What's Important to You?

As parents, we decide what to teach our kids. Obviously, the older they get, the more outside influences there are. But in the beginning, we teach them what's important to us. Some things we teach "To Do" and some are "What Not To Do".

One of the things that was important to me was teaching my kiddos to speak to adults. This may sound silly but in my eyes it is an important skill for children to learn.

I'm not sure if it stems from the earlier generations of "children are to be seen and not heard" but it makes me crazy when a child won't meet my eyes and mumbles a response. I understand shyness. I remember my little ones hiding behind my legs when a grown up would speak to them. Some of this is developmental and will come in time but some of this is enabled by having mom or dad always speaking for them.

I started small. When we would eat at a restaurant, I had my kiddos order for themselves. If they wanted a refill or ketchup, they asked for it. When they were very young, I would get the server's attention, but my kiddo made the request. Now when we go out to eat, they know exactly what to do and how to do it. They say please and thank you to the person they are speaking to. Another strategy I've used is to send them through a checkout at a store and have them pay for an item just to encourage this interaction between adults.

I'm surprised how many times my kid's friends get quiet and shy when I speak to them. I promise, I'm not a monster. So I make a point of speaking to them. I ask them a question. I want them to get comfortable talking to me.

I want my children to know how to handle themselves with adults. In conversation, in public, should they need to ask for help. This is one of the skills I've really tried to encourage with my two. I notice when they are using these skills in the real world and it makes my heart happy.

I'm sure we all have different ideas of important skills to teach the next generation. I'd love to hear what skills/behaviors you feel are important to teach your kids?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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