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11 Important Lessons You Should Teach Your Kids Before They Turn 15

By Chantal

While children grow up, there is a particular time span which is best for setting the records straight with regards to some very important issues in life. They are not going to be children for a very long time and while they are still young and tender at heart, you should take the opportunity to teach teach them some important principles in life. It is interesting to know that the average complete schooling time up to a Masters Degree in any field will span through more than 15 years. But in all those 15 years and uncountable hours or schooling, there are some important things your children are not going to learn in the classrooms or on campus. They will have to learn them as they go through life, but the sooner they do, the better.

The second half of their lives will be determined by the things they knew in the first half and how that knowledge was applied. Now you have a role to play and in a way, the effectiveness with which you play that role will have an effect on the quality of life your children will have as they grow up. Here are some important lessons you should teach your children betimes. The greatest life lessons for young adults have to be thought while they are yet growing and their minds are still tender.

Getting rich is not the purpose of life
Society puts so much emphasis on getting rich. From the time one begins to get any sense of the future,   money and riches seem to  be the words that must be heard and focused on. Many are deceived into thinking acquiring as much money as possible is the most important thing anyone can do for himself. After all the world seems to revolve around money. If you can work hard enough and get as much money as you want, you will be able to get anything or even anyone you desire. While money can make life more pleasant, pursuing money never leads to any definite place. Not even a dead end. The problem with that is, if your children learn to take money so seriously that it becomes the only thing their lives revolve around, they will never get any fulfillment in life. If anyone goes after money as a goal, you will never have enough of it. Thats because money was never meant to bring fulfillment. Its just a way to make life easier and this is one of the many lessons to learn while one is younger.

There are so many rich men out there who have a hard time finding happiness with all the money they have. At the same time, there are people all over the world who do not even own a car but are living very happy lives and finding fulfillment in the things they do. There are so many risks engaged in making money and riches the purpose of life. First, if care is not taken, the child may at some point loose focus on the simple things of life, those things which actually matter.
Secondly, even when he or she gets more money than they actually need, they may not recover from the pursuit. The desire to have more could easily grip anyone and when that happens, that person is never satisfied, no matter how much he or she gets. It is the deceitfulness of riches. To be deceived and dragged into the rat race of an endless chase after money and riches. Your children should know, before they even begin to get any money out of their efforts, that money is not the most important thing they need to have a great life. It is one of the greatest life lessons for young adults. There are very few things to learn in life that are as important.

Love is more than feelings
The word “love” has been misused for as long as it has been in existence. This mistake has been one of the most apparent causes of relationship strains. You may have had a few rough experiences from relationships because you did not understand that love is not just a feeling you have for someone of the opposite sex. It is way more than that. And it is important for your children to understand this while they are young because amongst several life lessons for young adults, this is quite crucial. A more appropriate descriptions of love will be that love is a decision. One may be attracted to a guy or a girl from the onset, build a relationship with that person and  even get married to him or her. But those emotional feelings of attraction cannot be called Love if we are going to define the word. Imagine your son falling in love with a girl while he is in college. He proposes to her and for about two years, they both profess their undying love for each other before eventually getting married. If he does not understand that love is more than feelings, the relationship or marriage may come to a point where you will hear him say “we don’t love each other anymore”.
That statement may sound valid, but considering that he has been in love with this lady for more than a couple of years now, it cannot be true. Love is more of a decision. A decision to cherish the same person for a lifetime. To love him or her and respect them in all circumstances. It is a decision that goes beyond the changes or frequent swings of emotions. If your son or daughter learns this in time, it will save him or her a great deal of pain that would result from broken relationships or a divorce.
Before your children get into relationships that may ultimately lead to marriage, let them know that after marrying the woman or man they love, they would have to diligently love the woman or man they have  married. And that love cannot be sustained by emotional feelings alone. It is one of the lessons to learn as far as emotion and matters of the heart are concerned.

Family is the base
You may have to teach this one to your children by living it out, but teach them you must. Remember every child you have today is a potential parent to your grand children. You can start determining what kind of atmosphere you want your children to live under by the way you relate with them. A person’s family is really important for their moral and even psychological buildup and well being. When children grow up in wounded families, it is very likely that the tense atmosphere which characterized their childhood days would be replicated in their own homes when they are parents. That starts a pattern that is passed on from generation to generation. If it is a family characterized by bitterness and harsh words, the children will eventually come to the conclusion that keeping family ties is not important. That will of course seriously affect their relationship with their unborn children. If you are still around to see how things unfold in your child’s family, you will be sorry for not making the impact when you had the chance to. The importance of family is one of the lessons to learn while a child is young and indeed one of the most important things to learn in life.
When children grow up without the loving atmosphere that should characterize a home, the parents are cut off from them when they grow up and leave home. It does not really matter how well off your children may be when they grow up and eventually get married, they still need a family to fall back on when the road gets tough. And believe me, sooner or later, it is going to get tough. Children should not be left to grow up despising the relationship they have with family. Some have never been able to make it past a certain level of their career or marriage because when faced with challenges, they could not seek help, advice or support from family, not  because it wasn’t necessary or that they did not know their need for family at such periods, they simply could not break through the hindrances put up by wounded family relationships. The importance of family is one of the greatest life lessons for young adults to learn while they grow up.

