There are some things every kid needs to learn before they become an adult. I think being a parent is so hard to make sure you fully prepare your child for life, but it's so important to do all we can to make these cookies children into capable adults. No matter how awkward the conversation is.
Growing up, I was the youngest of the family. I was the last to hear about everything. My parents taught my older siblings all about everything they needed to know about life, but when it came time to teach me, they had already been there, done that. So I had to figure a lot out on my own. I had friends who didn't learn anything from their parents either. When you don't take responsibility to teach your kid about what to expect, your kids will end up unhappy and lost. Trying to figure things out on your own is hard!
So I thought I'd make it a little easier on all those parents out there trying to prepare their kids to be independent, happy adults. Here are a few personal suggestions that I think all kids should know to be able to have a head start on life.
1. Birds and Bees Talk
Obviously, this is so important. But did you know a lot of parents just expect their kids to learn about it in school? In my home state of Utah, most people are very conservative. Most parents don't have this talk with their kids because the main religion here (LDS) expects no sex before marriage. Reasonable. But, if you don't talk to your kids about sex, it causes many problems. I wish I could tell you some stories about idiot LDS kids who knew nothing about sex, and got pregnant or were convinced they were pregnant even though they didn't have sex.
Anyway, just have the damn talk with your kids. It's good for them.
2. Expectation vs. Reality
I know no one talks to their kids about this, because everyone I know has an expectation problem. Kids grow up watching perfect princess movies where the girl and guy get married and they live "happily ever after". Then these kids grow up, get married... get divorced because they aren't living happily ever after.
I hope to teach my kids about Expectation vs. Reality. Telling them that yes there are really great things about life and you should try to enjoy every minute of it. But there is no such thing as "happily ever after". Married people fight, work sucks like 80% of the time, people aren't always nice. So go in remembering these things, and find the good out of it all. We make our own happiness. It's not just handed to us.
3. Find Yourself Before You Get Married
I really wish someone had told me to find myself before getting married. I didn't think about it, I just jumped into marriage, then jumped into having babies. Now I'm here with my wonderful family, but I can't enjoy it as much because my mind is always wondering who I am without these things.
As an individual. What makes me happy, what am I passionate about?
It's hard to answer these questions when I can barely get 5 minutes to myself.
If you teach your kids to know who they are and be able to answer these questions before they get married, they will be able to find much more personal happiness in life.
To me, these are some of the most important things our children can learn. I think children who are able to find this stuff out early on, will be able to be more responsible, happier adults with more fulfilling lives.
Do you have any other suggestions that you think would go with this list? Please feel free to comment!