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Life skills or Grades..Part – 2

Life Skills

This is a continuation of my earlier article on the same topic. Click here to read more on Part 1. To set the context, this blog really focused on what we need to do a parents to help our kids become better adults.
4. SHOW ME THE MONEY PLEASE…
Money doesn’t grow on trees, my dear son…Sometimes, I wonder if kids even understand this expression. Mine didn’t. I would give him $20 and he would need just a coloring set but would end spending the entire $20.00

Money Management is a key skill and after all, most human beings slave their entire life way for this little colored paper with a past president on it. It should be working for you, right?
 5 BUILD UP THAT "NEVER GIVE UP" MUSCLE

My son is truly a role model in that respect and there was a period where his inborn confidence took a shot but he definitely has that muscle working again. Kids are resilient and given the right encouragement, they can do it. We fear as parents and that fear permeates their entire life.

My son is truly a role model in that respect and there was a period where his inborn confidence took a shot but he definitely has that muscle working again. Kids are resilient and given the right encouragement, they can do it. We fear as parents and that fear permeates their entire life.

Kudos to every child who is differently abled and who puts on a brave face to face the world every day. Their spirit and resilience in facing this world with supportive parents who understand and stand by them for who they are. I salute you. Keep encouraging them and that is a far better skill to have and that gets them going in the long run to achieve the dreams.

6.  Manners and Basic curtsy..

Hello Ms. Manners.. this one is more for the parents than the kids. I have seen two kinds..one who plays the part of Ms. Bad Manners and another who observes it and ignores it with a justification. For us to live in this civilized society, it is important to be polite and say your thank-you’s. Why scream when there is no need? Being rude and getting angry gets every evil character inside of you to the surface and that sticks on to you.

Being kind enhances every wonderful trait you have and makes the world beautiful. Next time, you see your kid, don’t just stand there..Give them a change to explain their side of the story, give them your ear unconditionally and lead the way for better understanding. In the same token, don’t be a role model of bad manners either.

7.  EMPATHIZE..

Empathy is listening to someone and reliving their experience in stealth mode. That requires sensitivity and you have to emulate it as a parent for the kids to understand it.

Understanding another person’s perspective makes you connect with other people. Children tell you stories. For a dad or a mom who has seen it all, it is nothing new. From a child’s perspective, it is a new experience. Lately, my son and I try to make it a point to generally chit chat with no devices before we go to sleep. I have moved away from being a judgmental mom to listening to his stories with just occasional comments like “oh my..that must make you feel sad” for a painful incident in school or a “You were asked to leave the class. That must have been so embarrassing for you” before I jump down his throat. Simple expressions here and there are always picked up by the kids and that does set the foundation.

7. HONESTY PAYS...

Small lies, every one does. As an adult, we have to accept it. The big one’s which people say scares me sometimes. My dear one still hasn’t connected the dots yet and sometimes I laugh. There is enough evidence everywhere for him to get caught and then he gives a sheepish smile.

Giving sermons about lying to a teenage is a waste of time. Now, I just share stories that I read in the newspaper or my office colleagues or just everyday happenings and this gives him much more insight. When I catch him red handed, then I ask him the reasons about why he did and he could have done much better if he had come straight to me.

8. NO PAIN NO GAIN ..

This one is a big one for me. My son is not a Ace student and he is extremely street smart. The problem that I see not only with him but all the kids these days is how they have mastered the art of doing just enough to get by. That obviously reflects on everything that they do.

We as parents tend to lighten the load for them in every possible way we can. That is too much homework, That is too much testing in school, You don’t worry, I will talk to the school and get you exemptions, Kid is sitting in the room with the phone but cannot get up to make a sandwich for himself or throw the candy wrapper in the garbage. We bail them out everytime with some excuse or the other.

After grade 8, I changed my philosophy. Told my son” Start flexing your muscles for we are on for a ride. ( more on this topic here…). I don’t care what grades you get but I do care if you have worked hard for it and that is how I decide what privileges you will have in the future”.
Whether it is his room or grades, same philosophy holds. It didn’t happen overnight. It started when I received a comment about how I could forget doing his laundry and all the fluff that was added to it. I took it hard and the comment was rude. That triggered it for me and told him that he is 14 and completely responsible for his washing/drying. We started by doing it jointly to give him enough encouragement and now he is doing it on his own. I give him enough support to make it sustain. There are some tasks that take longer but keep your one hand to give them support to becoming independent is key.

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