With so much going on in the world, we decided to focus on (3) three main lessons to start teaching your kids right now. As children are the future, what we teach them today will impact their world and universe forever. Most parents constantly find themselves worrying about making the best decisions, especially when it comes to raising children.
Empathy is learned at an early age, today most schools don’t focus on teaching empathy to kids. In PsychCentral, empathy is explained as a feeling “to empathize with someone is to understand what he is feeling or, more properly, to understand what you would feel like if you were in his situation. It is an extension of self-concept, but it is far more complex. It requires an awareness that others think of themselves in ways that are both similar to and different from the way you do, and that they also have emotions they associate with those thoughts and images.”
The article further, relates that “unlike intelligence and physical attractiveness, which depend largely on genetics, empathy is a skill that children learn. Its value is multifold. Children who are empathic tend to do better in school, in social situations, and in their adult careers. Children and teenagers who have the greatest amount of skill at empathy are viewed as leaders by their peers. The best teachers of that skill are the children’s parents.”
3 Main Lessons To Start Teaching Kids
A great resource is The Art of Empathy: A Training Course in Life’s Most Essential Skill to help with teaching kids about empathy. In addition to introducing empathy into a child’s life there are three main lessons to start teaching kids that are very important as well right now.
1. Race Does Matter
With all the racial tensions in the United States and around the world. Some parents have decided to teach their children to “not see race” by ignoring a person’s race.
Quartz Media explores Brigitte Vittrup’s take on race, a psychologist specializing in child development at Texas Woman’s University: “We have to talk to our kids about it, and we shouldn’t be afraid that we’re bringing something up that they haven’t discovered, because they have.” Science has shown that kids recognize skin colors as toddlers, and develop ideas about races as superior or inferior by the time they start primary school. They may also be subjected to ideas about racial stereotypes by their classmates and preschool teachers.
2. Failure Is Motivation
Five-time NBA champ Kobe Bryant discovers trophies are not just for first place and turns this into a lesson for making failure a motivation to help kids of the Mamba League.
USA Today Sports covered how Bryant made fourth place trophies motivation, “My kids are playing basketball, came in fourth place in a tournament and so they were disappointed. We were getting ready to leave and I said, ‘It’s fine, you guys played hard.”
“They (as in people from the tournament) said, ‘No, you guys have to stay for the ceremony.’
“I said, ‘What ceremony?’
“‘You guys get fourth place trophies.’
“I was like, ‘What? Those exist?’
“So all the kids were disappointed. ‘We don’t want a fourth place trophy.’
“I said, ‘Well listen, get the fourth place trophy, go home. You take the fourth place trophy, you put it up right where you can see it, and when you wake up in the morning, you look at the trophy and you remind yourself of what you’ll never win again.”
3. Always Do The Right Thing
This should go without saying, constantly focus on teaching kids right from wrong. Which influences their belief to always do the right thing, over making wrong bad decisions. In fact, you should nag kids to do the right thing.
Inc revealed researchers at the University of Essex found that girls whose “main parent”–that’s usually the mother–consistently displayed high parental expectations were far less likely to fall into the traps that made the girls less likely to succeed in life. As a university press release put it: “Behind every successful woman is a nagging mom? Teenage girls more likely to succeed if they have pushy mothers.”
So having a nagging parent and especially “moms” really pays off in the long wrong.