Ten Things to Teach Your Children or Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Most of us with children are familiar with the Robert Fulghum essay, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.  My mother-in-law has it taped to her refrigerator.  That is because the advice is timeless – it is also timely.  Many of the following items can be found in that essay, and I think most people would agree that they are good things to teach children.

Ten Things to Teach Your Children
1)  It is good to share with others.
2)  Do not cheat, play fair.
3)  Do not lie or gossip about other people.
4)  Don’t be a bully with either your words or your actions.
5)  Put things away when you are done with them.
6)  Be respectful of others especially your parents, your teachers, and other adults.
7)  Don’t take things that aren’t yours.  That includes words, ideas, and belongings.
8)  Admit it when you are wrong.
9)  Say you’re sorry when you are wrong or if you hurt somebody.
10) Remember the Golden Rule – do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do
We are role models for our children, and they will model what they see in action.  When we have had less than perfect role models, we have to be extra diligent to change our behavior and become better parents.  And we hope that our children will do a better job than we did.  It’s a fact of life that your children will say or do the most embarrassing things based on what they have seen you do.

This is my philosophy.  The things we teach our children are things that we should all be doing for the rest of our lives.  In light of the current, divisive political environment as well as a society where civility and civil discourse have gone the way of landlines and letter writing, I think it’s good advice for us to remember.

It’s not okay to call each other names, to tell lies about others, or to be a bully.  It is okay to be respectful of others, to share your wealth and time and talent with those less fortunate, and to play fair.

Here is a picture of My 5 Girls from last Thanksgiving.  They are all different, but I love them all.

It’s okay to have different ideological beliefs.  It’s okay to be members of different political parties.  It’s okay to be a strict parent, and it’s okay to be a permissive parent, and it’s okay to be something in-between.  This doesn’t make one wrong and one right, it makes one different.

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3 Responses to Ten Things to Teach Your Children or Do As I Say, Not As I Do

  1. Pingback: State of the Union & Civil Discourse | Mama's Empty Nest

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