There are many things that parents have the opportunity to teach their kids. It might be the basics of how to tell time or something simple like how to hoover up properly – the kind of things that most of us can’t even remember never knowing! It’s an interesting process to strip back to childhood and try to find ways to channel the things we feel we just inherently know, now we have to explain them to our kids.
While the life lessons you impart to your kids never really have an end, there are a few areas that it’s worth focusing on. Aside from the basic life skills you need to impart, it’s worth spending a little time broadening horizons and teaching in a way that just can’t be done at school.
Does this mean sitting your children down to a lecture on how the economy works, until they’re so bored they actually ask to go to bed for a change? Nope – you can make it fun for them and, let’s be realistic, for you too. Covering the subjects that schooling doesn’t have the time or resources to cover is one of the most exciting parts of parenthood, and who knows, you might just inspire their future career choices thanks to that brief chat in the kitchen one night.
If you’re the parent to daughters, it’s worth considering a little time spent encouraging a love of science. Thanks to a child’s natural curiosity, they’re the perfect absorbent sponge. Given that women are poorly represented in STEM professions (science, maths, technology and engineering), anything you can do to encourage their minds is helpful. It can even be the science behind bath bombs, how bubbles form, or why a rainbow occurs* – all fun things that encourage an independence of thought and desire to question that will stand them in good stead.
(*They might learn the theory of this at school, but there’s nothing like a reminder when you spot a rainbow to really reinforce it!)
97% of the world’s scientists agree that global warming exists and that humans are major contributors. The world that our kids are going to inherit is very different from the one we were born into, so a sound knowledge of ecological awareness is just the ticket for giving your kids a head start. Giving our kids a healthy appreciation for nature and how to protect it is beneficial for a variety of reasons, including their mental well-being and how they may act in future.
The easiest place to begin this lesson is with recycling – and not just in terms of separating your rubbish (though of course that’s important!). They can learn about how even e-waste and electronics can be recycled, or how beneficial learning to compost is. Little contributions that could make a big difference.
“Citizenship” is a catch-all term for what effectively means… knowing your rights. As your children get older, giving them a healthy grounding in basic law and order is incredibly useful. Knowing the ins and outs of the Distance Selling Regulations, for example, can save you money and hassle when buying online.