Being a father and educator, kids are pretty much on my mind all day, every day. That’s not such a bad thing but it does make me think about all the things I can teach my daughter and the influence I have on my students. This list of things to teach kids is not meant to be exhaustive but just a good starting point. But I’m convinced these things would drastically change our youth for the better.
1. Be Grateful: Most kids have to learn how to be grateful and not feel entitled. It’s natural for us to be selfish and kids are the same. We have to help kids know how much God has truly blessed them but still encourage hard work and perseverance to achieve more with their lives.
2. Enjoy The Little Things: I enjoy rainy days just as much as days filled with sunshine. Each has its own unique beauty. Most kids (and adults) today need to learn how to step away from their cell phone, tv, and MySpace page and enjoy the little things in life.
3. Laugh….A Lot: There is a comedian who lives in my house and it is me. I love to crack jokes at my expense to make everyone laugh, including myself. Life is too short to take too seriously. Kids need to be taught how to laugh and be lighthearted.
4. Be Kind/Empathetic to Others: In my opinion, how you treat others is the truest sign of character. Not everyone has it as good as I do. Kids need to learn that there are others around them that matter; to know that the world doesn’t just revolve around them and their needs.
5. Be Wise in Your Choice of Friends: The truth is, we are judged by the company we keep. The sooner kids learn this lesson the better. It will likely save you and them many headaches.
6. Never Stop Learning: I sound like a teacher here, but the truth is, the minute we think we know it all is the minute we lose our success. This is especially true in relationships. Continually learning about others grows an unbreakable bond that will last a lifetime.
7. Respect the Adults in Your Life: Let’s be honest here. We don’t see this practiced in our country much any more. I know firsthand what it’s like to occasionally receive little to no respect from a student who I’ve worked very hard with to be successful. When children learn, at a young age, to respect the adult authority figures in their lives, they’re much more likely to pass that trait down to their own children.
8. Attitude is Everything… Have a Good One: This is one of my rules in my classroom and it’s probably the most important rule I have. And it’s true isn’t it? The outcome of every situation we face in life is affected by the attitude we have when we approach it. I ran across a quote that bears this truth. “Success comes not as much by changing the circumstances of our lives as by changing our attitude toward them.”