The power of Knowledge
You know why people spend lots of money to get education or to hire some other person to do something for them? 95% of the time, it is because they cannot do it themselves. Why not? Well, because they simply don’t know how to. Knowledge is not just important. It is power. If someone is more knowledgeable than you in any field, that person is more powerful than you in that domain. There are several things to learn in life and the amount of knowledge you get determines how effective you will be. Knowledge commands attention and attracts money. In most cases, people are only as relevant as what they know. So don’t let your children go through their adolescent and youthful days focusing so much on getting schooled. Knowledge should be acquired on a as wide a range as one can get. Never limit your children to what they can learn in schools. You may also like to be reminded that the things that really count in life are hardly thought in classrooms. Things like patience, persistence, commitment and integrity. Even basics on hygiene, cooking, and other domestic chores must be learned while the child is still young.
It is not learning these things in themselves that I am driving at. It is the importance and power of knowledge I like to point your attention to. Your life could be miserable or wonderful depending on how much you know or do not know. It is the same with your children. Let them understand how important it is that they take every opportunity to learn seriously.

The importance of maintaining dignity
Of all things to learn in life, keeping one’s dignity is very vital. The moral pillars seem to be collapsing on every side, but make no mistakes, dignity is still worth its value. The ability to uphold certain values makes a person valuable in the eyes of others. Dignity sets people apart and places them on a higher platform than their peers or equals. As your children grow up, they should become men and women of dignity. People who can hold on to certain values even in the face of challenges or adversity. Keeping one’s dignity is one of the  most valuable lessons to learn and it is indeed one of the greatest life lessons  for young adults.

Happiness
Everyone is on a journey to be happy. But ironically, most people are on the wrong road and do not even know it. Most of them are seeking for happiness in places where they can only get temporary moments of it. Your children should be told that happiness is something they have to take charge of for themselves. They must come to terms with the fact they are the custodians of their own happiness. They are in charge of it. Whether they are happy or not should not be dependent on things or people. When a person’s happiness is based on people or things, they can hardly be happy consistently. People change almost every minute. They can hardly meet your expectations of them. In addition to that you give control of your happiness to other people and to things when you expect them to make you happy. That means you will hardly be able keep your happiness consistently for longer than a day or two.

The importance and value of hard work
Life is not a fairy tale and wishes are not horses. What ever you look forward to achieving in the future will only be gotten through diligence and hard work. Teach your children to work for things while they are still young. Once in a while, let them work for the money they need to get a shoe or some clothes. Some work around the compound which they do not normally do will suffice. Cleaning the lawn is an example of such an activity. Teach your children the value of hard work and let them know that is pays to work hard. There is no substitute to hard work and no short cut to accomplishments in life. You cannot wish your way into accomplishments either. Hard work is what pays. It is the bridge that connects dreams and aspirations to their actualization.
Now more than ever, the world promises short cuts. An easy way out of or through everything. A shortcut to riches, to accomplishments and wealth. The problem is, those shortcuts often lead nowhere. If you let your children fall for the cheap lie that they can go through life and accomplish their dreams with minimal efforts, you are only going to watch them fail at almost everything in life. Success is built on the foundation of hard work.

The value of Time
Time is the most important asset we all have. The way we use our time determines to a large extent what we accomplish in life and what we are unable to accomplish. To put it in another way, what makes the difference between a successful man and an unsuccessful one is largely the way they make use of their time. Before your children are 15, they should be able to account for their time each day. They must understand how important it is that they make the most of every moment they got in everyday. There is not enough time to waste. Let time be considered as money to them. Guard and use your time more wisely than even your money. If you loose money, you can get it back with time. If you loose time, how will you get it back? Your children must understand  the value of time. If they don’t, it will take them longer to achieve their dreams if at all they do achieve them. Understanding the value of time is one of the most important things to learn in life.
With the issue of time comes the importance of making plans. Time that is not planned for will hardly be maximized. Teach your kids to plan for everyday before it comes. It is the best way for them to maximize their time and accomplish certain task. There is usually more to do and hardly enough time to do everything one will like to do. However, time can only be maximized when we learn to keep our priorities straight and plan in advance.

The value of a person’s life is measured by the number of lives he has affected positively
We live in a century which has lost the real meaning of everything because people are trying to define even things that should not be defined. Many people are looking for fulfillment in money and wealth. It is the reason why they study so hard to get certificates, then to get a job and work to the last of their energy to amass as much money as they can. Don’t let your kids get deceived into measuring the value of their lives by what they have or do not have. Material possessions and money are only a means by which we can better fulfill purpose and get fulfillment. But that fulfillment comes from the impact you make in the lives of people. It is one of the most valuable lessons to learn in life.  

To chose their friends wisely
From the time a child can talk and walk around, he or she starts getting connected to friends. While their minds and hearts are too tender to accept or understand what friendship really is, you may not be able to warn them about certain friends. However, when they are old enough to know the difference between right and wrong, it is important for you to teach your kids how important it is to chose right friends, the difference between friends and acquaintances, as well as what it takes to keep true friends. The people your children consider and keep as friends have a great role to play in helping them accomplish their purposes and find fulfillment in life.

To not live their lives trying to please other people
Whether friends or family, there are certain critical choices in life that should not be made to please people. We each have a lifetime to live and we ought to make the most of it. No time should be spent trying to love another person’s dream or to please people. Your children should have the nerves to decide what they want to study in the university, what career path they would like to follow and who they will fall in love with and get married to. All these and more should be solely their decision and a result of their own heart desire, not to please someone else. They could receive advice from people, but it must be their decision that really counts. Any other thing may lead to catastrophe at the end of the day. Knowing and accepting the fact that you cannot live your life trying to please everybody is one of the most important life lessons for young adults to learn.

Life is not fair
Oh yes, life is not fair and thats no News! It has never been, it will never be. We are not living in a movie or fairy tale where one can simply wish things into being. This implies that your children must possess strength of will and tenacity to go through the challenges of life and stay victorious through it. There is no place in life for the feeble minded and chicken hearted. Knowing that life is not fair is one of the things to learn in life. From their tender age, teach your children to stand up to opposition and face challenges without cowering. You should know, through experience that they are going to need the lesson soon enough.

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