My oldest child begins 1st grade in just 6 short days! As excited as I am for all the wonderful experiences I know he's going to have, I'm worried too. Have I given him all the lessons he needs to be successful out in the world on his own?
I've been thinking through the things that I hope he takes with him as he leaves on the daily adventure that is elementary school. Here are the five important lessons I think every kid should learn (and that I hope I've taught him!): 1 - How to choose and make good friends.
I'm not talking about how to be popular. I'd rather my child have 2 wonderful, supportive, uplifting friends than a whole gaggle of fair-weather admirers or bad influences. 2 - How to make mistakes.
I want him to know that it's OK to screw up!
The important thing is how you behave when you know you've made a mistake - how you feel about yourself, the importance of fessing up, the best ways put things right, etc. It's a difficult and delicate task that even adults struggle with. None of us are perfect, but we can perfect the art of correcting our mistakes by accepting our strengths and weaknesses, being honest with ourselves and others, and letting our desire to try harder next time win out when we screw up. 3 - How to be kind.
Being friendly to the friendless, having compassion for others, appreciating people's inner-beauty - these are characteristics that are getting harder and harder to find in children. And yet the world needs much MUCH more of it. 4 - How to be honest (even when it's really really hard).
This was a huge challenge for me growing up, and as I look back now I see the many ways in which I hurt myself and others by not being truthful. Honesty fosters respect, trust and admiration in others - even when it may make you look bad momentarily. Standing up for the truth in those toughest moments tells the world who you are: a person of integrity and bravery. But more importantly, it tells YOU who you are. 5 - That no matter what happens, he is loved.
Knowing that you can go home and be loved unconditionally goes a long way towards the natural development of these others attributes. I understand my children are not going to be perfect - their going to make mistakes, have painful experiences and be hurt in the process of going out into the world. And I can't hover over them every minute of every day to make sure that doesn't happen. But what I can do is let them know every minute of every day that they are loved and that they can come to me and find help, healing, and security.
I'd love to hear what other things you think are important lessons for every kid to learn!
Post from Super Mom Central