how to be a good friend-1_20540bb12775c26ad47d420357a56880

The Most Important Lessons to Teach your Kids

Teach your kids about winning and losing

winning.losing

Some kids can get really obsessed about winning as losing is not an option. We need to teach them about good sportsmanship. Losing is a part of life, but learning to lose gracefully doesn’t come so naturally. If you’ve watched a professional sports game, then you’ll know what we mean. Teaching our kids to lose gracefully is an art and we need to guide them.

Put the emphasis on giving their best

Yes, everyone’s keen on winning, but try and shift the focus to having fun and giving your best. A good analogy to teach them is that playing the game is like that cupcake they so love, and winning the game is just the frosting on the top. They can enjoy both.

Give your kids the opportunity to lose

Sometimes as parents, we allow our kids to win, let’s say at a board game. Don’t do this. When they genuinely win, then cool, but if they don’t win, guide them to lose gracefully and encourage them to be a good sport. They’ll soon get it if they aren’t always ‘winning’ because they can.

Sportsmanship is what it’s all about

While they’re playing that game and they lose, tell your child to always congratulate the winner and shake their hand. They can’t throw a hissy fit if they lose and boasting is a no-no if they win. Watch some games together, and show them when others show good and bad sportsmanship. This will help them to understand.

A bit of praise goes a long way

Let’s say they show that awesome sportsmanship, give them a high five and some praise when they’ve learnt to lose well! Give them some encouragement of the things they did well in the game too.

Talk about why your child lost

Talk about the game and what happened. Sometimes they lose as their skills aren’t as good as others, sometimes it’s just bad luck or sometimes they didn’t play their best. You’re giving them rational reasons as to what happened, and it can take the emotion out of it.

The Importance of Telling the Truth

no.lying

All kids lie sometimes, and it’s important that we teach them about telling the truth. Here are some ways you can do it.

Have an honesty policy at home

Have a very clear policy that everyone tells the truth at home. Kids will know what you expect

Talk about telling the truth vs lying

Kids need to understand why it’s important to tell the truth and what lying is all about. It can hurt people to lie. They also need to understand that blurting out the honest truth sometimes isn’t the best thing like telling someone they didn’t enjoy their birthday party. There is a fine line and they need to understand it.

If they’ve lied understand why

There are three main reasons kids lie; it’s either about bragging or they don’t want the negative consequences that they know will follow. If you understand why, you can then decide how to deal with it. If they’re bragging, they might have a bit of a self-esteem problem and want some attention. Take a look at ways to boost their self-esteem. If they’re lying to get out of trouble, then let them know that you will double-check the facts and there will be consequences.

Discuss how you will feel if they lie

Explain that if they lie, then you can’t really trust them and when they do tell the truth you might not know as they’ve lied before.

Thanks for not lying

If they haven’t lied, give them some positive feedback!

Teaching Respect

respect

One of the most important things that you can teach your child is respect. The best way to teach a child respect is to show respect, as children model their behaviour on ours. What does it actually mean to show respect?

Respect is actually an attitude and is a response to others that can be either spoken or not spoken.  It’s an attitude of admiration or esteem towards others, themselves and their possessions. A child who is respectful takes care of their belongings and they have a sense of responsibility. They also get along with peers, parents and figures of authority like teachers.

Start early

Start teaching your kids about respect as early as possible. Waiting to teach a teenager about respect isn’t really going to cut it. Tell them when they show positive and negative behaviours.

Show them how

Let them see you showing respect to others and they will get the picture and understand what it means.

Teach them what is not respectful

If they show behaviour that’s not respectful talk about it and tell them how they could have done it differently.

Show them their strengths

Let them know when they’re shown respect, and they’ve really showed positive behaviours.

Teaching Generosity

volunteering

 

In today’s fast paced, selfie and self-absorbed world, it’s important to teach kids how to be generous and to empathise with other people or even animals. A recent study at Harvard showed that “kids may value academic achievement and individual happiness over caring for others.” Now that’s a bit frightening.

But, generosity isn’t just kindness; it is the fact that kids recognise the emotions and feelings of another human being within themselves. Remember to walk the walk and talk the talk. Show your kids how you empathise with others and are generous.

Give to the less fortunate

Encourage your kids to help others less fortunate than themselves by giving away toys, clothes or any other goods. A great way to do this is at Christmas time, when they clear out and decide what they’ll give away. Make it an annual habit or more if you wish.

Help others

A great way to doing this is to do some volunteering at a soup kitchen, an animal shelter, an elderly home or any other place in your neighbourhood that you know needs some help.

