As parents, our role is to love our children for themselves, not for what they do. We also have our work cut out keeping them fed, clothed, healthy and happy and there’s a barrage of advice online and on the shelves on the best ways to do all this.
But there are some unexpected - but still essential - life lessons we parents can teach our children. These are the pieces of advice you’re unlikely to read in a parenting manual, but they’re the messages we need to pass on to our kids for their future mental health, personal contentment and social awareness.
It’s fine to fail. We all do. But never stop trying things.
Failure and embarrassment don’t feel good at the time, but they teach you more than constant success and smuggery will ever do.
You can do it. You don’t need us to do it for you. (Don’t do anything for children who are old enough to do it themselves).
You’ll get hurt sometimes - physically and emotionally. But you know you are strong.
We are not responsible for entertaining you all the time. (Children need to be ‘bored’ in order to foster self-independence and imagination).
Not everything has to be, or can be perfect. And that’s OK.
You’re not a cry baby if you cry.
We all feel angry sometimes, but that’s an emotion that never makes you feel better so learn to control it.
Saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, smiling and looking at people with proper eye contact isn’t us banging on about manners. If you want people to think well of you these should be second nature.
People are not psychic. You have to express what you want clearly.
Little things can bring big happiness.
You’re important to us - but not to everyone.
People who brag are not the best. They’re just a bit boring. It’s much better to be quietly confident and show your skill, rather than boasting about it.
Lack of money can make you unhappy - but lots of money won’t make you happy. Be in charge of your money, not ruled by it.
Don’t hang out with negative people. Don’t let yourself be manipulated by ‘friends’ who really aren’t.
But do cherish your real friends and be the best friend you can be.
Keep being curious. Only fools stop asking questions and wanting to know more.
You can say no and not feel guilty.
There is a difference between things you need and things you want.
Admit when you’re wrong and apologise properly.
You can’t control everything. You can’t control other people but you can control yourself.
The rest you can work out for yourselves...