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Simple Ways to Be a Better Parent

August 26, 2019

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What you teach your children today will determine their future. Yes, parenting is complicated, but it doesn’t have to be a hardscrabble, either. Many simple ways are available to do it more effectively. Here are a few.

Research Your Family History with Your Children 

Your family line probably has a few remarkable ancestors. Undaunted individuals who lived heroic lives.

Unearthing these stories will inspire your children. Their epic tale of derring-do may even get passed down through generations, inspiring listeners to not settle for a mediocre lifestyle.

Top genealogical websites teach you many ways of researching ancestry, like reviewing the Social Security death index or reading obituaries in newspapers published centuries earlier. 

A person sitting at a table in front of a mirror

Teach Your Children Practical Life Skills 

A curious thing about formal education is it never gets around to teaching life skills necessary for a balanced, successful life. 

While it’s wonderful to learn about the history of the world and awesome to figure out the circumference of a circle, young people also need to learn how to manage money, choose relationships and friends wisely, and prepare healthy meals. 

Yes, your grown children may learn about these things on their own, but you can shorten the learning curve. Make it easy for them. Teach them how to flourish.

Rather than force them to correct course after making a few heartbreaking mistakes, prepare them to avoid feckless human errors in the first place. 

Take the money management, for example.

 If your children know of the value of budgeting and not spending more than they earn, they will avoid all the hardships of high-interest credit cards, racking up bills that will take them years to clear. 

Managing money well is not an intuitive skill. It’s something they have to learn, and the best person to teach this stuff is a parent. 

A laptop computer sitting on top of a table

Set a Positive Example

If you’re a working mom, you might feel guilty that you’re not there for your kids when they come home from school. You might even compare yourself unfavourably to stay-at-home moms, imagining that these mothers get to spend more quality time with their children, which in turn, may give them a head start in life. 

Yet when grown children talk about what they learned from their mothers, many reported feeling inspired by their working mothers to take up challenging and rewarding careers. So remember that you’re able to set a positive example to your children about the virtues of work. 

Since positive role models don’t whine and complain, you can’t afford the luxury of venting about the injustices at your job when you get home.

Instead, focus on what’s great about the work you do and pass on your sense of accomplishment in your conversations at home. 

If you can’t find anything good to say about your job, then it may be time to model what it’s like to go out and find a great job that you don’t have to pretend to like.

The Subtle Art of Raising Children 

As a parent, your words and actions are quietly influencing your children. Seize your chance to give them a good start in life. You don’t need to lecture. Stay subtle. Teach them the many important things they need to learn about life through casual conversations using interesting examples and try your best to keep them involved real-life issues that are age-appropriate.

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