In the modern world, parents have to face more challenges than ever before in raising their children. Financial issues, the strain of work, endless responsibilities, no relaxing time, and other factors can be enormous obstacles in caring for and raising a kid. Moreover, many parents are still trying to grow up themselves, while they’re also raising their children.
Parenting has undoubtedly developed with the times, but some of the values parents instill in their children remain the same. Think of how different societies would be if all kids learned humility, grace, politeness, compassion, generosity, respect, and acceptance of all.
With that being said, regardless of how much time you spend with your kids, taking time to instill these vitally significant values in them will let them flourish into healthy, content, and respectable adults.
Here are 11 life-changing phrases to say to your children:
1. “ALWAYS GIVE WHAT YOU CAN.”
Unfortunately, in the modern world, we have been brainwashed into believing that owning the best things will make us happy. We have been taught to treat ourselves or our kids to the latest phones and other gadgets only because corporations tell us that we deserve them. Nevertheless, if we all grew up learning the opposite – to give as much as we can to other people without asking for anything in return – then we would almost certainly have a kinder, healthier world.
Teach your kids that giving is much more important and valuable than getting because seeing a smile on the face of someone you love after you help them out brings more significant rewards than any new item ever will.
2. “APPRECIATE THE LITTLE THINGS IN LIFE.”
When the day ends, it’s the little things that will fill your kids with love and joy, not the big ones. The butterfly flying past them on a walk through the park, the trips you go on together, the view of the sun coming up above the horizon – those are the things they will remember. After all, they’re not that ‘little’, but we take them for granted.
Teach your children what truly matters from a young age, and they’ll remember that for the rest of their lives. They won’t be conditioned to run after the wrong things for acceptance or happiness, and they will always take time out of the day merely to appreciate being alive.
3. “DON’T EVER SETTLE.”
Many people settle in life, either believing they don’t deserve better, or merely getting tired of searching. However, if your soul does not truly feel happy, then you can (and you should) always do better for yourself. Settling in a negative situation leads to long-term emotions of apathy, complacency, and depression. No one deserves to feel that way.
Teach your kid to go after what they want in life, and never to give up. Teach them to chase whatever makes them happy, even if it does not make sense to others. As long as they find fulfillment and they love the life they live, they won’t end up settling for less.
4. “BE GRATEFUL EVERY SINGLE DAY.”
Regardless of what you’re facing in your life, if you’ve got a roof over your head, some food on the table, water to drink, clothes on your back, and loving people around you, you are doing better than you thought. We always need to remind our kids of this simple fact of life because the modern culture teaches us that we lack if we don’t have the latest “essentials.”
Teach your kids to be grateful for the blessings bestowed upon them, and not to desire anything outside of their true needs. “Desire is the root of all suffering”, Buddha said.
5. “KINDNESS IS THE GREATEST GIFT YOU CAN GIVE.”
Kindness does not cost a penny, yet it has great value when given selflessly. If we taught our kids to love, give, and don’t expect anything in return, they’d grow up to change our world by just living in congruence with their values.
Therefore, teach your kids to offer kindness to all the people they meet, even if that means just returning a smile, helping somebody put groceries in their car, or holding the door open for them. Teach your children to be present in the real problems that are happening in the world because people need help every day, and we all can offer it if we keep our hearts open.
6. “TREAT EVERYBODY WITH RESPECT, EVEN IF YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH THEM.”
Looking back in history, we see that so many disagreements, battles, and wars have happened due to differences in opinion and lack of ability or willingness to find common ground. But imagine how much suffering we would prevent from happening if we all treated each other with kindness and respect, no matter whether we agree on every little thing.
Teach your kids to treat every person they meet with dignity and compassion, even if they do not have anything in common with them. Remind them that they can give love to others without first wondering whether they are worthy of it.
7. “ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR HEART.”
This world can pull us in so many different directions that we can’t even think straight. However, the most authentic compass lies within ourselves. If we aren’t following our hearts, then we are fighting a battle with our souls, and the one way to win is just to give in.
Teach your children to give in to their deepest desires. Teach them that, regardless of what the world might try to tell them, only they can know the real answers for their heart. Teach them to look within rather than searching outside themselves for the right path. Their heart will guide their way in the end.
8. “DON’T LET OTHER PEOPLE STEAL YOUR JOY.”
There are many “mini-lessons” within this phrase, as you might interpret it in various ways. First, teach your kids that caring what others think is a mental prison they’ll be stuck in for the rest of their life unless they learn to free themselves. How can they escape? By staying true to themselves no matter how others might perceive them. Teach your kids that their own opinion of themselves matters more than those who don’t know their story.
Secondly, teach your children that they’re only responsible for their feelings and emotions, so they shouldn’t allow others to drag them into their misery. We can’t control others, but we can take charge of how we react to every situation.
9. “WHAT YOU THINK, YOU BECOME.”
Another thought-provoking lesson from Buddha still applies today. Whatever you believe, it’s what you become, so teach your kids to be mindful of their thoughts and to try to look at things optimistically. Negativity drains our energy, while positivity adds to it. Teach your kids to look on the bright side of life, and it won’t seem nearly as challenging anymore.
10. “DON’T BE AFRAID TO MAKE MISTAKES.”
That’s maybe one of the most critical things you can say to your kids before they grow up and allow fear to paralyze them. While we all need to be aware of our surroundings and act reasonably, we can’t spend our whole life in absolute fear of everything. We need to step outside of our bubble and let life happen to us if we want to learn and grow. Sure, we may stumble, fall, and make mistakes, but that’s inevitable in life.
11. “TREAT YOUR ENVIRONMENT AS YOUR HOME.”
In these times, this particular lesson is more important than ever before. Look around at all the destruction on Earth; it’s largely due to humans’ wasteful practices and mismanagement of resources. You may not realize it, but what we teach our kids now will directly impact the future of the planet. Therefore, in a sense, you have a responsibility in ensuring that your children have a planet to live.
Reference: Power of positivity