14562 days ago
One of the greatest gifts in life, is helping others learn. Teaching my children is not only fun for me, but it is something that will have a long lasting impact on our relationship and their lives.
Like all parents, I want to help my children as much as possible, giving them an educational edge in life. It does not matter what strategy you use to help your children, as long as they have an active parent, they will already have an edge.
My wife, a retired teacher in Southern California, often told me stories about the lack of parental involvement. It was very sad to hear how many parents essentially surrendered the responsibility of raising their child to the school district.
With 3 children under under the age of 5, I wanted to focus on the skills they will need in life. Now obviously math, science, history, and all of the normal courses will be taught, and some may be taken further depending on each child’s passion for the subject. But, I wanted to focus on a few skills, that if mastered, would basically leave the decision for success in life in their own hands as young adults.
Having an understanding of the language along with a large vocabulary will help them stand out in conversation. My wife and I have also enrolled our children in Spanish classes. Living in the America’s, Spanish and English are the language of commerce.
By depriving them of T.V., reading has become a fun activity for the whole family. My heart is filled with joy, every time I walk past one of their rooms and see them slowly flipping the pages of a good book. Having a good comprehension of what you are reading and learning to enjoy reading, is a great way to self-educate yourself. As my friend and mentor David Morgan says, “don’t become a know it all, become a learn it all.”
You would not think of manners as a skill, but a skill is the ability to do something well. I think this is a lost art, so I want to make it a point to teach my children to respect other people, to always treat others how they want to be treated, and to make it a point to be extra kind to those in need. This skill, more than any other will need to be taught by example.
The other day I interviewed a young fellow who is a very smart guy. Even ran a hedge fund in his early 20’s, however, his interview was probably the worst I‘ve ever encountered. Choppy and a clear lack of confidence in his speech made for a horrible interview.
Being able to speak in front of groups and having a commanding presence is something we can teach our children that may have more impact on their lives than anything else. From making a sale to interacting with the opposite sex, speaking well will make all the difference.
In life, we have to do a lot of selling. We have to sell someone on going on a date with us, buying products, using the services we are experts in, and even when interviewing for a job. Everyone hates selling, but it’s a skill we all use almost everyday.
Articulating their thoughts with others and having the ability to share what they know with the world could prove to a very useful skill in life. As a person who flunked English classes out of pure laziness, looking back, I wished I had taken them a bit more seriously. Today I am a full-time writer, but in reality my grammar sucks. Even spell check cannot help me. Luckily, I am a dedicated editor.
It‘s amazing how most people get through life with virtually no financial skills. I am talking about the virtue of savings, frugality, and planning ahead. Unfortunately talking about money has become taboo in American society and is seen as rude or out of bounds while in good company.
In my house, money is a regular topic, from discussing the different jobs people do, to all the great businesses that surround us and have made our lives better. We also discuss the family business with our children, bringing them into the conversation early in order to help their brains comprehend the real world long before they are adults.
There are so many more skills to teach children, but with everything in life, there will always be a core group of skills that become the cornerstone for all other future skills. The best skills to teach, of course, will be the ones that you are an expert at. I know a young man who‘s father can fix cars, houses, and just about anything, yet his son is completely ignorant of these skills, which is quite sad, because fixing things is a very useful skill to have.
Any parent, willing to make the extra effort in teaching their children important life skills, will indeed give them an advantage over others later in life. With this effort, will come the responsibility to involve yourself in activities that will benefit them. Be sure to always take your time when teaching your children and let them participate as much as possible.
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