A parent’s role is extremely significant in the development of a child, from birth to high school graduation. If you really think about what gives a person their individuality, you will find that there are a number of factors contributing to this. Their surroundings, experiences and inspirations all add up to shape who a person truly becomes. But most of all, it is the framework set by one’s parents that really defines a child’s development.
The journey won’t be easy throughout. Sometimes you may even get questions that range in complexity, from “how do I wear a tie?” to “how do I stay safe online?”
Let’s take a look at 30 of the most important things every parent should teach their kids when they reach adulthood.
1) To Live a Full Life
Life can be difficult at times but a lifetime can never be defined by one particular emotion or experience. It’s essential that parents let their kids know that goals and expectations aren’t the be-all and end-all.
This is not to say that it isn’t important to value the necessary hard work behind achieving goals. But it shouldn’t define your child. The important thing is that they have the freedom to choose their goals, and the encouragement to chase after them.
2) To Communicate Their Feelings
In the past, there were always certain stereotypes or roles that defined genders, like men never cry or women cry too much. The reality is that emotions are gender-proof. Locking up how you feel deep inside for years is never good.
It’s important that parents let their children know that it’s okay to tell someone how they feel. No matter how grave or embarrassing it may be, it’s always healthier to share one’s emotions. This is true regardless of what gender you are.
3) Using Skin Lotions
This may sound somewhat less important than the other items on this list but nowadays, more and more people are suffering from skin cancer due to lax protection. Educate your children on the importance of not only eating healthy, but taking care of their skin too.
4) Driving Safely
This is one of the most paramount responsibilities that parents have. Driving is essential in our world, and it is your duty to teach your children to not only obey traffic laws but also train them to have a better presence of mind while driving.
Far too many people drive while talking on their cell phones or even engaging in road rage. Most cases like these never end well.
5) To Avoid Drama
Drama is a part and parcel of life. However, you should teach your kids not to become the source of drama as it is one of the more negative qualities to have. In today’s age, there is a real need for substance and individuality.
6) Taking Care of Dental Hygiene
Most people ignore taking care of their teeth because it’s generally not something that can be seen out in the open. And sometimes, the consequences of poor dental hygiene will sometimes only show up later in life.
Taking into account the excessive soft drink and fast food culture we all live in, it’s extremely important to take care of dental hygiene as early in your child’s life as possible.
7) Importance of Civic Duty
Every parent should inform their children about the importance of not only voting but making sure that they hold those in power accountable. A democracy requires its citizens to shape the future of the nation.
There are many ways to teach your children about civic responsibility. To start with, you can peruse a list of children’s books on the United States government via the U.S. Senate website.
8) The Habit of Reading
In today’s world, reading a book is slowly becoming a lost art. The internet has replaced almost all forms of entertainment and information avenues. Reading books, articles, news, etc. is extremely important to expand your perspective on life. Every parent should try to impart the value of reading to their children.
9) Taking a Break From Time to Time
It’s very easy for someone to become a workaholic these days with insane work schedules and pressure. Working hard is a very important and admirable quality, but it’s also important to take a break here and there to refresh your mind and soul. Too much of anything can be bad, after all.
10) Accepting Difficulty and Moving On
As the age-old saying goes: When life throws you lemons, you can try to make lemonade. But even if your lemonade doesn’t sell, don’t lose heart.
Parents should teach their kids about the value of accepting disappointments and moving past them. Every failure is an opportunity to learn something. With a strong will and persistence, your children can rule the world.
11) The Art of Cooking
Imparting the ability to cook your own food is integral to not only live a healthier and economically sustainable life but also to teach your children how to survive on their own. No matter who we are or where we are, all of us must eat.
Depending on takeout or home deliveries can seriously affect you when such luxuries aren’t available. By knowing how to cook, your children can easily survive and even stay healthy especially when they’re going to college.
12) Explaining the Dark Web
In this day and age, the internet is a way of life. But it is very important that you teach your children about the other side of the internet too.
Don’t wait for your children to ask you: what is Tor? The dark web, which is accessible via a software program called the Tor browser, consists of millions of non-indexed sites where a vast volume of information is stored. Some of that information is good but some is extremely disturbing too. From illegal weapons and drugs sales to child pornography and sex rackets, the dark web can be a brutal place sometimes.
By making your children aware of the dangers of browsing the dark web, you can at least ensure that they have some amount of knowledge on it. The last thing you need is for them to find out about it through their friends and start exploring it out of curiosity.
13) Teaching Them About Potential Dangers Even Outside of the Internet
It’s extremely important to make sure that your children are well aware of the dark and disturbing parts of life. Every day millions of people get kidnapped, raped and sold on auctions all over the world.
The whole notion of being careful around strangers isn’t limited to young kids. If your children are ready to set out into the world, they should be aware of the various potential dangers that exist there.
14) Internet Safety and Privacy
In today’s age of the internet, it is very important to educate your children on the issues regarding internet safety and privacy. Malicious entities can easily hack into your personal computers and take control of all your data. Hundreds of thousands of girls get their private pictures stolen and put on independent porn websites every day.
