13 Lessons I'll Teach My Children | Inspiration Indulgence

I love kids. I ADORE THEM. I feel like we can learn SO much from children because they are the purest, honest, and most innocent kind of being. Likewise, children learn everything from us. I think that we adults underestimate the significance that we play in a child’s life. Their self-worth, ideas about the world, values, and intelligence is largely created by the environment in which they are nurtured in. Through how we raise our children, we are creating the future generation in our hands.

I am not yet a mom, but I have been around children my entire life. Growing up, my mother was a stay-at-home mom who managed a daycare. She raised me and my two younger sisters while practically raising a few other kids at the same time. In college, I was employed as a daycare provider, a nanny, and a School-Age employee at my local YMCA, in addition to volunteering with local children in the community and having a school counseling internship at a high school. I am currently pursuing my master’s degree in school counseling. Although I do not plan on having children until after establishing my career, I am so excited about motherhood. I know that it will be the single most important job that I will ever have in my life, and my most treasured role.

I have thought a lot throughout the past few years about how I will raise my children someday. With that in mind, here are some lessons that I will teach my children.

#1.) Don’t be a quitter

When I was in 6th grade, I wanted to join track. So my parents let me join, and I HATED IT. I cried every night and begged my mom to quit. But she never let me. And boy, was I ANGRY. Looking back, I’m so glad that she made me stick out my commitment. The lesson has carried on throughout my life; it’s not okay to give up. You don’t just “quit” your job on the third day if you don’t like it right away. You don’t just “quit” your marriage after having a few bad fights. I will teach my children to stick out their commitments so they don’t give up easily on everything else in life.

#2.) How the media portrays life is not real life

Media sickens me. Children consume on average about 7 hours a day viewing media. 7 hours. Do you understand how detrimental that is for one’s well-being, let alone a child?! Depictions of violence, sex, and disrespect are shown every single day, which in turn causes eating disorders, abuse, and misinformed ideas about sex, negative body image, and disrespect in general. I will teach my child that the media is not accurate of real life, and that individuality is admirable.

#3.) Things don’t get handed to you in life

I will teach my children that if they want something, they have to work hard for it. I will not be a helicopter parent and constantly be holding my child’s hand throughout life. Instead, I will guide them with encouragement and let them make their own choices with full understanding that they will learn from the bad choices. I will not pay a cent for my child’s college education, nor will I give my child money whenever they want. There is no “free ride” in the real world, so why should I give my children a free ride?

#4.) It’s not okay to bully

My child will know that it is not okay to put others down and it is not okay to belittle people, whether it is physically or mentally. Zero tolerance. And if my child does make a mistake, I will take them to the home of the victim to personally apologize to both the child and the parent.

#5.) All you can do is try your best

I will praise my children if they tried their absolute best in math class and still get a C. I will praise my child if they went out for a sport, gave it their all, and still sat the bench every game. I will praise my child for making mistakes because that at least means that they tried. If my child gives their best effort to what they are trying to achieve, I will be the proudest parent in the world.

#6.) Love is real at any age

When people say to their children, “Honey, you don’t know what love is, you’re only ___  years old” it makes me SICK. Love is raw, true, agonizing, and deep. At any age. I remember crushes I had from kindergarten to middle school to high school. Obviously, the love I felt in kindergarten is a different form of love than the love I feel now at this stage in my life. But I don’t ever deny that my feelings weren’t “real.” Love is love; whether it is puppy love, to first-kiss smitten love, to falling in love with your soulmate or first child. Love is pure in all forms, and it is real. I vow to never put down my child and tell them that their feelings are not real; it is their life, not mine. Who am I to judge what is in their heart? The world needs more love, anyways.

#7.) You cannot judge someone until you step into their shoes

I will teach my children that you do not know someone else’s story because you are not them. Maybe that kid who is a bully to my child at school comes from an abusive home. My children will learn to forgive the wrong and realize that everybody comes from a different situation. They will be brought up to understand that it is wrong to judge someone without knowing where they came from.

#8.) Respect your body

I will teach my children that their body is sacred and not to throw it away. To drugs, to substances, to undeserving hearts. I will teach my children to respect people as people with intrinsic personalities and not objects, and to guard their hearts. This is a lesson I will emphasis heavily for both my sons and my daughters.

#9.) Respect others

My children will be taught to treat others with respect. I will teach them not to talk back to their teachers or their coaches; to be polite to their friends’ parents and use manners when invited as a guest; to be kind to their elders and appreciate their wealth of knowledge. A lot of children today lack respect, but my child will not be one of them.

#10.) Forgiveness

I will teach my children that forgiveness is one of the most powerful traits in the world. As soon as you make the choice to forgive, you are setting your burden free. It does not mean that you brush aside the unfair justice that ensued to you; it means that you have the power to choose a happy life, which requires moving on and not holding grudges.

