Children are like a blank page in a book and you as a parent have the greatest responsibility of writing on those pages. What do you want to teach them first? However long your list is, please include the following;
- Humility – Greed, materialism and conceit are commonplace yet many of our problems can be resolved without aggression.Humility is among virtues that can be imbued in children at an early age. The must learn that being kind and selfless will not make them passive. Their training can begin – perhaps by encouraging them to share their toys. The more we teach our kids humility the better this world will be.
- Self reliance – let us be honest, giving your children everything they ask for doesn’t make you a great parent. If children are not taught to work for what they want, they could develop a sense of entitlement. Teach children to work and earn what they want, and to be responsible. They could, for instance, clear the dinner table after a meal or put away their toys after a play. But don’t stop there, children as young as 2 years can do some household chores like cleaning their own mess. (If you are not a perfectionist like your mother)
- Important information – I once heard that the first five words you should teach your child are; Yes, No, Stop, Come and Give. These words will cover most of your conversation in the first and half year until your child begins to speak. Later basic information such as parents’ names and phone numbers, where they live, or where to seek help when they are in danger will be important in case they get lost.
- Curiosity to learn – get them fascinated about everything out there. Encourage them to ask questions by responding to their questions (as tedious as this may be)and learning things with them.
Raising a child is one of the most fulfilling experiences, you get to design the world your child will live in. Sadly, parenthood does not come with an instruction manual. You will make mistakes now and then but you can set an example by showing these traits yourself.
This first appeared on The Standard on 11 December 2016