Parents have a tough job as they are going to be the primary teachers of valuable lessons to their children. The scary part about this is that many parents just make it up as they go along. New issues or scenarios arise over time, so not every lesson taught by parents in the past is applicable today. There was no social media a few decades ago, and the issues that arise from these platforms for teenagers can be immense. Bullying has also changed quite a bit as bullies can now follow their victims home in the forms of harassing classmates online. With that being said, there are those lessons that still stand the test of time regardless of new technologies or social movements. The following are lessons that you can teach your children that they will remember and implement well into the future.
Treat Those in Retail/Service Industry Jobs with Respect
The one thing that makes many people very uncomfortable is people that are rude to those in the retail or service industry. The fact that certain individuals look down on a person due to thinking the job is not hard is very telling. Treating others with respect, regardless of who a person needs to be taught. Failure to teach this lesson can not only impact the way your child is viewed throughout their lives but also the way you (their parents) are viewed. Mistakes happen during every job regardless of how precise an individual does their job as human error exists. Treat people with respect regardless if they are rude in return, claiming there was no mistake made. Tipping is also an important lesson to teach as even though it is not customary around the world, it shows appreciation in the United States. A lesson like this can be taught to a teen that is rude to retail/service workers but requiring them to have a job doing something like this. Nothing will teach them like the real experience of dealing with people that think they are better than you or superior in intelligence.
Write Out Thank You Cards, Not Emails or Texts
Writing out thank you cards seems to be a thing of the past as there are forms of communication that take less thought/time. Writing out the cards is important to teach your children to do, as it is something that many will continue to do later in life. A handwritten card is more personal, and this is a lesson that can help in a professional sense as well. Even a generic card with a personalized message can do the trick. Sending a gift to a client when your child is in a professional setting with a note can help build that sense of personal rapport that a generic bottle of wine/box of chocolates simply cannot do.
Take Accountability Instead of Blaming Others for Problems You’ve Created
Teaching a child accountability needs to be done through example, as you are the best example for your child. Accountability for your actions, as well as mistakes that you have made, seems to be dying off with time. Finger-pointing in the office when a project missed a deadline or something was not communicated is a great example. The professional world is full of people that saw their parents blame others for their situations or problems. Teaching your child to take ownership of failures and successes will help set them apart later in life. Blaming the teacher for a bad grade instead of punishing your child for failure to study or bring a book home would be an instance to rethink.
Money Management Lessons Can Help Them Avoid Financial Ruin
Money management is not going to be taught as a core requirement in high schools as knowing how to multiply an imaginary number is more important. If you are a parent reading this thinking “imaginary number?” just wait until your teen brings up trigonometry homework. Teach your children how to budget in an appropriate way as well as ways to build credit. There are large amounts of information online about personal finance, but instilling this in your children young can help it stick. The notion “you only live once” has ruined quite a few financial lives for years after a few terrible financial choices were made. Requiring your teen to read about personal finance a few times a week and talking about it seems extreme, but it will be worth it. There is hope that with this financial background, your college student will not opt to put large amounts of money on a credit card for things they do not need. Far too many people make these mistakes while young that continue to follow them.
Teach Your Kids to Cook; They Will Thank You for a Lifetime
A college student that can cook full meals is going to be in far better health than one that simply goes out for every meal. Cooking at home is a skill that you should teach your kids as it can change their lives for the better. A new college grad that has superior cooking skills can save money to pay off student loans. Many college grads that cannot cook go out to eat or order in which puts a far more significant strain on a budget than creating the meal at home. In a romantic setting, a male or female that is a great cook is seen as a very positive feature in a potential mate. Wait until you feel comfortable with your child to teach your child, but by the age of 13 small lessons should be learned. Start with easy meals to cook like that of pasta or egg and bacon for breakfast. Prep work for cooking will also teach your children that being detail-oriented can help them excel at a task.
The lessons above can stick for a lifetime, so consider other lessons you wished you had learned. This could be in any area of life as nobody had a parent that did or could teach them everything about life!