Harsh Lessons of Life: Being a parent evokes the most pleasant emotions a human can experience. The joy these little beings bring to a home cannot be replicated. Having them leap onto your body when returning from a hectic day at work or having them passionately tell you about their day at school are such incredible feelings. But as you have probably experienced, the parenting gig is not always easy. And it becomes somewhat delicate when you have to teach them harsh lessons of life.
From the time our children are conceived, we have this strong intrinsic desire to do everything we can to shield them from the negative aspects of the world. This feeling only intensifies as time progresses. In as much as we would love to protect them well into their adult lives, we know we cannot. We are not always going to be by their side, therefore, we need to teach them to become independent thinkers. We need to get them ready to face the realities of the world in which they live, and for that to be done efficiently, we need to find creative ways to teach them many unpleasant lessons of life. So, how do we do that?
Use Enjoyable Activities to Teach Them Important Lessons of Life
It is important to teach kids when they are most receptive, which according to research, is when they are happy. Dr. David Rock of the NeuroLeadership Institute argued that “interest, happiness, joy, and desire are approach emotions. This state is one of the increased dopamine levels, important for interest and learning…” One way to incorporate this concept is to teach via activities your kids enjoy.
1: Teach them through games the Harsh Lessons of Life
It is safe to say that most children enjoy playing, thereby making it one of the most receptive teaching platforms. Whether your kids love video games or sports, you can use it as an opportunity to teach them some hard lessons in life. For example, you can teach them to resolve their problems on their own without abusing each other when they are playing in groups.
You can also teach them that they are going to lose sometimes, even if they did their best to win, and that’s okay. That does not mean they shouldn’t give their best, it just means winning is not always everything. You can have them focus on the fact that they improved a particular skill or they learned to play as a team.
2: Read insightful stories
Another great way to teach your kids is by reading them stories embedded with the particular lesson(s) you wish to teach them. Children love stories, and they tend to mimic their favorite characters and learn from them.
What do you want to teach them? Do you want to teach them that change is inevitable and that they need to learn to embrace it even when it is not pleasant? Just pick an interesting story with the main character learning to adapt to change and watch your children’s eyes light up.
3: Have fun family nights
Although you might have two jobs and must still take your kids to basketball practice after school during the week, and music lessons on the weekend, it is still important to find time for special family nights without distractions. It can be said such simple as having a special dinner at home or having a “campfire” cookout in the backyard.
Just having this special moment together is already a great lesson on its own, because you will be teaching them the importance of family and that family always comes first. Such moments also encourage kids to open up and have meaningful discussions. This is a great time to teach them some valuable lessons of life like being grateful all the time, even when they don’t have all the toys they want.
When we recognize that children are more receptive when they are happy or when engaging in activities they love; we also realize that some aspects of parenting, like teaching unappealing lessons of life, can be easy and enjoyable.