We all know, that despite the saying "Do as I say, not as I do." children learn from the example we set. Like it or not, that's the reality. Their little brains soak in every good and bad thing we do. Teaching them is by telling AND doing.
Here are 9 things you need to teach your children NOW, so they don't grow up to be jerks.
Teach them compassion. Let them see you give food to the homeless man at the intersection or offer assistance to a stranger in need.
Teach them tolerance. Religious tolerance, lifestyle tolerance etc. Tell them and show them that it's ok for people to believe in different things than you do, live differently than you do and to think differently than you do.
Teach them to give. Even if you don't have much, let your children see you give to someone who has even less. Let them be part of it. Whether it be a shirt to a friend or a large donation to a shelter.
Teach them manners. Teach them to be polite and considerate of others. Show them by example.
It's ok to be different
Teach them that it is ok to be different. It's ok to look different, act different, dress different etc. Children hear the things we say, even when they aren't directed at them. They hear us when we mock someone walking by while we're driving or we say something about the news anchor on TV. Try to set a better example.
Gestures of kindness
Teach them gestures of kindness. Let them see you pay for someones coffee, hold the door extra long for people coming through it, let them go first in line, offer to help someone carry their bags, say something nice to a stranger or shovel someones snow without them asking for help. Show them the happiness a small gesture can bring to someone. Show them how one small gesture of kindness can be a huge help in someones day.
Teach them patience. Show them that being patient pays off. Set a good example. Having patience is SO important in every day life. Can you imagine how much less frustration there would be in lines, if everyone had a little patience?
Use their voices
Teach them to use their voices. Show them it's ok to speak up. Let them see you be the voice for someone who needs it. Let them see you stand up for someone who is being bullied. Show them that sometimes people need us to be their voice.
The world does not revolve around them
Teach them the world does not revolve around them. *My* world might revolve around my children, but the world itself does not. We need to teach them that the world does not owe them, things do not happen only on their time and they are not entitled to anything.
Lets do better, so we can create better.