Our children are a reflection of who we are.
We are the ones passing the problems onto the next generation. If we don’t take responsibility for the problems we abdicate the ability to solve them.
There are basic values and principles that our children must learn in order to live prosperous lives in a changing and difficult global world. It is our responsibility to prepare them so they can take full responsibility for their own lives. Our children need a safe a caring environment that allows them to make mistakes and to fail so they can learn the right lessons for life. Over protecting or over securing them can be just as damaging as turning them loose for the world to raise them. Our children need us to spend time with them. The best gift we can give our children is the gift of time, the giving of ourselves.
So what are some things, the fundamentals, that we need to teach our children so they can live meaningful lives? Here are 7 important fundamentals to teach our children:
1) Faith. Teach our children the value of having a strong spiritual life. This includes regular church attendance. Help them understand why they were created and where they fit.
2) Discipline. Teach our children to develop the habit of reading. An example of discipline for boys is The Scout Law (Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent).
3) Responsibility and fun. Take care of plants and animals. Teach them the meaning and value of serving. Help them see the consequences of mistakes and failures and the learning opportunities coming from adversity.
4) Family values. Treat them like they are treasured and valuable. Help them understand that they have gifts inside them. Teach them family history and heritage. Help them know where they come from.
5) Gratitude. Count the blessings. Respect for humans and nature. See the interconnectedness of the world. Help them see the negative consequences of selfishness. We live in community and need each other. Expose them to other cultures. Take them on educational trips. Encourage them to learn other languages, music, the arts, and other cultures.
6) Humanity. Help them choose their friends and role models. Help your child be a friend. Parents should be most influential, followed by their teachers. For most children today, their peers are more influential than parents and teachers. Parents have the primary responsibility and authority for their children’s education.
7) Humility. Show them how to love and how to be loved. Show them how to give and how to receive. Help them to see that being humiliated is part of learning how to be humble.
Be blessed and be a blessing to others!
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx
Co-author of the book Follow to Lead (The 7 Principles to Being a Great Follower)
Author of the book PRICELESS (Sixty-Six Simple Stories of Reflection, Love, and Legacy)