4 things you should never do for your school-age child
Children need to learn the principle of cause and effect early on, learn that life is full of consequences and that the world won’t stop turning for them
If you want your children to transition into adulthood smoothly, they have to learn that the world around them isn’t full of rainbows and butterflies.
Parents want to see their children develop into the best person they can be, and this entails providing them the best education, nutrition, and upbringing possible.
But mum Lisa Sailer, who also happens to be an elementary teacher, said that if you want your children to transition into adulthood as smoothly as they can, they have to learn that the world around them isn’t full of rainbows and butterflies.
She listed the 4 worst things you can do for your school age children.
1. Making excuses
Children need to learn the principle of cause and effect early on, learn that life is full of consequences and that the world won’t stop turning for them.
“Do not email your child’s teacher asking for an exception,” Lisa emphasised. “Do not ask for an extension. Do not come up with some elaborate story about why your child does not have their homework.”
Doing this teaches your child that irresponsibility yields rewards—and that’s not how real life works.
As much as they hate to see their child unhappy, parents should allow their children to understand that that there are important life lessons we all need to learn the hard way.
“If a child has to sit out recess for forgetting their homework, I guarantee that every time they pack their backpack they will be thinking about that in the back of their mind and making sure they have their homework,” she said.
2. Doing Everything for Them
All parents are guilty of this at one point of another. Whether it’s about packing lunch, or tying their shoelaces, or picking out their clothes for the day—they’ve done it.
You’d think there’s no downside to this, after all, you’re just making things easier for them. But that’s exactly it.
It’s not that it is encouraged to allow children to suffer, but by doing things for them all the time, you’re robbing them the opportunity to learn this important life lesson: everything worth having has a price.
“What’s wrong with saving some time in the morning and packing your child’s backpack for them? They won’t know what’s in there or where anything is.”
Lisa added, “They will think their backpack is like a Mary Poppins bag and anything they need will magically appear. Let them pack their own backpack, and they will be mindful of what they need and learn the responsibility of preparation.”
3. Expecting Rewards for Participation
Trophies, medals and ribbons are rewards, and a kid should feel proud to earn one—again, to earn one. Children need to learn that mediocre efforts result in mediocre outcomes.
A child participating in a competition doesn’t guarantee a recognition. He or she has to work hard for it; they have to deserve it.
“It sucks to see your baby crying because they didn’t win, but it also provides a valuable lesson and an opportunity to develop a plan to do better next time,” says mum Lisa.
4. Bringing Your Child Lunch Every Day
“I’ve had students who didn’t eat lunch with their class one day of an entire year because their parents brought them lunch and ate with them every day,” Lisa said.
“Here’s the thing: If a kid is hungry, they will eat. And if they don’t? They’ll remember being hungry in the afternoon and won’t make the same mistake again.”
Packing lunch for your child might seem harmless, but there’s an underlying problem to this: it may be unintentional but it teaches your child that because they eat a different food everyday, they are better and more special than their classmates.
“Kids get jealous,” Lisa admitted. “Jealous kids can be a**holes. ‘That’s not fair that Sally gets Subway every day!’ can cause some serious issues among 7-year-olds,” says Lisa.
In the end, Lisa advises parents to let their children be children and make mistakes. That’s when parents come in—to talk about their children’s failures and make them into a learning experience.
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