The lessons we pick up in the comfort and security of childhood are actually the ones that fuel us throughout our lives. Think about it - our strongest memories are those from our childhood. We might not remember the exact incidents, but something about them gives us an instinct that guides us through later decisions, however small or big.
When the going gets tough, we rely on our gut - and that's where these integral lessons lie like mini beacons, helping us when we find ourselves at crossroads. A teacher, a parent, an aunt, a neighbour - anyone can be responsible for teaching us and very often, we might not even be aware of it or the teacher. It's like a little bit of magic that stays with us since we are children - the little guiding lights that make life enriching and enjoyable. So what are these lessons - and more importantly, how can you make sure your children are learning them?
1. LIAR LIAR
Honesty is the best policy
Lying to someone insults them, breaks their trust and leads to unstable relationships. It's one thing to invent stories, but quite another to lie. It's imperative to draw the difference between the two - teaching a child to imagine but also teaching him or her to not lie. Getting caught in a lie means trouble and punishment - small lessons that get instilled as moral lessons in a child's head. Lies can destroy a life, ruin marriages, lose jobs, and eventually result in a weaker state of mind. Start young and teach children the value and power of honesty. How it's empowering and ultimately rewarding.
2. I DO!
Every action has a consequence
Holding children responsible for their actions makes them accountable. It gives them a sense of self, as well as the knowledge that what they do has a larger repercussion on the people and environment around them.
3. PLEASE & THANK YOU
Treat people with respect
Treat others the way you'd like them to treat you - an easy enough policy to learn as a child. Good manners, and the ability to engage with anyone and everyone gives children a greater understanding of the world around them. Saying the magic words also makes them approachable and relatable, easing so much of life's irksome qualities. A smile accompanying difficult requests, and genuine gratitude will make for a better person - a better leader, a better parent, a better human being.
4. ME, MYSELF AND I
Always stand up for yourself
While being generous and selfless are extremely admirable qualities, it is also important to know yourself. As a child, this sense of self is yet to be moulded and it's during childhood that the lessons make their mark. This stands strong especially during peer pressure. Children and teenagers who are confident in their skin will seldom find themselves bullied. Fighting off a bully helps a child develop into an independent human being capable of demanding respect.
5. BE KIND
The ability to empathise with others is a lesson that will stand every child in good stead. It's an exceptional quality in leaders promising bright futures. This is one quality that will even help children to get along with peers they might not like very much. Being kind to a fellow human being allows others to reciprocate, leading to a society that lives in harmony.
About Aniruddh Gupta:
Aniruddh Gupta is the Founder and Managing Director of DML Education Pte. Ltd, which runs the Safari Kid pre-schools and kindergartens in Asia and the Middle East. Safari Kid is an international school chain which provides kindergarten, pre-school and day care services across 30 locations in six countries like Hong Kong, Malaysia, Dubai, USA and Canada.
Article attributed to: Aniruddh Gupta
Managing Director, Safari Kid Asia