. And if they understand that you always love them and think of them regardless of their mistakes, they will feel confident, calm and happy.

No is a complete sentence. A life lesson you should definitely teach your children is that it’s absolutely fine to say now, whether it’s refusing an offer of a hug from a relative or it’s saying that they would rather not share something of their own. It’s OK to do that. Other people are going to push against it. But teaching them how to stand up for themselves and not be pressured is important. 

No matter what, they are loved. You can teach your children how to do their own laundry and cook their own food, but you also must teach them that they will always be loved. This isn’t a message that you have to really expand on. As a parent, you understand that overwhelming and unending feeling of love you have for your children. Making sure that they feel that love is important. 

Willow Stevens

Willow is a mother of six who begins to feel the empty nest, with faer oldest child living with his long-time girlfriend in another state, and the next three begin their talks about jobs and the excitement of college and living alone. Willow started couponing in 2007 to save their family some money on the grocery budget. That's how Freetail Therapy was born, so that fae could share their knowledge of saving money with others. Though the site has become so much more since then, and now includes homeschooling and homesteading info, Willow still does it all on a budget and shares how. Willow enjoys snagging freebies, snuggling with their dog, Xander, drinking decaf coffee, gardening, cannabis and of course, their large frugal family.

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