There are many things I learned about the world during my tenure as a teacher. But I never realized how much teaching would impact my parenting. Here are 10 things I learned as a teacher that have made me a better parent:
1. Saying “no” to your kids will probably end in tears. Maybe even the dreaded, “I hate you!” But in a few hours they will love you again. And they’ll respect you more.
2. Only praise when actually warranted. That way it’s meaningful. Kids are much more excited when they know they actually earned praise.
3. You should never be their best friend, but you should always be someone they can count on and trust. Be open with your kids and explain what you are doing and why. They totally know the difference between when you’re being honest and when you’re fibbing.
4. Kids can do A LOT more than most people believe. Give them a chance. Challenge them and be patient. Let them work through problems. Your job is to guide, not answer for them. You’ll be amazed what they can do without help.
5. Teach your children how to advocate for themselves AND others. Teach your children compassion and empathy. Do this by modeling. Be careful what you say in front of them. Often your values become their values.
6. Teach your children how to actively listen and ask questions accordingly. Teach them to share and take turns. Practice this. A lot.
7. Teach your children to question everything and to formulate their own opinions. Teach them to cite evidence for why they think the way they do.
8. Kids need to be taught manners and social skills. Reinforce through modeling. Children learn so much by watching how others act, from food choices to respect. Be a good role model.
9. It’s ok to fail as long as you learn something from the experience. Failure isn’t always bad. It’s better to have a kid fail on his/her own than succeed because he/she cheated or had a parent do the work.
10. If it’s allowed, ALWAYS pack a lunch for school. Cafeteria food is rarely nutritious or delicious and lunch times have been cut super short. Standing in line to get food takes up precious time and often ends with food in the trash instead of in the belly.
What would you add?