I’ve been working with grown ups and companies for the last 2 decades, helping them with life skills; things like navigating change, dealing with fear and the unknown, empathy, decision making, intuition, kindness, communication and all aspects of physical and emotional well being.
And what I’ve noticed is this: “All our wounds as grown ups trace back to when we were kids!” Our model of the world, our view of men/women/ourselves, our connection (or not) to our body, how much our mind runs our life, our identity in the world, our ability to love and have meaningful relationships etc. So much of who we are is set up in our early years.
So recently, I’ve been shifting my focus more on what life skills our tiny humans need, how do we stop the ‘wounding’, how do we prepare them for the real type of life they will grow up in, that is not about education, college or work. How do we focus on their inner super powers and bring those out more?
I started by writing a book series Giggles and Joy, for young kids that covers 24 life lessons. Things like how to handle having a bad day, safety, their body, generosity, telling the truth, meditating, being sad and mad and of course joy.
Since the publication of the series, I’ve spent time with parents and caregivers of all kinds, doing readings, coaching and I’ve done my best to narrow it down to the important skills.
Here are seven important skills that we should be teaching our children for them to lead happy, successful lives. There are many others I will assume parents are already doing their best to share.
Helping your child develop real self-trust and self- awareness and a reliance on themselves, not only everyone around them. Teaching them about an ‘Inner Guidance System’, a part of them that combined with their mind, will lead them to truth and good decisions.
How to help your child have a kind mind towards themselves and others. We are so focused on bringing up kind kids. Having your child first be kind to themselves is the foundation. How does a child learn to love themselves, especially in the hard moments? How do you show them self-forgiveness, and teach your child to not blame themselves and then how to let go, how to repair.
We are never taught how to get good at change, how to make change easier and yet there are proven ways that can transform anyone’s ability to navigate change. How do you build up your child’s change muscle and give them tools to adapt to their constantly changing world?
How do we instill a mindset of learning from their actions/words and seeing the inter-relatedness of who they are and the world inside/around them. Being able to self-evaluate, self-correct and self-motivate are crucial life skills that prevent the victim, or blamer or rescuer from taking over.
What does it really take to help a child be and stay happy? What does a child need from their parents/caregivers to be able to live from this place? How do we help a child learn the real sources of happiness and joy?
How do you allow all emotions to be welcome in your child in a healthy way? What emotions are not really allowed in your household? What are other ways to manage those? The quality of their emotional life will become the quality of their future life.
How do we help kids be part of a greater whole and not only focus on themselves/their own egos? Kids need to go beyond self-concern to being connected to something else. Some call this spirituality. You can call it Nature, God, any word you choose. It is about service, contribution, and ultimately helping a child go from a Me to Others consciousness.
All of these begin with us parents first looking at how we are doing on each of the above! I know, its not easy to have a daily commitment to look inside yourself first. My new mantra for parenting is, ‘Parent. Heal Thyself.’
As part of my writing here at Thrive Global, I want to share a post on each of these skills. First how we embody it in ourselves as the adult, and then how to ‘teach’ or at least keep the skill alive in our beloved children.
I wrote one on Intuition, which you can read here.
I’d welcome your thoughts and input on any other skill you’d like some guidance on…anything that is showing up in your parenting journey either for yourself or your delightful kids! I’m busy creating a course on all the skills mentioned above, so I’d love you to go on this journey with me.
Stay up to date or catch-up on all our podcasts with Arianna Huffington here.