I believe that the most critical lessons apply to all, regardless of gender, age and ethnicity, these are my take on 5 powerful but overlooked lessons for Parents. If we want to teach those powerful lessons to our children, it should be from the very beginning.
And it starts with Play and Talking because they are their first forms of learning.
“We love you.”
I believe that children hear the “I Love You” often when they are younger but gradually get less of it as they grow up.
Parents might not think much of it, but we got them used to those powerfully meaningful words.
After all, those words soothed them when they felt the most vulnerable and made them feel safe.
They loved cuddling in your arms and hearing those sweet whispering.
Of course, their lack would not go unnoticed!
But they might not tell you directly; they might let you know in subtle ways.
You could make a habit or routine to say “I love you” daily, even if it’s once. Your children will surely appreciate it.
Some parents tell them that before going to bed and after a Goodnight. Reminding them that they are loved reassures them and makes them happier.
“You can be a Hero.”
Children love playing superheroes. They admire those incredible characters that are capable of anything, with superpowers and that save the day (and the people).
It used to be a predominantly a male game, but more and more girls like to play being heroines now. Thanks to the big screen showing Wonderwoman, Scarlet Witch, Black Widow and the recent Captain Marvel, they are making girl power more popular.
Still, many boys (especially the bully type) will be first to exclude girls and even tell them they can’t be Heroes just because they are girls.
We must teach to all children that when it comes to helping people, being useful, and saving the day, we all have what it takes!
We should tell them that the only differences with each person are varied skills, like their superheroes. And let’s point out that they are the strongest when THEY ARE A TEAM.
“You can do anything..”
Even though playing Heroes is fun, they need to know that if they want and believe in something, they can achieve anything.
It’s important though to mention that it requires effort, courage, creativity, and persistence.
Sometimes we even have to think like no one else in our family had yet! (family background play an important factor)
If it’s something that nobody else has achieved, then it needs even twice the above and probably some help.
Asking for help is not bad, some people attribute it with weakness, but asking for help is A WAY TO INCREASE CHANCES for survival or realisation.
Significant achievements in history exist thanks to a team that trusted each other, and that believed in the same goal.
Sometimes we have our moments of doubt so it’s paramount to remember to be kind to ourselves. I’ve got an article that could interest you: “You
“Toys are for playing, not for discriminating.”
Sure many toys display an age they are aimed to, generally based on educative grounds. But what determines if a toy is for boys or girls?
Society? Your friends? Family?
Typically parents either guide or entice their children to play with some toys and exclude other ones. Consciously and unconsciously.
Many wouldn’t mind their child playing with those that are associated with the opposite gender. Play is genderless. But because of fear and social pressure, they limit their playing with the said toy or forbid to play with it altogether.
Very young children (and I mean babies and toddlers) don’t understand about gender, nor rules that society put on them. They see each other as people like them, some tall people and some small ones.
I believe that playtime is for learning; we shouldn’t teach discrimination through toys; we should teach understanding through them!
“Think differently; think from other perspectives.”
I want to give an example of the previous lesson because sometimes it’s hard to see the whole picture based on just words.
I always encourage to see from another perspective; it helps with empathy and broadens your mind.
Let’s say that one day you find out that your little boy plays with his sister’s baby doll.
If you discourage him, get angry and say “it’s for girls”, he might build the next ideas:
- Playing with dolls is a girl’s thing.
- Boys cannot care for dolls.
- If I play with dolls, my parents get angry.
- Why I can’t play with these when I like them? (confusion)
The baby doll here represents a baby. Little girls love role-playing as mothers as they copy the parent that is most similar to them (in this case, her mother).
So the little boy will grow up with those ideas potentially evolving into these perceptions:
- Playing with babies is a woman’s thing.
- Men cannot care for babies.
- If I take care of babies, society or friends or peers might not like me.
- Why can I not care for babies when I like babies?
The above is just an example but a powerful one, nowadays Work culture has evolved. With those changes, some roles have inverted, like Parenting.
Today many women are the breadwinners and men are staying at home caring for the children and house chores.
Let’s promote good habits and positive mentality that are gender-neutral or genderless like love, courage, teamwork and to have an open mind.
Society evolves slower than Technology or Science because we are talking about individuals with influenced by habit and peer pressure. With the right lessons, it can be moving towards the type that leads to great things.
Remember that education starts at home, and it might be a bit difficult in the beginning, so focus on WHY you are doing it.
If you need more help with your WHY there’s an article I wrote about Positive Mindset Growth Tips that could help you with it. Click here.
I know you want your child to grow smart, proactive, independent, caring and have a joyful life.
For that, you need to provide the right skills today that will lead him to it.
Those skills that when they grow as adults will help them go through any hardship or challenge and have more chances to reach their goals.
I’ve only defined few that are very important for me, please feel free to share any that you think would be a great addition to the list!
With light and Joy,
Diosa Llabaria B.