As parents and primary caregivers of children, we must prepare them for life. From the moment they first become ours to nurture and take care of, we have a responsibility (whether we acknowledge it fully or not) to help them both survive and succeed in life.
In this current series of blogposts, all titled "How To Help Your Child Succeed In Life," I plan to share what I hope will be helpful insights and tips I have (to date) learnt along the way while parenting and mentoring my own young children. I am still very much learning as I go myself, and it is my hope that perhaps what I share may be of help or assistance in some small measure to others.
Just last week my family went on a camp specifically for homeschoolers that focused on imparting homesteading and lifestyle block living skills. We hope to purchase a small rural farmlet soon, and so this camp was one we were thrilled to find online and be able to attend as a household.
It was a camp put on specifically for Christian homeschooling families, and it was a camp that had both prayerful and practical content each and every day. One of the key takeaway points for me personally, from what was shared over the four days at the camp, was the concept of Thoughtfulness.
Regardless of whether you and your household have a faith belief or not, Thoughtfulness is a concept that is universally highly valued and of tremendous benefit. When it comes to journeying through life alongside others and looking after what is entrusted to us to do or to have stewardship of materially, Thoughtfulness proves to be highly beneficial.
It became very apparent during the camp that each and every choice we make, whether it be in relation to assembling a farm fence, putting together an off-grid solar panel system or pruning an old heritage pear tree, it all requires Thoughtfulness.
Thoughtfulness, it can very much determine how successful our child will be going forward through life, both in the short term and the long term, not only with what they say but also with what they do.
Thoughtfulness. As I have chewed over all that was shared over the four days at the camp, I have felt very much that Thoughtfulness is a key concept we need to emphasize more often in our family and our household going forward on through life. I truly believe that Thoughtfulness, in relation to relationships as well as the actual literal practical choices we each daily make, would make a positive difference for us individually and as a family team.
Even a very young child can be encouraged to see how they can practise Thoughtfulness more. Too often we as parents, as their mentors and guides, actually unwittingly encourage our children to in fact be too self-focused. Encouraging a child to see how things said or done, (directly & indirectly) affect those around them, is something that we can do as parents from when they are quite young.
Picking up their toys independently, and receiving positive affirmation about how lovely it is to have them be so grown up about helping Daddy or Mummy keep the floor area safe & clutter-free, is a great starting point towards encouraging Thoughtfulness to grow within a child.
Letting a small child know how it makes a practical difference time-wise when helping to put the groceries away in the pantry; praising the kindness they have shown when they offer Grandma a cool drink of water when she comes to visit on a hot summer's day ...... when we encourage our children to literally practise Thoughtfulness more & more in relation to those around them, we help them obtain gradually more & more experiences of success in life.
Being thoughtful about choices is a skill that grows over time. An awareness of others takes gradual developmental maturing at a cognitive level. Yet, as parents & caregivers we can encourage and emphasis the positivity and constructiveness that Thoughtfulness offers to a child from even a very young age.
Affirmation, confirmation and encouragement all aid to build awareness and willingness, when it comes to nurturing Thoughtfulness in one's child. We can affirm a child's choice of kind & thoughtful words. We can affirm a child's choice of caring & thoughtful actions. Most importantly and most effectively, we can model Thoughtfulness ourselves and therefore mentor that very quality in our offspring daily.
Today I thought I would share a Chart of Life Skills I put together & compiled, that are wonderful for a 3 year old child to work away at mastering. This list of life skills builds on those highlighted in the Life Skills Chart I shared in my previous post, and which you can view here.
What may be as simple an action as picking up their Lego blocks as a preschooler, may one day lead on to them being a thoughtful and responsible employee in a busy industrial setting as an adult. Being able to see the need to keep a workbench safe and hazard free in later life, may well start directly stemming from those lessons taught about keeping their bedside cabinet clutter-free. Learning to guard their words around others, may install such wonderful communication skills they are promoted to a more responsible managerial role within the company they were originally apprenticed to. We simply do not know what the long term constructive outcomes may be, for encouraging even a very young preschooler to practise greater Thoughtfulness.
As parents and caregivers of young children, we can prepare and help our child have greater opportunity for success through life, by keeping the concept of Thoughtfulness always in mind and at the forefront of all day to day decisionmaking. Success is relative to what effort and guidance is gently, yet directly given when parenting, mentoring and guiding our children. Thoughtfulness has the potential to make a very significant difference; it is surely worth nurturing it in our children from now on.