#11.) Value your education        

My children will understand that free public education is a gift and something to be thankful for. I will teach them that not all children around the world are as blessed as they are to live in this wonderful country and to be given the opportunity to be taught every day. I will teach them to not take this granted.

#12.) Generosity  

I will teach my children the value of giving rather than receiving. One Christmas, my aunt took my little cousins to a homeless shelter to volunteer at on Christmas Eve. I thought this was absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. I would like to do the same for my own children someday to show them the value of giving to others and helping those in need.

#13.) Appreciate what you have

I can’t stress enough how important this is to me. My children will be taught to be thankful for what they have, and that greed has no place in our household. I will teach my children that the reason why I went to college was to get a job to create and support a family. My children will be brought up to understand the sacrifices it takes to provide, and will be grateful for their food on the table.

Don’t forget that children are like sponges. They learn soak everything up, learn quickly and adapt. Set a good example and teach your children some morals. Today’s society needs you to do your part.

Xoxo,

 

  • Great post! As a father of two girls this is a very brillant article.

  • People like me should not have kids

  • Yes yes yes yes yes! Oh my gosh, I love this post and could not agree more! I have a 2.5 year old, and I am totally with you on all of these!

    • That is so kind! Thank you! Coming from a mother, hearing this makes my day. I hope someday I can successfully implement these lessons parenting. I can’t imagine parenting is easy!! :)

  • Such a great piece! :) I love this post so much and totally hope to teach my children the same when I have a family! :)

    Jess x

    • Inspiration Indulgence

      Thank you so much for reading! :)

  • number 3!!! Finally someone understands!!!! Thank You!!!!

  • Love this!

  • I am borrowing these rules for my life-book, please don’t sue me because of copyrights 😀

  • You hit the nail on the head with this one. I shared it on Facebook. I’m a mom to a 6 year old boy and I worry that TV has brainwashed our society so that he thinks it is reality. It’s not. Love this!

    • Wow, thank you so much for your kind words, the share, and support! I am sure you are a great mom. It is just so hard to restrict the media to children! Have a wonderful day:)

  • Beautiful :)

    • Inspiration Indulgence

      Thank you so much!! :)

  • I don’t have kids yet either, but I absolutely agree with this! I’ll keep it pinned for when we decide to start a family! ❤️

    • Thank you so much for the pinning and the love!! :)

  • Great post! I also don’t have kids yet but I hope to teach them all these things as well especially #2. Television has become way too sexualized and I’m saying this a young 20 something year old! Even on the local stations like CBS, NBC, & Fox. I remember my great grandma use to say, HBO wasn’t allowed in our house lol now some of the basic stations are just as bad. Great post :)

    • Thanks so much for reading! Completely agree..TV can be downright detrimental for kids. It’s ridiculous sometimes how much trash is on it and how it infiltrates our mind!

  • Love this! I have so many things I have learned in life I want to teach my kids as well.

    • Thanks so much for reading :) I can’t wait to have kids!!

  • You will be a great mama!!

    • Aw thank you! I’m so excited for when the day comes :)

  • I can totally relate to #1! My parents never let me quit a sport or group I had signed up for!

    • Yeah…I’m grateful they didn’t let me quit, looking back!!

  • I love everything about this post, especially the media comment. I think the media and celebs have more sway over our children these days then the parents in some cases. Keep this list close and you will be a great mom for sure when your time comes! Great post.

    • Thanks so much. I can’t handle media as it is today as an adult! It is going to be so hard to try to censor it from my kids. Eventually they are going to see it anyways- I can’t shield them forever from sex or violence.

  • ~A

    This is absolute perfection!

  • This is such a great list. My husband and I talk all the time about the things that we are adamant about teaching our son. Don’t be a quitter tops our list, too, actually!

    • Thank you so much, Jaclyn! I hope someday I will be a good parent. I know it’s easier said than done!

  • This is an incredible post. I totally agree with every single one of your teaching points. You want to give your child the best advice in life. There’s so much they need to learn from you, and they will be happy if you teach them. This is fantastic!

    • Thank you so much for the compliment! I poured my heart into writing it. :)

  • Seven hours! I’m not a parent, but gosh – that blows me away… and I couldn’t agree with you more on that not being real life. I know it’s unrealistic to say that I don’t want my kids exposed to that – but seven hours of TV just can’t go in my book… I know I don’t watch seven hours as an adult… eeessshhhk. I can’t get over that. Beyond that, I think these are all great lessons for kiddos to learn (and learn early)… awesome post and very thoughtful!!

    • Thank you so much, Sara! I really poured my heart into this post..I am very passionate about children. I don’t have them yet but I’ve worked with kids basically my whole life and am in a school counseling Master’s program. I can’t wait to be a parent someday :)

  • What great points to make! Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks so much for reading, Kate :)

  • You are going to raise wonderful children if you teach them these virtues!