(ThyBlackMan.com) Okay, here we’re going to briefly discuss Appendix C in your parenting manual, so go ahead and turn to page 1,248, paragraph B, sub-section 4. What? You didn’t get your parenting manual? Oh well, you’ll just have to muddle through I guess!
It’s okay to admit it, every Mom in the world questions themselves constantly, and they’re absolutely right to. Every Mom in the world worth her salt agonizes over whether she’s making the right choices for her kids and teaching them the right lessons. The thing is, there’s no definitively right way to raise your kids from children to self-sufficient adults. Parenthood is very often about balance, and there’s no finer balance between realizing which lessons you need to teach them, and which they need to learn for themselves.
Money Is Important
In an uncertain economy and in an era where kids will be paying for their groceries with their smartphones, it’s more important than ever to raise kids with financial awareness. We all want to make sure that our kids grow up financially secure, debt free and able to set aside enough for their retirement. We want them to be able to afford to buy a place of their own or, Heck, even have a portfolio of properties at home and overseas, but they’ll never know the HDB resale price of properties in Singapore if they don’t know the value of your grocery shopping. Here are some ways in which you can teach your kids the importance of money:
- Incentivize them to save by matching (or part-matching) their contributions toward something they really want.
- Encourage them to budget.
- Share the particulars of your household budget with them to help them understand where the household money goes.
- Give them their allowance on the same day every week to give them an understanding of a payday.
But Some Things Are More Important Than Money
As important as financial awareness is, nobody wants to raise a joyless spendthrift. In a consumerism obsessed society, it’s important to raise kids to believe in the things that are of more
Respect is the most important thing you can give and get
Your kids are growing up in the social media age where a person’s value is measured in likes and followers. They need to see the insanity of this and be aware that they are not the star of their own reality show, no matter what Instagram may be telling them. Treating people with respect and earning their respect in kind is far more important than taking a great selfe.
Question everything and everyone (including you)
Today’s education system values the memorization and regurgitation of facts and formulae, but it’s not so hot at engendering critical thinking skills. It’s important to raise your kids to question authority and find things out for themselves, instead of just accepting everything by rote. They should question the assumed truths of their peers, the news, their teachers and, yes, even their parents. You should encourage your children to question the parental choices you’ll make as they’ll inevitably learn that you’re doing what you’re doing out of love.
Kids should never grow out of their “why?” phase (as tiring as it can be for parents), slowly but surely uncovering the truth about how the world works for themselves instead of uncritically accepting the facts that the world spoon-feeds them.
While these are all important lessons for a Mom to impart to her daughter or son, there are some lessons that (however much you may want to take the hit for them) they’ll need to learn on their own.
Their hearts will get broken
We all remember our first heartbreak, but we’re often unaware of just how much we learn from it. Your kids will form relationships with others and they will experience breakups. Whether it’s getting over the kid who suddenly refuses to hold their hand in the playground or navigating a divorce, heartbreak will teach them a lot about the nature of relationships and what they want out of life and from a loved one. They must find this out for themselves and the only thing you as a Mom can do is hold their hand and be there for them while they recover.
It’s okay to fail
In today’s results driven educational climate, kids are taught to aim for the stars, but that anything short of excellence is simply unacceptable. While it’s absolutely wonderful for kids to have high expectations of themselves, it’s delusional to raise kids to believe that they’ll never make mistakes or fail. The measure of their character will be not in their ability to avoid failure but to learn from it and use it to prevent future mistakes. Failure is never pleasant or fun but it’s pretty much always instructive.
By all means disagree, but respectfully disagree
Disagreement is great, it’s what makes our country a democracy and not a fascist dictatorship. Still, the advent of social media has warped the way in which people interact with one another. The lack of accountability that’s inevitable when face-to-face interaction is taken out of the equation has had a strangely infantilizing effect on adults. Just look at the comments section on any news story shared on facebook or, for that matter, President Trump’s Twitter history. The age of respectful debate appears to have ended and otherwise reasonable, educated adults fall into the behavior of “I’m right and anyone who disagrees with me is an idiot!” which is only ever appropriate for a 4 year-old. It’s important that kids grow up to hold themselves to a higher standard.
Their Mom loves them
They may not be aware of it, but every day, with every act of kindness, every hug, every kiss and every bedtime story a rich tapestry is being woven. It will guide them in their times of need and keep them warm when the world grows cold. Even when your kids think you’re being mean or strict, day-by-day, your kids will come to realize just how much you love them.
Staff Writer; Carla Adams