Teaching Everyday Things

2-3-IMG_3261So many times I ask myself “Are we doing everything the way it should be done?” Is there a right way?  Well, guess what, sometimes we make mistakes. We’re human and not perfect parents, we’re still learning, but are proud to say that we are raising kind, well-mannered boys. It’s not easy, but teaching everyday things and life skills to children and allowing them to mess up are crucial in growing up. It’s ok to let them have a cookie at 8:00pm or play in the dirt! They will be alright! It’s ok to let them ride their bike around the neighborhood and hopefully remember all the road rules along the way. If not, it’s ok. Tell them again…and again… and again. It’s hard to let them grow up and become their own person, apart from us, but it’s going to happen no matter what we say or do. We just need to make it look easy.

Let them make mistakes. Don’t clean up every spill, fix every Lego tower, finish the puzzle, and fix their bed after it’s made, or get frustrated if they take a few extra moments to tie his/her own shoes. At least they’re learning and are mastering a new challenge, which in their eyes is huge!

Saying ”I’m sorry.” We, as parents are not perfect. They need to know that it’s important to say these 2 words. Enough said.

Listening. Children have so much to say. Their stories matter so much to them and looking into their eyes as they tell a story gives a glimpse of whats really going on in their minds and makes them feel like what they’re saying really matters to us.

2-photo-123Saying Please and Thank you. Do I really need to explain?

Showing the importance of giving. Quite a few years ago, when our boys were a lot younger, we packed up storage bins with clothing, winter coats, toys, etc and headed to a Swap shop which was adjacent to our local dump. The boys helped unload the bins and bring them where they needed to go. The swap organizers thanked us and gave the boys a hug. They were so proud of themselves as they learned a valued lesson and the importance of giving.

Life Skills taught early.  Teaching children at a young age the meaning of “work” is an important skill in life. For example: doing laundry, cleaning up after someone cooks, setting the table, cleaning the bathroom, cleaning their own rooms, taking out the trash. Work matters and with no attitude please!

1-photo-122Watch them play. A child’s imagination is amazing. At the beach this summer, I watched them for hours as they enjoyed playing in the sand, figuring out how to get the water to stay in the castle, collecting shells and giving them to me telling me how I could make these into jewelry, and simply just enjoying being a child.

Like watching a butterfly travel from flower to flower, it’s the simple things in life that matter most.

By: Susan Milk Grady

 

 

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