Humor

Humor is mankind’s greatest blessingMark Twain

We all celebrate successes; however, winners do find some humor in their failures too. Timing and an element of surprise are core to sudden burst of laughter in the room. It is important to laugh and, it is more important to make people laugh. Those who develop this skill are loved far more than those who don’t.

Our kids must enjoy life. They must value the role humor plays. Yes, it is the shock-absorber in their life journey and protects them from jolts like depression and anxiety. It is always good for our kids to know that it is fine to laugh at their problems, errors and blunders. Moreover, humor establishes that there is a positive alternative to hateful words.

Defining Misconduct

The sight of kids running around the house creating havoc can be quite annoying. But aren’t kids meant to be naughty. Most of us parents have at times faced unruly kids and have contained then with a mild scolding or in extreme cases spanking. But, it is imperative that we first of all define misconduct. Sometimes kids tend to become naughty in a playful and harmless way and a stern warning would make them straight. However, there are moments when the children tend to slip out of hand. They indulge in misconduct which is detrimental to the health of another person such as bullying. It is imperative to separate the harmless conduct from the non harmless one. If kids are checked at the onset it would help in their overall growth and enable them to become better persons.

If a kid knows clearly what is unacceptable and where the line is drawn, it is win-win for all.

Being Responsible

“The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.”  Denis Waitley
Good leaders and good followers have one thing in common – sense of responsibility. Sooner our kids learn to be responsible, the better they shape up. Moreover, evading responsibility is never a good option. When they take responsibility, their actions not only affect them but also others. Somebody can do it, anybody will do it and nobody does it. Right, we have all seen this unfold time and again. Responsibility builds character, trust and decision making. Responsibility slowly catalyses shaping of our children into accountable adults. It even builds confidence in them as a person.
An irresponsible adult is frowned upon and hard to trust. We don’t want our kids to turn that way, do we?

Relationships

Our kids have to tackle with a lot of relationships throughout their life. So, the earlier they get the hang of it, the better. Their first-ever relationships are with us parents and their siblings. With some give and take, these out of all are easiest to preserve and nourish. Their strength has a direct influence on the kid’s upbringing and hence, they should be healthy.

Outside the home, however, they have to make efforts to build relationships. No one is entitled to a person and no one is obliged to form a connection, as rudimentary as even a casual friendship, this is one fact of the real world. The sooner they learn this, the better.  Smiles go several miles in creating and sustaining relationships. The quality of being cordial and friendly come handy, of course, to ignite a connection with others, like their classmates. However, the relationships outside the home are not just limited to forming bonds with peers. Kids should also have comfortable relations with their seniors and teachers. One can afford to be shy, but not too shy.

Empathy

We live in an interdependent world which thrives on wonderful emotions such as love and empathy. The latter is one of the most important emotions which needs to be ingrained in the psyche of a child early on. We need to sensitize our kids about the feelings of others and connect with the community in a healthy way. This would not just help in the child’s overall development but would also help them lead happy and content lives. But, we would be able to teach our kids empathy only if we have learned it first. We, parents, are the first and most influential teachers to or kids. So, whatever we have learned would pass on to them. So, the next time if you see a person in distress, give him/her a helping hand and let your kid participate in it. It would be the child’s first step of perfecting the emotion of empathy.

Life

In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.Abraham Lincoln

Everyone has their take on Life, beauty is, that all takes coexist and make our world a wonderful place. When we introduce Life to our kids, they have already developed their perception and maybe an approach to it. Usually, it is all about fun and play, which we as adults yearn for in our latter years. But there is an urge to teach our children what life is about where we ourselves lived it by exploring it.

Nudge works well. Kids are smart, their ecosystem is hyperactive, and they do see our life and life of others around us with an inquiry perspective. Yes, many a times it is an overdose of materialistic success which colors their vision and that is where nudge works. Let us share “purpose”, let them discover purpose. If purpose of our life is to raise them as great human beings, they should hear that from us. Life is simple and we must not complicate it for them and for us.

“Life’s a marathon, not a sprint.”Phillip C. McGraw

Democracy

Democracy is a political term, which is taught in school books, right? Yes! But Democracy is much more than that, it is a part of our everyday life. It is about being responsible citizens and active members of the society. So, kids need to be taught about Democracy, not only the theoretical one, but the practical one as well.

It is imperative that our kids are not just passive listeners, who adhere to our every dictate. It is important that we inculcate the spirit of discussion and debate within them. If they do not agree with what we are saying, they need to be encouraged to disagree and put their points forward, of course in a respectful way. This would help to inculcate a spirit of discussion and debate in the kids and make them more participative. At school, in the neighborhood and even in extended family gatherings it is good to have inquisitive kids rather than kids who are oblivious to their surroundings.

Value of Time

 “The trouble is, you think you have time.” Buddha

Time is the most precious commodity on earth. The sooner we understand its value, the better. We know, childhood is a carefree stage of life, as kids most of us never gave importance to time. For us, life was a playground. It is here that we, parents, need to sit down with our kids and teach them the importance and the harm encountered in not spending it wisely.

Schedule is a kids best companion, right from the time she/he joins school. Having said that, they need to invest time on everything – study, play, watching TV, etc. Concepts like “time doesn’t come back” and “time doesn’t wait for anyone” are invaluable.  Moreover, we need to make them aware on how important it is to choose who we spend our time with. Once, a child understands the importance of time availability and management, his/her life is sorted,  and future secured. 

Savings

We have seen it, our savings from yesterday help build our today and tomorrow. And luckily, it’s not only the big bucks stashed, that make a difference. Even small steps taken a while ago, lead us a long way. Inculcating a habit of saving in our everyday life makes life more organized, and stress-free.

Our kids have their dreams. Quite a few of their dreams need money, a little tip here and a little guidance there helps in savings become part of their life. We know it, the art of saving is a gift and, we must give it to our children as well. An early age encouragement to spend whatever they own, smartly is sharing wisdom. Be it their pocket money, or that large chocolate box they got last week. Reckless spending gets a person nowhere, while even a few daily bucks saved are a faithful companion.

From Hearing to Listening

There is difference between hearing and listening. Simply put, hearing is the ear’s ability to catch sounds. It doesn’t require any effort, it just involuntarily happens. Listening, on the other hand, requires one to put concentration on what is being said and analyze it. While hearing is an ability, listening is a skill. Listening skills, split apart or stitch together its different meanings.

What is important at the end is what our kids should hear and what they should listen. There’s a saying that you should hear your enemies and listen to your friends & well-wishers. The bottom line is to filter out the naysayers (and negativity) and pay heed to those who care, even in the hard and reprimanding way. A good listener takes good decisions!