In an ever changing society where stars and celebrity seems to be the focus of every magazine, newspaper and American TV show, is it any wonder that parents are worrying about their children losing site of what is really important in life.
Not only are there concerns that children will grow up to value looks, money and fame over health, happiness and hard work but we are living in a world where our children can sometimes be the target of evil, nasty people. So how do you keep your kids grounded and streetwise and teach them to look out for themselves?
- If your children are worried that they don’t have the “cool” thing for school, remind them that it’s more important to be a good, kind person than to have a trendy bag, pair of shoes or pencil case. It may be hard for them to see it now, but they will keep your words with them and will grow up knowing that personality and kindness are more important that material possessions.
- Let your child enjoy being a child! Yes, its fun to play around with make-up and dress up in mum’s clothes but there is no need to throw them into the adult world before they are ready.
- In a society full of airbrushing and overly perfect models and celebrities, children, especially young girls, can feel like they have to be the same as the images they see in the magazines. Make sure you reinforce the fact that they are beautiful on the inside and that this is what matters most. Focus on being healthy rather than being skinny. If a child can understand what it is to be healthy, they are less likely to be affected by images of airbrushed men and women.
- Give your kids the independence to travel to school with friends. If you can get them used to being out without you, using public transport and meeting all sorts of different people, they will be more confident to deal with different situations. Keeping them wrapped in cotton wool is not the answer! Send them out into the world safely, make sure they know what to do in an emergency and make sure they know that you trust them to look after themselves, even if it is the scariest thing for you. Being streetwise is one of the most important things a child can learn.
- With people from fame and fortune being in the headlines so much, it is important to teach your children the value of money. Getting them to do small tasks around the house for pocket money as they grow older not only gives them some responsibility (which is also important) but helps them to understand that money doesn’t grow on trees and that you can be rewarded for doing little jobs here and there, helping out mum and dad in the process.