Give to charity

Why don’t you take a look on the internet together and see what charities are in your area. Let your child choose the charity of their choice. Once they’ve done this, ask them to save money from their allowance each week so that they can donate some money.

How to be a good friend

how to be a good friend

 

It’s really important that your kids understand the value of being a good friend, as this will model their behaviour for the rest of their lives. It will give them the best tools for creating healthy relationships that the distance.

Build self esteem

When it comes to being good friends, kids with a healthy self and esteem will generally choose friends that are good for them and will avoid those dangerous friendships that can come hurtling along.

Be a good friend

Remember kids are always watching us, all the time! Show them what being a good friend is by having your friends around, they will watch how you talk to each other and treat each other. This will teach them a lot.

Have a friendship talk

Have a little friendship talk with your kids about what friendship is all about and what to expect from a friendship. Tell them that friendship works both ways; you will both be kind to each other and it’s all about giving and taking, not just taking.

If it doesn’t feel good…

This is a great saying to teach your kids…It it doesn’t feel good to you, you shouldn’t do it to someone else.

Don’t be judgemental

Perhaps that child in the playground does strange things, but teaching your kids to look past things at face value will be a really important lesson. Teach them to try and make friends with someone who on the outside, doesn’t look like the type of person for them. Empathy and a good listening ear are fantastic skills to learn when it comes to lasting friendships.

It’s not always rosy

Friends can still get angry with each other, and tell your kids that this is okay. If they need to apologise to their friend or forgive them if they must, it’s all part of friendship. It’s not all doom and gloom, and the way kids are, a couple of day later it’s all over and forgotten.

Teaching your Kids how to express their feelings

express.feelings

As parents, we play a major role in helping our kids to recognise, understand and then actually express their feelings. When you’re spending time with them you can help, and here’s how.

Talk about your own feelings

Talk about your feelings as you experience them, for example, “I felt frustrated today when I went to the shops because it took too long,” or “I was so happy when I spoke to a friend of mine,” and even “My boss was so impressed with my work that I feel really proud of myself.” Even explain to your kids when you’re angry and tell them you’re going to another room, because you don’t want to say something that you’re going to regret.

Help kids label their feelings

For older kids this is a bit easier, but still at the age of about 7 or 8 they can have trouble telling you exactly how they feel. When they tell you something, try and turn it into an emotion, so that they can understand what it is.

Don’t jump on them for their feelings

If you send messages to your kids like they’re not angry and what are you crying for, we’re kind of saying to them that feelings shouldn’t be shown and they should be buried. Rather say to them that you understand how they’re feeling.

Give them a pat on the back

When kids handle their feelings well, give them a good old pat on the back for a good job.

Think before you react

Instead of just yelling when it comes to reacting to a situation, try and calm down first. Explain to your kids that you need to calm down first as you don’t want to say something bad that you don’t mean, and that you need a bit of time.

Lead by example

If you do react in a negative way, then apologise and say that you wish you’d reacted differently. Tell them how you would like them to do something in future.

How to teach your Kids that life isn’t fair

life.isnt.fair

Wouldn’t it be great for all of us if life was fair? That would be something to celebrate, but quite frankly life isn’t fair, and as adults we have to deal with it, and so do our kids. So it’s an important lesson to teach them.

Don’t be ticked off

As with everything, we are our kid’s role models. So don’t be getting yourself in a knot because something cool happened to someone else and not to you. This isn’t exactly sending the right message is it? Rather say how happy you are for them, that’s sending the right message.

It’s okay to express your emotions

When that kick in the back comes, teach your kids that it’s okay to express their emotions and say how they feel. Getting it out will make it feel a bit better. They can be angry, but not take it out on others or they can cry but can’t dwell on it forever.

Always praise

Even if life has handed them a lemon, congratulate them or praise them for their effort.

Continue on as normal

Carry on as normal and embrace life. If they see you doing that, they’re sure to follow.

Learn from it

Teach your kids to learn from life’s little mishaps. Help them to turn it into an opportunity and that the only failure is if they give up.

Teach your Kids about Online Safety

online.safety

We live in a world filled with technology and our kids are spending more and more time online. There are unfortunately dangers that lurk, and we need to teach our kids how to be safe online. IN the beginning, be by their sides constantly, to guide them through the maze. Here are ten things to teach your kids.

Is it offensive?

If your kids come across something inappropriate, they should shut down the computer and tell you or an adult that’s there.

It’s not always true

Kids need to understand that not everything you read online is true. From rumours they read about even to homework resources.

It’s permanent

What they post doesn’t go away; it’s there for all to see. Even if they delete something, someone somewhere probably shared it or took a screenshot of it…it won’t go away. Kids need to be aware of this as it can be very damaging.

