How to “square up” failure. How to use tools properly. How to take care of your home. When we asked a group of dads about the life skill they wish they taught their kids sooner, the answers revealed a simple truth: there’s always more to teach and, looking back, some of the things that are most useful are the ones we might not think to focus on until we see how useful it would’ve been.
From the obvious (teaching more financial literacy) to the aspirational (cultivating an appreciation for exercise at an early age) to the oh-damn-I-wish-I-demonstrated-that-better (how to forgive someone), here are the life skills these men wish they taught their kids sooner.
1. How To Make Exercise A Big Part of Your Life
“I wish we had modeled and practiced a daily workout regimen so our kids would have gained this healthy habit for life. Though my wife and I are generally healthy, we have not modeled or developed our own workout routine, and so neither have our kids. A close friend of mine has done that, and the effects are evident throughout the entire family.
He and his wife engage their kids to work out regularly, including daily push-ups, sit-ups, and stuff like that on a regular basis. Since they are ingraining this habit as a lifestyle early on, I’m sure their kids will continue this healthy practice for the rest of their lives.” – Mark, 52, Georgia…Continue reading….
By: Matt Christensen
Play is essential to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children. It offers children opportunities for physical (running, jumping, climbing, etc.), intellectual (social skills, community norms, ethics and general knowledge) and emotional development (empathy, compassion, and friendships).
Unstructured play encourages creativity and imagination. Playing and interacting with other children, as well as some adults, provides opportunities for friendships, social interactions, conflicts and resolutions. However, adults tend to (often mistakenly) assume that virtually all children’s social activities can be understood as “play” and, furthermore, that children’s play activities do not involve much skill or effort.
It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them. Play allows children to create and explore a world they can master, conquering their fears while practicing adult roles, sometimes in conjunction with other children or adult caregivers. Undirected play allows children to learn how to work in groups, to share, to negotiate, to resolve conflicts, and to learn self-advocacy skills.
However, when play is controlled by adults, children acquiesce to adult rules and concerns and lose some of the benefits play offers them. This is especially true in developing creativity, leadership, and group skills. Play is considered to be very important to optimal child development that it has been recognized by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights as a right of every child.
Children who are being raised in a hurried and pressured style may limit the protective benefits they would gain from child-driven play. The initiation of play in a classroom setting allows teachers and students to interact through playfulness associated with a learning experience. Therefore, playfulness aids the interactions between adults and children in a learning environment. “Playful Structure” means to combine informal learning with formal learning to produce an effective learning experience for children at a young age.
Even though play is considered to be the most important to optimal child development, the environment affects their play and therefore their development. Poor children confront widespread environmental inequities as they experience less social support, and their parents are less responsive and more authoritarian. Children from low income families are less likely to have access to books and computers which would enhance their development.
The age at which children are considered responsible for their society-bound actions (e. g. marriage, voting, etc.) has also changed over time, and this is reflected in the way they are treated in courts of law. In Roman times, children were regarded as not culpable for crimes, a position later adopted by the Church. In the 19th century, children younger than seven years old were believed incapable of crime.
Children from the age of seven forward were considered responsible for their actions. Therefore, they could face criminal charges, be sent to adult prison, and be punished like adults by whipping, branding or hanging. However, courts at the time would consider the offender’s age when deliberating sentencing. Minimum employment age and marriage age also vary. The age limit of voluntary/involuntary military service is also disputed at the international level.
It is the responsibility of individuals, organizations and governments to ensure that children are protected from harm and their rights are respected. This includes providing a safe environment for children to grow and develop, protecting them from physical, emotional and sexual abuse, and ensuring they have access to education, healthcare and other basic needs…
- “Child”. TheFreeDictionary.com.
- Mosby’s Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing & Health Professions.
- Childhood and Adolescence: Voyages in Development.
- “Child”. OED.com.
- “Child”. Merriam-Webster.com.
- “American Heritage Dictionary”.
- “Convention on the Rights of the Child”
- “Children and Young Persons Act”.
- “Proposal to lower the Age of Contractual Capacity from 21 years to 18 years, and the Civil Law (Amendment) Bill”.
- Infant and toddler development”.
- Development during Middle Childhood.
- The Evolution of Childhood.
- “Poor Children’s Rights in Early Modern England”.
- A Prospect of Flowers’, Concepts of Childhood and Female Youth in Seventeenth-Century British Culture”.
- Poverty and Families in the Victorian Era”.
- “The Factory and Workshop Act, 1901”.
- Major themes in Lord of the Flies”
- Children’s Health”
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