How to Raise a Good Kid to Become a Good Adult
From here to there
When you first bring a baby home from the hospital, they look so innocent and good, like god gave you the most perfect human being. As they grow older, they begin to learn as they see others doing. Children mimic everything they see and hear. That is why, no matter how small the child it is extremely important to do the right things in front of the child. From as young an age as six months, babies understand more than anybody would expect. It has been proved that babies who can barely say one or two words can be taught to read. The first three or four years of their life they learn faster than at any other time in their lives, soaking up knowledge like a sponge. By the time they are five years old they have learned most of the moral and how to and why subjects of what they are supposed to do, what is right from wrong, and what is expected of them.
In my opinion, just when they start school, they should have already been taught all the things that they are going to learn in the first two years of school. As soon as a child can say mom and dad, they are watching and learning everything you do. It is only the things in this world that we show them, do they know. It is very important to keep them as busy as possible, and to expose them to as many things as possible.
As kids approach puberty, they are wanting to know more of the world and how it works, and begin to question authority. They wonder if their parents are like everyone else's, and question whether or not the things they have been taught are indeed true for everyone. This is when it become the most important thing of all to maintain a true course when it comes to the rules in the house, and that you stick to your guns when it comes to things like curfew, bedtimes, homework, grades, and anything else that is expected of them.
Teaching your kids right from wrong, is done more by example than by any other kind of learning. What a child sees you doing is what he or she is going to do themselves. Leading by example is really the only thing they will pay attention to. You can say a million times, don't drink, or don't steal, but if they see you drinking all weekend, that is what they are going to think you mean. This is what they will do themselves. The old saying, Do as I say not as I do, does not work. If you want your kids to do something, the best and easiest way to get co operation is to begin the task yourself, then say to them, "Hey, get over here and help me." This approach is almost failure proof. Anybody will be more willing to help someone, than to just be told to get over there and do that. Although, the latter method is Ok too, it is easier the other way.
The teen and pre teen child equate love with boundaries. To a teen, if you do not give them boundaries or rules, they think that you do not love them. To the teen, rules, equals love and caring. So it is true, that if you do not give them curfews and rules to live by, you do not care about them. This is why and when they rebel, until you do give them the discipline that they so need in this part of their life. It is this time in life that they are learning to become adults, and they need to know what the rules are and what they need to grow up to become. If you do not show them them the discipline they need, they will grow up to become law breakers who show no respect for the law or any kind of importance to the things that we wish them to grow up to be.
In order for a teenager to grow up and earn a living for themselves, you must instill in them a sense of worth. What this means is that you cannot when they are kids, buy them everything that they want or think that they need. When you hear from your child, "but everyone has one, why can't I?" they are asking you a very different question. What they are really asking, is what do they need to learn or do to begin earning the things they want. Giving it to them is not the answer, neither is giving them a weekly allowance. Anything that is given, will not be worth anything to them, and will not last long. Only the things that they have earned will be taken care of and be loved. You cannot spoil an infant, but it is easy to spoil an adolescent child.
Another important issue to know how to cope with, is how to keep a child from doing drugs. The only way that I know of and the way my father taught us, was to keep them busy, whether it is sports, hobbies, work, or recreational fun, staying busy and having plenty of wholesome family time together will keep and teach your child what to do with their spare time. Boredom is the main reason teens do drugs. This is not true for the adult, but for the teen, having time with nothing to fill it gives them too much time to think about doing things that they should not. Do not give them that time.
By the time a pre teen hits fourteen they should have some way of earning money themselves. Whether it is an after school part time job, or a weekend lawn mowing service, or dog washing, or tutoring younger kids, let them find something that they can do to earn money themselves. This not only teaches them the value of a dollar, but will teach them how hard it is to earn the money to buy something. It also takes up that extra time we just talked about. It shows them what their parents do to provide for the family, and is a very good experience.
Going back and in summary, teaching them discipline, that they must pull their fair share of the chores in the house, without payment, that they have rules that they are expected to follow, that they must earn the things that they want, and that their time will be filled with activities, are all things that cannot vary to waver. Consistency may not be easy but is a must. Discipline with love will be given if the rules are not followed, that is they will lose some of their most loved items or things to do if they mess up. Let them know that you love them and that is why you must teach them these things.