Don’t attack online

If they wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t, just don’t post it. This can be seen as cyberbullying and there are some serious consequences to this type of behaviour.

Don’t click on ads

They should never click on the stuff on the sides of webpages ever. These can be highly inappropriate.

Online chatting

They should only be allowed to chat to people that they know and trust in real life. No other chatting ever.

Strange email

If they ever get a strange email, they shouldn’t open it and they should tell you immediately.

Ask permission

They should always ask permission before uploading and downloading anything.

Writing about themselves

They should never write about themselves anywhere, where someone can see it. As an adult, make sure the privacy settings are properly in place. They should never give out their name, age, school, address or any other personal information on the internet.

Teach Kids to Cope with Loss

how.to.cope.with.loss

Loss is a part of life, whether it’s the loss of a house as you’ve moved, or a beloved dog has passed on, a friend has moved away or even a favourite teacher leaves. Kids are very connected to dogs and other pets, and this can be a big loss for them, but on the other hand, it is a good opportunity to teach kids about loss and speak about it, to help them deal with the big knock. Kids deal with loss in different ways and they need to be able to process the loss in those brains of theirs and then they start the grieving process. Here are some things you can do to help.

Talk about it

It is not beneficial to anybody to not talk about the loss, it is more harmful. Explain to kids what they need to know about the loss, so that they can process it. Ask them to tell you how they feel about it.

Share your thoughts

It’s no good pretending that you’re happy about a particular loss when you aren’t. Tell your kids that you are also sad, or hurt, or scared.

Reassure them

Tell them that it’s completely normal to feel sad or feel like they don’t know what to do because it hurts so much. Hearing that it’s normal can be reassuring for them.

Involve Kids

Make them part of the process, for example a funeral, or the burial of a beloved pet. This can help them go through the grieving process. But each child is different and some will be able to handle the process, some won’t. Be guided by your child as to how much they can take.

Listen to your kids

They will give you small hints as to how they feel. Constantly reassure them and answer any questions that they’ve got. As we’ve said some kids are different to others and each will handle the grieving process in a different way.

How to teach your Kids to get organised

organised

Getting organised is a really good skill to teach your kids and it will help them throughout life. Have a daily routine will help them get there. Here’s how to do it.

Keep an organised house

Even though it might seem hard, if you want your kids to be organised, your house is going to have to be organised too. Everything should have a place and your kids will get used to this. Remember that they follow our lead, so make sure you develop the habit of always putting stuff back in its place too.

Develop a ‘cleaning’ routine

Each day set time aside for your child to clean his room to keep their own personal space organised. Make sure there’s a spot for everything so they know where it goes.

Create a list of organisation ‘rules’

Children often have their own idea of how to keep things organised, so a basic to-do list will instil that sense of organisation in them. Put basic tasks on the list like making beds, picking up toys, emptying the dishwasher, packing the dishwasher, separating clean from dirty clothes and helping prepare dinner. Allow them to complete the tasks in their own way. If they clean their room, let them do it in the way they like, as long as it’s clean of course, but this will give them a bit of motivation and a positive attitude about staying organised.

Teach your child Time Management Tips

Kids love a bit of structure and if they know they have to do something in a specific timeframe, they’ll become more organised to complete those tasks. Give your kids a time that they need to clean their rooms by, or do their homework. Remind them when tasks need to be completed or when you need to be somewhere. You can tell your child for example that they need to empty the dishwasher 15 minutes before dinner is going to be ready.

Create task lists

Lists are a great way to get kids organised if they’ve got bigger tasks to complete, for example a project for school. Let them list out the steps that need to be done in order to complete the project. This can make it seem more manageable.

Once it’s done, let them happily cross off completed tasks from their list…they’ll certainly feel a sense of achievement.

Make activities routine

Make sure certain things are done on the same time every day this will help them to stay organised with regards to developing routines. Get them to do their homework at the same time every day in a designated spot, which is ideal for the task. Also, eat dinner at the same time every night and make sure your kids have a set bedtime.

Praise some more!

When you see those organisational skills kicking in, praise them for a sterling effort!

There are our top 10 lessons to teach your kids, do you know any others?

 

About the Author

Lisa Steyn (51 Posts)

I’m a marketer by profession and a writer by nature. I discovered writing as my passion years ago, and have loved every bit of it, particularly writing for families in order to help them have fun and improve their lives. I’ve travelled the world extensively, lucky me! To make me happy put me next to the raging sea, or the calming mountains, and to get me firing on all cylinders send me on a wildlife safari!


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