Teaching our Children Simple Lessons In Life

Parenting is the hardest job in the world. There is no text book or school of knowledge you can go to in order to learn the art of parenting, so how do we learn to be a parent?

Well, it’s simple really. By becoming parents it’s a huge learning curve that will send you on a rollercoaster of emotions and make you doubt every decision you ever make as a parent, and as often as you get right, you will also get it wrong just as often. Years ago, this really didn’t matter. People were not observing you the way they do today.

We now have the curse of social media where our every move of being a parent is observed and more often than not criticised with people saying that you shouldn’t parent that way, it’s wrong etc, your sending out mixed messages to your children. What a load of nonsense!

The people that are looking at our parenting skills are our children, and quite honestly they don’t care how often we get it right or wrong for that matter. They just care that we care and love them to the best of our abilities, which quite often can fall short, but weighed up to how often we get it right they won’t care. We are just mum and dad there for them no matter what.

So when I look online and in particular at social media, and let’s narrow it down a bit more to Instagram, and see these contrived happy family photos that supposedly personify the happy children and family image, it really irritates me. Have we become so obsessed with image that we can no longer post anything online? That doesn’t show the perfect family with perfectly turned out children. It is without doubt what I despise about such social media channels such as Instagram. It is without doubt 95% fake and should be ignored, taking too much notice is done at your peril.

My five top tips for getting it right when you are parent are:

1. Love

Loving your children is the greatest gift we can give any of our children. It is what they will remember as they grow up, that mum and dad loved them unconditionally. This will be imprinted in their minds as they grow up and hopefully make them good parents.

2. Respect

Teaching them to respect other people and that everybody has an opinion. It may not be what you always agree with, but everybody has a right to an opinion and that should never be disrespected.

3. Right From Wrong

Teaching your children the simple basics of what is the right thing to do and what is wrong to help to understand that sometimes it is worth taking a step back and thinking about a decision and if it doesn’t feel right the chances are it’s wrong.

4. Be True To Yourself

This is a difficult one but teaching our children to follow their heart and make decisions about their lives which is right for them. You must always be true to yourself. If you are, then those important decisions will be the right ones. Don’t be convinced by others to do something that is against your values.

5. Teaching our children to be Independent

Teaching your children independence will keep them on the right path for the rest of their lives. Teach them to make their decisions from an early age will give them confidence later in life to achieve whatever they decide they want to do.

So there are five tips for getting it right as a parent, but believe me I get it constantly wrong, but just now and again I feel an overwhelming feeling of pride that I have actually nailed the parenting game.

What do you teach your children that hopefully will make them good adults? I would love to hear.

17 thoughts on “Teaching our Children Simple Lessons In Life

  1. Spot on with your five tips I agree IG and make everyday things look unrealistic. We do often can’t mpare ourselves to others as a result #thatfridaylinky

  2. I agree on all 5 points but especially number 5 – INDEPENDENCE. Some might call me harsh or hard but I believe that teaching them to be independent is an important life skill.
    As for Instagram – I don’t slap dozens of photos up there daily, I do pick and choose what I upload but I’m more that just a Dad so my posts are a real mixture of things from family and beyond. But – every photo I upload is real. Maybe, I could post photos or videos of my teenager having a strop or my 9-year-old being her usual moody self in a morning – but I also consider they have friends who see these posts and I don’t ever post anything that could cause them embarrassment either or give bullies a stick to beat them with.

  3. I feel like the biggest hypocrite earning a living from blogging and social media, while teaching my kids that it’s bad and not letting them use social media. You’re right though – it’s a curse! I can’t imagine the pressure on teenagers now, surrounded by all those filter perfect images. #thatfridaylinky

  4. It is important to be true to yourself. I see so many kids trying to be like the latest youtuber or the latest social personality. Embrace who you are! #thatfridaylinky

  5. This was a really nice post to read, and being completely honest, it was one that I needed right now! I’m expecting my first in September and to be honest the idea of parenting in this world where we’re always watched and judged makes me a little anxious! I feel like I’ve no idea what I’m doing and I’m so worried I’m going to screw it up. Seeing these five tips written down is reassuring so thank you for that 🙂 #thatfridaylinky

  6. Great lessons Nige. I think learning to be true to yourself is such an important quality to instil in our children. I tell Lewis all the time, so long as you know deep down you are doing the right thing, or the wrong thing, stand by your gut instinct and be true to yourself. I hope he carries that with him. #thatfridaylinky (it’s good to be back!) xx

  7. An interesting perspective, and in part I agree. The flip side though is that Instagram in particular can be viewed as a motivational or inspirational platform, as indeed can Pinterest – this is what you can create or achieve. Some will see a negative, others a positive – in the same way as people couldn’t agree on the colours of ‘that dress’ and some see a vase where others see two faces.

    There will always be staged photos – we all have them, but as long as they evoke the positive memories in those who made them, they’ve done their job. People put momentous effort into looking good, and getting their kids looking good for a family photo – let them be proud of the work they’ve put in! If I could get a decent enough plait or new hairdo on the Bean – I guarantee I’d take a photo – I’ve achieved something for me, and I want to share my success! I’m certainly not doing it to say “look how perfect my life is”, I’m saying “look – I finally managed to do it – yay me!”.

    The only thing I’d add to your list is socialising more – or ‘make friends’. The hidden issue with the downside of social media is that easily influenced children and teens can start to suffer from isolation and depression because they don’t feel they fit the IG-worthy lifestyle or image. The reality is, if they spent the time with real friends they a) wouldn’t care and b) would post their genuine happiness in order to share it, and not because they feel ‘I am better than you’ – which unfortunately is often how it is received.

    I cover a little of this in The Insta Generation – why screen time is bad parenting – which you might be interested in taking a look at.

    Ultimately, most people are not trying to put others down and would be horrified to learn they were thought of that way. As I’ve heard a few people say now “people like to be offended” lets try to teach our kids to consider both sides of the coin – that is what will give them the empathy they need to be successful in life.

  8. I find instagram so inspirational, but then I have a passion for photography, and I think our children will grow to see it for what it is. I want my kids to value family, be kind and considerate to others, to be independent, to be honest and respectful and to find their own happiness x

  9. Well Nigel, a thought provoking post. I basically teach my kids all of the above. Possibly with an emphasis on independence because it is so important. As for Instagram, don’t get me started. I’m sure it’s a generational thing. Of course I use it, but a quick snap and away. I increasingly hear stories of younger mums and dads taking their kids out for the day and spending the entire time getting them to pose for photos. There’s just too much emphasis on image. Odd thing for a blogger to say, but true I think. Thanks for hosting #thatfridaylinky

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