Installing good antivirus software or using a Virtual Private Network can help in preventing such damage.
15) Caring for the Environment
With rising pollution and increasing cases of deforestation, it’s crucial to teach your kids to take care of our planet. They are our future generation, after all.
Absorbing such a responsibility in them will literally make the world a better place. Plus planting a few trees, not littering, recycling plastic, etc. is only a small price to pay for our collective future.
16) The Value of Hard Work and Determination
Parents and teachers these days often receive a lot of criticism for coddling their kids way too much, to the point that they cannot even bring themselves to teach their kids about struggling to achieve something.
Combat this by teaching your kids about the value of working hard, facing obstacles and building an iron will. These qualities will greatly help them throughout their lives.
17) To Face Their Fears
Surprisingly, most parents never have any conversations with their kids regarding fear once they grow up to a certain age. While your kid may not be afraid of the same things they feared when they were five years old, they certainly might have new worries.
Facing one’s fears is very important because once your courage has been tested once, it serves as a template for any difficult scenarios in the future. But if you stay afraid, you will always feel you have no control over your actions or life.
18) Teaching Them to be Appreciative of Life in General
You should tell your children how things were when you were a kid. That way, not only do they gain an important historical perspective, but they will also be able to appreciate everything they have today.
Sometimes children forget that their parents were once kids because they have always been there in that role. You might be surprised how interested your children will be in knowing more about your childhood adventures.
19) To Believe in Themselves
Life with its infinite struggles and difficulties can easily dissuade people from believing in themselves and their own potential. Always encourage your children to have constant faith in their abilities. This is not to say that flaws should be ignored, but it’s very important to always be positive towards yourself—especially when you’re setting goals for the future.
20) Finance Management
This is a very important and crucial part of one’s life. You can earn all the money in the world but if you don’t manage your finances, everything will go down the drain sooner or later. Even if your child is too young to get a job, it’s never too early to start imparting financial lessons to them.
From when they land their first job and up until they’re packing for college, they will need to know how to spend money wisely and carefully. Their experiences in college will definitely influence their future.
21) The Lost Art of Being Courteous
Instill in your children, the importance of common courtesies. Being courteous may not bring wealth, power or happiness to you, but it could mean a lot to the other person. A simple “how are you?” or a “thank you” will go a long way in establishing a strong relationship with others.
Courtesy is the physical act of showing respect to your fellow human being and it is a very important quality to have.
22) Developing Contacts and Networking with Other People
In today’s highly competitive world, success is achieved in-part through making contacts and preserving a great relationship with them. Talent, hard work and passion can help you to create something great but to get recognized, you need to develop contacts.
This useful lesson should be taught to children so that they are well-prepared for their future careers.
23) To Live and Let Go
As an individual, one of the worst things you can do is to hold a grudge. A grudge usually ends up consuming the person who holds it. However, this lesson is best taught through experience and in your capacity as a role model. If you don’t hold grudges and let life flow in harmony, your kids will automatically pick up on it and follow your positive outlook on life.
24) Being Present and Keeping Things in Perspective
There are many times in life where we might get so involved with daily activities that we forget that there are plenty of people who have it worse. Teaching your kids to be grateful and appreciative for everything they now have is very important.
25) The Importance of Moderation
In life, too much of anything always ends up damaging everything. There is nothing in this world that you can have too much of without suffering some negative consequences. Be it partying, drinking soft drinks, eating fast food, alcohol or even playing video games, moderation is the key.
26) Looking People in the Eye When Talking to Them
Looking people in the eyes when talking to them is one of the most visual ways to show respect to someone. It’s important to teach your kids to try to always maintain eye contact when talking to people. This might help them on a professional level later in life, as looking someone in the eyes is seen as more assertive.
27) How to Wear a Tie
Dressing in formal attire is sometimes necessary in adult life, and nothing can be more frustrating than battling with your tie. Teach your boys how to dress their tie properly and with style so that they can dress to impress more easily. Their future self will surely thank you.
28) How to Swim
Swimming should be taught at any cost because knowing how to swim may just end up saving your child’s life one day. However, this isn’t as easy as it sounds because some kids will have an unnatural fear of water.
In such cases, consult a doctor who can help you and your child to first overcome that fear. And if you’re in the United States, the American Red Cross has a searchable database that will show you which swim lessons and water safety classes are offered in your area.
29) The Art of Negotiation
Negotiating is an extremely useful skill to have as it not only saves money but it gets you opportunities too. It really is a delicate art because if you do too much, you come off as needy; conversely, if you don’t do any negotiation at all, a lot of people will just take advantage of you.
30) To be Awesome and Live Life Happily
Life can have its share of ups and downs, but we only get to experience it once. Let your children know how important each experience is, how wonderful it is to embrace falling in love and how amazing the world around us is.
Teach them to savor every single moment and chase after their dreams until they come true. Most of all, teach them to be wonderful parents like you some day.