Monday 5 March 2018

Four Of The Most Useful Skills A Mum Can Teach Her Kids

Collaborative Post

I waited a long time to become a mother and it's hardwork, but it's an incredible joy and privilege too.

The journey starts when you see a tiny bundle of cells grow into a fully formed little human, and then as they navigate their way through the world and begin to have thoughts, feelings and opinions of their own. It’s a magical and bamboozling miracle that’s truly humbling when you stop to think about it. Of course, it’s also a great responsibility.

Mother and son looking out of a large stately window

As parents, we are responsible not only for everything our children are but everything they will ever be. With this in mind we need to make sure that we send them out into the real world emotionally, physically and intellectually equipped to deal with the many challenges they’ll face on life’s journey.

We can prepare and equip our kids with all sorts of skills, some hard (like learning to read, write or long division), some are soft (like empathy, etiquette or listening skills). Here are some that, though different to each other, I feel are important, especially in the world our children seem likely to grow up in.

Money management
I worked from the age of 14 and as much as I didn't enjoy it at the time, it has certainly set me in good stead for preparing me for the working world and managing the money I received from it. With the future of the economy looks increasingly uncertain, one of the best gifts we can give our kids is the gift of financial responsibility. Who knows what the cost of buying a car, eating at a restaurant or renting an apartment or house will be in 25 years’ time. I'm sure that nobody wants to raise kids whose career and life opportunities are burdened with debt.

Kids are never too young to develop a respect for money. Use cash in their presence instead of cards or Apple Pay wherever possible to help them quantify the prospect of spending. Encourage them to save for what they want, and even match their savings. Don’t tell them they can’t spend their pocket money on toys and candy, but make sure that they realise the consequences if they do. My little boy is only 3 years old but he goes to the bank with me and is beginning to understand the concept of saving, and that the £1.90 in his wallet won't buy him the Lookout from Paw Patrol!

Ride a bike
It’s a skill they never forget, it’ll help to keep them fit, healthy and active and it’ll save them a fortune on car costs (even if cars end up being electric or hydrogen powered in the future!!). Plus, cycling is good for the soul and a great natural way to relieve stress, anxiety and depression. Again, kids should be encouraged to pick up this skill as young as possible. Balance bikes are a fun way for kids to learn to ride a bike. They’re nice and safe as well, which will give you peace of mind. Joseph tried it at Centerparcs and loved it!

Little boy on a balance bike smiling, with his dad in the background

Many people remember learning to ride a bike, so not only will it give them a skill, it will also give them a wonderful childhood memory! I still remember my big brother teaching me how to ride a bike and it is one of my fondest memories.

Listen, respect, respond
Growing up in the internet age is bound to have a distortive effect on the way future generations communicate with each other. Look at any post about a remotely contentious issue on social media and you’ll see grown adults behaving like 5 year olds in a playground. In this climate, children should be encouraged to listen to and respect the opinions of others and respond in an equally respectful manner. As long as there are more than two people in the world there are going to be disagreements, politics and controversies. Hopefully future generations will be able to deal with them far more productively than our own.

Nobody likes or wants to be taken for a fool and if it were to happen to our children, our parental instincts may kick in, filling us with anger at the thought of them being wronged in any way. Nonetheless, it’s important that we teach our kids the value of forgiveness in an increasingly vengeful society. The ability to forgive will enrich their relationships and their lives, helping them to stay positive rather than being bogged down by the weight of negative emotion. I personally know to well that holding a grudge only brings more upset and negativity and that's certainly not something I want for my little one.

What skills do you want to teach your little ones?

Mummy Snowy Owl

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