My very good friends and tennis partner seems to have it all; great health, a beautiful family, a lovely home and plenty of money. The problems? Her teenage kids are driving her completely nuts!
She is not alone as most parents are in this position, she wanted me to offer an insight because she admires my thinking and the level of my discipline, she even thinks the kids should come and talk me. Yet, the problems will not resolve from a conversation with me alone, but also from her.
The first thing I told her was that kids don’t do what you say, they do what they see. How you live your life is an example to them. One of the reasons that I don’t smoke or drink excessive alcohol is the fact that none of my parents does that, every parents have different challenges but it comes down to the rules you set at home and I think kids need guidance and discipline.
As a parent, it’s our responsibility to educate our kids about the consequences of their behaviour. This requires frequent communication and sometimes punishment. Yet according to a recent study, the average parent spends three and half minute per week communicating with their kids.
It’s a tough world out there, things are tougher for parents now – but that only means good parenting is more important than ever. Yes, the school will teach them reading, science, history, and math or should. Yet it’s up to us, their parents, to teach our kids the most important things like work, health, money, relationships, and integrity.
Part of this of course is leading by example, in my view there are certain things kids need to be taught:
- Respect your elders
- When you give your word – keep it
- Look people in the eye when you talk to them
- You don’t need someone to complete you – complete yourself
- Learn to think for yourself
- If you don’t know something, look it up
- Cigarette don’t make you cool; they make you look dumb
- Sex is great but unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases are not
- When you need help ask for it, when others need help give it
Those are just some core values that I came across which I consider highly valuable for the kids around us.