We all want to raise our children to be good people. We want them to be well-adjusted and strong (in mind and body). We want them to be well on an emotional, mental, social, and physical level. How can we achieve just a lofty aspiration? Follow my A to Z of parenting tips and you’ll be on the right track.
A: Acceptance- teach your children to be accepting of all people and show your children that you will accept them unconditionally.
Aspirations- teach them to have a strong desire to achieve their goals.
B: Believe- teach your children that they should always believe in themselves and always communicate to them how much you believe in them. Also, teach them to always fight for what they believe in.
Brave- show your children what it is like to be brave. Teach them that if they are brave, they can conquer the world!
C: Consistency- children need and want consistency; it’s as simple as that!
Communication- keep the lines of communication open with your children at all times. They need to know that they can talk to you about anything at anytime.
D:Diligence- teach your children to always put forth effort and to be persistent.
Dream- teach them the importance of having a dream and working to achieve it.
E: Encouragement- you need to be your child’s biggest cheerleader. Always encourage them to do their best and to be the best.
Excellence- teach your children to always strive for excellence in everything that they do.
F: Friendly- teach your children the importance of strong friendships and how to be a good friend to others.
Fun- make sure to have fun with your children. Teach them that they can’t take life too seriously and that they always need to make time for some fun.
G: Goals- teach them the importance of setting goals and working toward those goals.
Go-getter- teach your children the importance of going after what they want and that complacency is not an option.
H: Honesty- this is one of the most important things you can instill in your children. They need to understand the importance of always being honest; with themselves and with others. Help them to understand that lying only makes situations worse and will catch up to them.
Happiness- we need to do all we can to make our children happy and I don’t mean in a material way. We need to teach our children to find happiness within themselves. They need to understand that happiness can’t be bought.
I: Insight- self-knowledge is a necessity. You have to teach your children to really know themselves and to understand what motivates their thoughts, behaviors, and actions.
Intelligence- always make sure to tell your children how smart they are. Make a big deal when they learn something new. This will help to foster a love of learning. Ensure that they believe they are smart and have the capacity to learn anything they set their sights on.
J: Joy- teach your children to find joy in everyday things and to do things that bring them joy.
Just- we must teach our children to seek justice for wrongdoing and to be guided by truth, reason, and fairness.
K: Kind- we have to teach our children the importance of kindness and being kind to others.
Kid- we also have to remember that they are kids and assure that they get to act like a kid and never to put too much pressure on our children.
L: Limits- we must set limits for our children! They need limits and they want limits. Setting limits will help them learn right from wrong. Always make sure to be consistent with the limits that you set. They will test those limits often, but that’s how children learn and grow.
Lead- teach your children the importance of being a leader, rather than a follower. Make sure you lead by example.
M: Manners- teach manners right from a young age. A simple “please” or “thank you” will communicate more than just the meaning behind the word. Politeness goes a long way.
Morals- we must teach our children to be moral and ethical people. Their behavior needs to be guided by knowing the difference between right and wrong.
N: Nurture- as parents we must nurture and love our children. We must also teach them to be nurturing toward others.
Nonjudgmental- we have to teach our children to never judge others. We have to show them that it is never alright to pass judgment even if someone’s beliefs differ from our own.
O: Open- we have to teach our children to have an open mind and an open heart. They need to be open to meeting new people, going new places, and having new experiences.
Outgoing- we have to show our kids how to be outgoing and social and to be genuinely interested in interacting with others.
P: Praise- we need to give our children praise every day. Praise them for big things and praise them for the little things. Positive praise goes a long way in helping to build positive self-esteem.
Proud/Pride- always communicate to your children how proud you are of them and their achievements. Help them to learn to be proud of themselves. Teach them to take pride in their work, in their appearance, and in their family.
Q: Quiet- show them how to enjoy the quiet moments. Teach them to know when being quiet is better than speaking up.
Quit- tell them that this is a word that should never be part of their vocabulary. Encourage them to never be a quitter and to always persevere.
R: Respect- teach them the “Golden Rule” which is the guide for mutual respect. Teach them that they must give respect to get respect. Show them how we should respect each other’s differences. Help them to learn to respect themselves as well as others.
Responsibility- this is also one of the most important things you can instill in your children. You must teach them to be responsible and to take responsibility for their actions. They need to be given chores/tasks to complete to help them learn this. They need to be taught to be responsible for their material things. They also need to be taught that they are responsible for their actions; no one can make them do anything they don’t want to do so they must not lay blame.
S: Structure- kids need structure; they thrive on it. Without structure everything can feel chaotic to a child and kids can’t grow when surrounded by chaos.
Support- we must always be supportive of our children. They have to know that they will always have our support and that we will always “have their back.” We have to support them on every level.
T: Teach- as parents we are our child’s first teachers and the most important ones. We need to use as many moments as possible as teaching moments. This goes beyond teaching the basics and extends to teaching valuable life lessons.
Trust- we must ensure that our children know they can trust us on every level and that they can depend on us. They also have to be taught that they must earn our trust and that once broken, trust is a very difficult thing to earn back.
U: Unconditional love: this goes without saying– we must love our children unconditionally and we have to make sure that they know this.
Understanding- we have to teach our children to be understanding of other people and their situations. This is called empathy and it is vitally important that we instill this in our children.
V: Value- this can have many meanings. We need to teach our children to value themselves. We need to teach our children the value of a dollar. We need to teach our children to have good values, but to also realize that everyone’s values are different and should be respected.
Voice- we need to teach our children to use their voice. We need to make sure that they know that their voice needs to be heard; that what they say has value. We also need to guide them so that they can listen to their inner voice.
W: Work ethic- we need to show our children the value of a strong work ethic in everything they do. From cleaning up their toys, to school work, and to working a job- they need to have a strong work ethic in all areas.
Wonder- we need to show our kids the wonders of life. We need to teach them to marvel at how wonderful the world can be. We need to encourage them to be curious and to inquire about things.
X: eXample- we must be an example to our children. We have to set a good example for them on every level. We have to be their role model; someone they can look up to.
Y: Youthful- we have to remember that our children are just that, children. We need to allow them to be young and act youthful. We should be youthful ourselves- don’t be afraid to have fun with your children and to be young at heart.
Yearn- teach your children the power of yearning for something because it will teach them to work for what they want. If there is something your child wants, something they yearn for, then make them earn it. If they have to earn what they want, it will make them appreciate it that much more.
Z: Zeal- teach your children to be eager, enthusiastic, and to have desire for something. To be zealous is to be diligent and devoted.
Zany- it is important to be silly and to clown around with your children. It is also very important to teach your children that it is okay to have fun and be silly when it is appropriate.
Although this is a very comprehensive list, containing 51 things that are necessary if you want to raise an amazing child, it is really only a jumping off point. There are hundreds of things we should be teaching our children throughout their lives. Parenting is the most rewarding job, but also the hardest and one that never ends. I’d love to hear your additions to my list because just like parenting is a work in progress, so is this…