Search
  • The M Word Consulting

20 ESSENTIAL LIFE LESSONS FOR KIDS

Every parent wants to see their child flourish and become successful in life, but the generations of 2022 face a plethora of challenges and it’s not always easy! The reality is that we need to prepare kids so that they can effectively deal with all the struggles, failures and conflicts that life may throw at them. From our extensive training and substantial experience teaching children around the world for decades, we know that the knowledge required for true success in life exceeds academics, good manners and basic self care. In light of this, here are 20 important life lessons we recommend you teach your children to help them lead a safe, joyful and fulfilled life.



1. YOU DESERVE TO BE RESPECTED AND LOVED


Shower children with love and respect so they know how it feels and – more importantly - how it DOESN’T feel. If your child gives and accepts nothing less than respect, they are significantly less likely to fall victim to predatory behaviour, abuse, narcissism, assault or worse. This applies to everyone from friends to people on the street and romantic partners.


2. IT'S OKAY TO FEEL SAD OR SCARED


We all have emotions, and it takes more strength to be vulnerable and show them to others than it does to hold them in and hide from the world. You must allow your kid to freely express their emotions. This includes sadness and fear. Only by accepting these emptions and learning to deal with them appropriately can kids competently cope with less-than-perfect situations they encounter through life. By knowing it is ok to feel the full tumult of emotions in life – even the negative ones – your kids will also feel more comfortable coming to you with their problems or concerns. This reduces the likelihood that they will hide any bullying, abuse or inappropriate behaviour they are experiencing from friends, family, teaches, coaches and the like.


3. BELONG TO A COMMUNITY


Whether it is playing sports, an instrument, chess or computer club- whatever you kids enjoy, encourage them to do it, and do it with others. It will increase their sense of belonging, confidence, and bring new opportunities to their life. Staying socially involved is also a proven method to reduce the likelihood of a child falling victim to grooming by predators, who prey on the vulnerable and those who perceive themselves as un-loved or an outsider.


4. IT'S OKAY TO BE WRONG


Being wrong is the only way we can find out what's right, and therefore become smarter. It is also the better option to take if your child feels uncomfortable or uncertain about a person or situation. The old “better safe than sorry” adage rings true here! Your child should know that they should listen to their gut at all times. If that gut feeling happened to be wrong and they over-reacted to something that made them feel uncomfortable, that is ok – they will not get in trouble. Instincts are rarely wrong, but if they are, your child will not be punished. Being right all the time is not the imperative of life.


5. HOLD YOURSELF TO HIGHER STANDARDS


Tell your kids that it doesn't matter if the people around them aren't acting respectably, personal standards must remain high and true to themselves. Children need to know that, unless they want to be grouped in with the heathens, they should allow their actions to speak for themselves. Holding personal standards will mean your kids are less likely to succumb to peer pressure, comply with actions or instructions they are uncomfortable with, or stand by and allow poor behaviour to happen around them.


6. PEOPLE WILL LET YOU DOWN


Kids need to know that people are not always what we want them to be and WILL let threm down in life. Friends can make poor choices, family members can abuse those around them and strangers aren’t necessarily innocent until proven guilty. Sometimes people won’t be there for you. Sometimes someone you trust will hurt you. Your kids should be prepared for the possibility of disappointment, and not feel any sort of personal guilt if/when that happens.


7. KEEP YOUR BODY HEALTHY


Our body is the only one we get. If we don't tell our kids to care for their body when they are young, there will be a day they wish they had. Yes, they love chocolate and candy. And popcorn. And fries! But help kids continue to love the many fruits, vegetables and proteins that nourish their body as well. In addition, teach them to keep being active! Being physically strong and fit will help them in countless ways, including the ability to physically defend themselves if required. Help them love their soul too – tell them to take time for quiet, do the things that make them happy and surround themselves with good people.


8. CHOOSE YOUR FRIENDS WISELY


Instil in youngsters the imperative to choose friends wisely. Peer pressure and influence is huge throughout puberty and can truly change the course of a child life (for the better or worse). If kids value honesty, loyalty and someone who cares about their joy and heartache - and then can be the friend that exhibits those same traits for another- they won’t let others change them. We want our kids to know that it’s okay to change for themselves, and in fact we SHOULD change as we grow up and learn new things. We just don’t ever want them to change for someone else or let this world dictate who they should be or who they become.


9. PAY ATTENTION TO THE WORLD AROUND YOU


Tell kids to pay attention to the world around them. It matters. It can be easy to feel insulated from the world when you have a roof over your head, clean water, enough food and parents who love you….but that is not the case everywhere and kids should be aware of what is happening locally – in their home city and country - and globally. Through their gifts, they may one day choose to make a difference for people who are far away or close by. But right now, on a daily basis, having a high level of community and situational awareness will make your kids infinitely wiser, safer and more prepared for whatever may come at them.


10. BE WISE ON THE WEB


When being ‘social’ online, kids MUST choose what they share wisely. It is ok for some of their life to remain just that: theirs. Kindness and safety should be the number one priority. Kids need to know that what they choose to share online will stay there – both the good and otherwise.


