Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Five Lessons every Child Should Learn

People are always asking how we do it having a large family. It boils down to knowing the basic lessons that every child should know. Twittermoms, once again is inspiring a post on the topic :) inspired by the life lessons that Nanny McPhee teaches in her latest movie. My kids are very excited to see the movie! We don't get out to movies very often.

Children are like little plants. In order to grow, they all need a little food, a little water and lots of sunshine. Add in plenty of talking to and lots of love, and you children will blossom!

But the life lessons...those are a bit harder to come by and take a bit more effort.

The first three life lessons are based on the three Rs. No, I'm not talking about reading, writing and arithmetic, but Reliability, Responsibility and Resourcefulness. I've blogged about these before, but they bare repeating. The next two life lessons build on that: Hard work and Charity.

Reliability

That means a child needs to know you can count on them. The child learns that when they make a promise it means something. It means when they make a promise, they follow through. And, it means you follow through, as well, with whatever you promise them!

Responsibility

Children learn responsibility through chores. Give them a job and teach them how to do it! Children can an do rise to challenges. Don't underestimate them. Even your two year old can help unload the dishwasher! Small and simple steps to do great big jobs later.

Resourcefulness

Set the children a task and let them figure out how to accomplish it. Let them set goals. Let them work it out. This can be done through imaginative play. Children don't need the latest and greatest toys. Let them create a world of their own. There is something pretty cool about seeing your child with a cardboard box, some duct tape, a few sticks and paint create something that gives everyone in the family a good time. Let them ask questions and figure out the answer themselves. It's not all that unusual to hear us answer "Google it!" when the kids ask questions!

Hard work

This is an area that is often neglected today. Children aren't expected to work. So much is given to them. But hard work gives the best rewards. Right now, we're facing a challenge with Leelee learning to play the flute. It's beyond anything she's done before. It's hard. She wants to quit. But, the value here isn't learning to play an instrument, it's about the process of learning to play.

Charity

Forgetting one's self in the service of others is something else lacking in many people today. Children are inherently selfish little creatures. Find ways for them to give back. There are many opportunities to give back in the home, to neighbors and the community at large.

One way to do it around here is when the kids are mean to each other, they have to do something nice to counteract each offense. The kids also participate in service projects through our church. Random acts of kindness and doing things without the expectation of reward will help children learn there is much more to life than meeting their own needs.

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Nanny
McPhee Returns blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift
card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

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