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7 essential life skills to teach your children

I have been reading all about the brain and I am loving just how “changeable” it is!

You can literally rewire or reshape your brain with your thoughts and experiences! WOW!

So, knowing this I feel like it would be remiss of me not to also help shape my child’s brain in positive ways as much as I can.

And I thought I would share with you too… as we are all part of each others circle of influence!

There are three types of ways we can influence people positively:

  • Mentoring – through inspiration and leadership
  • Coaching – accountability and challenging
  • Modelling – demonstrate and role modelling

Children learn the best through modelling when they are young. They are like little sponges watching you and absorbing everything you do (even when we wish they weren’t).

So what are some essential skills we can help to teach our children?

“Do as I say and not as I do!”

Unfortunately as parents this is usually the message we end up sending. “Don’t snatch“ and “share your toys” are our words we use on them, but when they have something of ours, like our precious necklace, mobile phone or computer, “No, that’s mama’s” and we take it back before they break it, which looks very much like a “snatch”.

I once heard there is no such thing as good or bad parenting, but rather, effective and ineffective parenting.

The challenge is defining what they need from you as their parent. Because your role is quite distinct from a friend or peer or a school teacher, boss or a grandparent. We need to balance the line of unconditional love and clearly defined boundaries with a good dose of great role modelling.

So I am practicing “daily self awareness” and learning as much about myself as I am about my daughter. They can be great mirrors.

And I am reading a lot and listening a lot and playing a lot, when we learn we learn together.

Thanks for the tip Ellen Galinsky: “Be the guide and not the boss”

Apparently there are 7 essential life skills we can teach our children (Galinsky). I feel these are skills most adults I have met haven’t even mastered.

  1. Focus and self control
  2. Perspective taking
  3. Communicating
  4. Making connections
  5. Critical thinking
  6. Taking on challenges
  7. Self-directed, engaged learning

Many of these skills if learned when we are young can evolve the brain to serve us throughout our lifetime. But the good news is: it’s never too late, and you’re never too old to learn something new!

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2 comments so far -

  1. So true. Thanks for reminding me of all this. I try hard to be a role model, I even say please and thank you to the dog! People have asked me why I say please to a toddler who has yet to understand what please or thank you means (it’s just in my nature, is all), and you have answered that Q with your above post. Cheers!

    Love the bit about snatching, too.

    Your post also makes me realise why bubs is always giving me things, and passing things to me. He is already sharing at an early age. We must do a lot of sharing around our place!

    Look forward to reading your next post.

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