11. BE A MASTER OF OBSERVATION


You can learn a lot about someone by watching how they treat others. Someone is kind to you, but rude to your waitress? Someone who seems to be lurking behind you who gives you the creeps? Get the heck out of there. A dark alley that is empty and unknown? Don’t go there. Friends who leave you alone to walk home? Call for transport – don’t walk alone. Need to call 000 for a friend who has collapsed? Know the address you are at. A guy who seems to be following you on your morning run? Don’t ignore it. Drilling in your kids the need to ALWAYS be aware of their surroundings will mean they can avoid dangerous situations and deal with difficult scenarios far better than someone taken unawares.


12. YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK


Tell you kids the days when they don’t want to get out of bed…..when their muscles are too tired from the weekend’s games – but yet, their team needs them….they are strong enough. The day they fail that test and don’t want to face their teacher – they are strong enough. The day their heart feels like it is breaking, they are strong enough to put it back together. The day a stranger in an empty laneway comes at them – they CAN fight back and defend themselves. Tell them, “You are stronger than you think.” Kids should know they should always fight for themselves and their own welfare throughout every point in life.


13. KNOW YOU ARE LOVED


Say these three words to your kids on repeat: you are loved. You are loved. You are loved. No matter what life path they choose, no matter where they live, no matter their job, who they love or the dreams they follow…. Your kids will be infinitely stronger and safer if they know they will always be loved by you and by so many others. Always.


14. TRAIN BASIC SELF-DEFENCE


Developing self defence skills not only makes your child feel more independent, but also more confident! Basic self-defence in modern day is a must — be it for your son or daughter. Knowing how to stay safe and protect themselves will help your children gain self-confidence and inner strength, and serve them well in their lives. It is not just about protecting them from physical force; it also includes being proactive to prevent problems and using assertiveness to respond to bullying. It also teaches children how to identify dangerous situations, assess them, and then handle them.


15. DISCERN PEOPLE


We’ve all taught children about stranger danger but this doesn’t make much logical sense considering every person we’re close to as adults was a stranger to us at some point. Instead, teach your children to do exactly what adults do. Teach them to differentiate between good strangers and bad strangers. Teach them how to interact with good strangers. Teach them how to make friends, how to be friendly to good adults, and just how they should go about interacting with these people.


16. TALK TO STRANGERS


Out in the world on their own, our kids will encounter many strangers – professors, coaches, advisors, landlords, store clerks, managers, and co-workers just to name a few. Our adult kids need to know how to look these people in the eyes, clearly communicate with them, and possibly even advocate for themselves if need be. But if kids have never been encouraged to speak to strangers on their own – if their parents have always spoken for them – kids’ communication skills will be stilted which could, among other things, come across poorly in a job interview. Try a different approach that lets kids know that not all strangers are bad. For example, in our courses we tell kids that if they ever get lost to look for another mum with kids or someone in a uniform.


17. BE RESILIENT & ADAPTABLE


Another important skill would be to teach your child to be resilient. How you can do this is by ensuring you don’t feed your child with solutions all the time. Empower your child to problem-solve by themselves so that they’re ready to face challenges as and when they come. They must learn resilience to adapt to different changes and different environments. Make sure you have an open channel of communication to understand what your child is going through and help them out — and of course, as a parent, you too must model resilient behaviour at home!


18. THINK CRITICALLY


Children need to develop the ability of critical thinking as early on as possible so that their minds are open-minded and they are not easily swayed by others' opinions. This includes being able to ask questions, analyse information and make well-informed decisions based on their findings.


You can help your child develop critical thinking skills by encouraging them to ask questions and giving them opportunities to discuss different points of view. You can also introduce them to news articles and other sources of information so they can learn how to analyse data for themselves.


19. LEARN TO DEAL WITH STRESS


Dealing with stress is a necessary life skill that all children should learn, especially since it can be a common problem in today's society. They need to know how to deal with stressful situations, such as failing an exam or getting into a fight at school. They should also learn how to take care of themselves emotionally when life gets difficult, and they may not know what to do.


20. STAND UP FOR YOURSELF


Adults are often in situations where they have to advocate for themselves. For example, they may need to ask their boss for a raise, let a stranger know they accidentally cut them in line or tell a waiter that their bill is incorrect. These situations can sometimes be tricky. But imagine if we’d never been given the chance to practice standing up for ourselves – with teachers, coaches or peers?


While it may be tempting at times to speak up and advocate for our kids, this should be the exception, not the rule. Instead, embrace opportunities for kids to take the lead, and stand up for themselves. These moments will help build kids’ confidence, resilience, and set them up for greater success as adults.


We hope these life lessons help guide you as you navigate the many challenges of parenting children in 2022! It isn’t always easy, but if you can help your children become well-acquainted with these 20 skills they will undoubtably find it easier to make decisions, meet day-to-day challenges, and handle situations better in the absence of elders.


#whatsonsunshinecoast #empoweryourself #cobraselfdefence #selfdefense #selfdefencesunshinecoast #selfdefenceforkids #childselfdefense #buildingconfidentkids #cobrasunshinecoast #womensselfdefence #cobraselfdefencesunshinecoast #selfdefensetraining #sunshinecoastevents

#selfdefencesunshinecoast

12 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All