There are many traits that parents want to instil in their children, We list our top 10, and give advice on how we think you should instil them in your kids.
The key to raising a well-rounded child who is out-going is to introduce them to a variety of situations. Don’t allow their world to revolve around your family and their friends.
Share together in volunteer activities within your community and church. Expose them to the wisdom to be gained by spending time in a nursing home helping elderly people. Expose them to those less fortunate by working with a food pantry or soup kitchen.
Another form of being out-going is to broaden their horizons when it comes to eating. Encourage your children to be food-adventurers. My children don’t like everything, but are all good eaters, and are always willing to try something. Cook ethnic foods together for the family. Children are usually more eager to eat what they’ve had a role in preparing.
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Excite your child about the opportunity to learn. Make learning a part of who your family is. You can do this by including educational outings on vacation, taking nature walks, going to local museums and theatre productions and by reading, listening and discussing. Read to your child. Read for yourself and encourage your child to do the same. Let them read what interests them, though. It doesn’t hurt to expose them to different genres, but in the end, reading what interests them is better than not reading at tall. Talk about what’s going on in the world and in your community with your older children. Answer their questions, share your views and invite them to share theirs. Be involved in their school and in their education. Communicate regularly with their teachers, be plugged into any online parent portals that allow you to monitor your child’s progress in school, volunteer in your child’s school and talk to them about what they are learning. Spend time helping younger children with the usual spelling lists, math problems and quizzing for tests. Older children may or may not want/need help, but make sure they know you are available.
REMEMBER: No child is perfect so perfection should not be expected in school. As long as a child is doing their best, that’s all you have the right to expect. Their best isn’t always going to be the best. In fact, their best may rarely be the best, but that’s okay. As long as they’re learning to their potential that’s what matters.
Respect is the root of a solid, moral character. A child who is raised to be respectful of authority, themselves, others and the rights and belongings of others is a great kid and you should be proud and thankful. Teaching respect from a very early age is essential. And one of the best ways to teach respect is to a) give respect and b) demand respect. To demand respect does NOT mean to lord yourself over your child as the authority figure and use your authority as a weapon of control. To demand respect is to: Set clear boundaries early on as to what is allowed and expected in regards to speaking to one another, participation in household chores, moral and religious beliefs and acceptable vs. inappropriate actions and attitudes. Live up to the expectations you set for your children in the home, on the job, towards extended family and in the community. Treat your children the way you wish to be treated. This also applies to respecting their belongings and their privacy.
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The easiest way to raise an obedient child is to be consistent, fair and firm. Don’t confuse a child by allowing something one day and blast them for the same thing a few days later or when in public. Don’t ride them to the point of exasperation. Parenting requires a great deal of grace. Kids are kids-they’re going to forget. They’re going to do things that fall beyond your standards of cleaning. They’re going to lose their homework once in a while. Be fair by not expecting more from them than they can give. Be fair by letting them know upfront and in advance what you expect of them. Grace is one thing, but letting a child get away with anything is quite another. Withholding boundaries leaves a child floundering and scared. By setting firm limits and by leaving no room for questioning whether or not there are consequences to actions (both good and bad) gives your child the sound footing they need and want. We all do better when we know what is expected of us and what to expect in return.
To be prudent means to be cautious. It means to think before acting and/or speaking. A prudent child is one who knows how to choose friends who will enhance their life rather than bring them down. A prudent child is one who recognises danger online and from those they meet in person. A prudent child is one who considers the consequences of their actions. So how do you instil that in your child? By communicating with them. Talk to them about the dangers of the internet. Make sure they know the importance of not sharing personal information or communicating with people they don’t know and know well. Talk to them about the consequences of actions and the long-range effect they have. Prudence is also learned by living it-or not. A child who speaks before acting should be made to live with the consequences of their actions (discipline, etc.). A child’s internet usage should be monitored. You should also instruct them as to how to react to strangers, instruct them on how to react to stranger danger and also teach them the difference between a stranger and meeting someone new (an elderly relative or neighbour, for instance).
Raising a confident child is done by allowing them to make mistakes. Don’t shame or embarrass your child. Success is nothing more than getting up one more time than falling down. Allowing them to be themselves. Study your child. Discern what their learning style is and then provide them with the necessary outlets to excel. Letting them find their niche. This doesn’t mean enrolling them in everything that comes along, but allow them to try a variety of activities to find that one thing we all need to own as ours. For some children, this comes sooner than it does for others. WARNING: If their ‘thing’ isn’t yours, don’t push to change them. Embrace their uniqueness. Reminding them daily that they are loved, special, unique and not perfect.
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Selfishness is one of the biggest cancers in society today. We need to raise up a generation of children who look beyond their needs in favour of someone else’s. Teaching your child to be compassionate comes when you, yourself, are compassionate. Work alongside them in times of need in your community. Encourage them to befriend the shy child, the new student or the child no one seems to want to play with. Use the holidays as a kickboard to open your child’s eyes to the needs of others and to the fact that even if in a small way, he/she has the capability to meet some of those needs. Never allow your child to speak ill of others’ economic status, their living conditions or lack of money. Do not allow your child to make fun of others and teach them the value of kindness to everyone. Oh, and did I mention that the only real way to do this is to be that way yourself?
Humility comes from recognising the accomplishments of another above your own and being sincerely happy when someone earns recognition and praise. Don’t be afraid to let your child lose. Play board games with them and don’t lose on purpose. Life isn’t always going to declare them the winner and they should know that early on. Don’t make excuses for their losing (the other kids cheated, you weren’t feeling up to par, it was unfair to begin with…). Model humility. Allow others to shine instead of you when they deserve to. Don’t do things for the sake of what it will bring you, but rather for the good it brings to others. Provide opportunities for your child to do the same.
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Where there is love-real love-there are all these other things. Love seeks to put the needs of others above your own. It doesn’t hold grudges and isn’t conditional on what a loved one is or isn’t capable of doing or bringing to the relationship. It simply is. The love of a mother for her children simply is. There’s no way around it. Oh sure, there are days when we’d like to pinch their little heads off, but the minute someone else looks at them funny, we’re ready to pounce. And that’s as it should be. Love isn’t blind to imperfections. Love is just willing to love in spite of them.
A happy child is one who is made to feel safe; both physically and emotionally. A child who knows he/she is valued for who they are and not what they do or doesn’t do is a happy child. Parents raise happy children by spending time with them, communicating with them, sharing life with them and allowing them to be the unique person they are. The buying of things and enrolling them in one activity after another to keep them busy is not happiness.