Today is a follow up to my last post called “The Important Things”. If you haven’t read that piece, I encourage you to click on the link before proceeding here. Today is not about a lot of legacy instructions for a child to be the conquering hero. As a matter of fact, it may seem dull to those that are not yet fathers, or fathers of small children to which some of these points may not apply. However, as I think of things that would be beneficial for kids to know beyond part one, here are some ideas that I hope will be helpful.
Keep in mind that these points are obviously more geared to a specific time or season of life. I hope that you can make the obvious connection. Let me know what points you would add to your list. For now, here is my top 20 for practicality.
- There are certain body parts that need extra care for the aging process and thus should be a focus of a proactive lifestyle. However funny a few may sound, just think about what it would be like to have a lack of healthy function for the following:
- Good dental hygiene
- A healthy back
- Healthy feet
- Healthy hands
- And good G.I. or gut health (from mouth to pooper)
2. Be mindful of safety. This allows you to do more of what you want tomorrow.
3. You will never be a specific athlete, performer, or artist. Improve YOUR game.
Be known for what You do, not that you are Like someone else.
4. Don’t brag about yourself. Let others do that for you.
5. Being respected and being popular does not always coincide.
6. Do you want people to think you are smart? Speak less
7. Don’t be quick to respond. Say, “let me get back with you” if you need to think.
8. Learn how to manage money and credit.
9. The “field is greener” on the other side of the fence because it has more crap.
10. Chivalry is never a mistake.
11. Date someone that is LOW maintenance.
12. Discipline yourself and your children.
13. Try to maintain fresh breath and lack of body odor.
14. Getting help is not a sign of weakness.
15. Taking medication is not a sign of weakness.
16. Being honest means you have to remember less.
17. The opinions of others rarely make a difference in your life.
18. Be proactive at work. It speeds up the day and makes your boss quieter.
19. Arrive early, this eliminates stress.
20. Learn how to say “no”.
The lessons that we want to give our kids can grow in length and complexity over time. However, these are a small list that you may be able to draw from. It is important that we take from each other and learn when it comes to knowledge and skill. Like any acquired abilities, these items must be reinforced and practiced with repetition. For example, if you were to instill the “Golden Rule” as a priority in your home, this would not be a one time lesson. As opportunities or even trials present themselves, this standard should be reinforced. Over time, it is more likely to take root and be adopted with other important standards of living.
Let me stress, that depending upon the phase of life they are in, our children will do better with the appropriate lessons being taught at the onset of a particular time in life. Teaching the Golden Rule should not be introduced to kids when they are entering high school. Likewise, practicing good dental hygiene should be stressed before the age of 30. You get what I’m talking about.
It is our job as parents to set the standard for our children. As they grow, hopefully, they will adopt healthy habits and standards that they will not only practice in their daily lives but will one day pass down to their children. Be proactive and consistent when it comes to teaching your kids. From the moment they are born, they are watching, learning and taking in information. Be a good example. Be the best dad possible.