The behavior of an individual depends majorly on what they are made to believe when they are young and their influencers. A child or teenager is easily affected by the world around them, and often several doubts in their head get overlooked, leading to a future self that could be disastrous. In this tricky scenario, it becomes all the more important for parents to talk to their kids and give them a heads up of sorts on where things stand in life. On that note, take a look at 9 important conversations all parents need to have with their kids.
1. You’re beautiful, just the way you are.
When kids hit puberty, self confidence hits a huge low. Although it’s hard to explain to them that external beauty is only skin deep, it is necessary to always assure them that change is temporary, and like the ugly duckling, growing up is something that’s unfathomable. Looks are not everything in life, fair skin does not mean superiority, a symmetrical face and body image does not mean someone is a good person. True beauty lies on the inside and there are so many ways to show it to the world.
2. No matter what your dreams are, you’ll be supported.
Being a dreamer (as long as it’s not in class) is not a bad thing. When I was growing up kids were often moulded to believe what they wanted to be. Some wanted to be like their parents (much to their parents’ glee), while others were told that being a doctor, banker, teacher and engineer were worth looking up to. Parents have no right in telling their kids what they have to be, but they must counsel their kids in following their dreams. If they don’t know what they want to do, that’s okay, they have up to college and graduate school to decide.
3. The company you keep, influences you in ways you won’t imagine.
Social relationships are complicated right from childhood and having just one ‘best friend’ isn’t always healthy. Kids should learn to mingle with all their peers rather than being selective about who’s cool and who’s lame. As they grow older, friendships become even more complicated, but the sign of a good friend is when they respect you, enjoy your company and are unconditionally loyal.
4. Count all your blessings.
As humans, all we want is more. Our needs and desires never end. But we never stop to appreciate what we already have. The food we eat, the home we live in and things we have, animate or inanimate. This is something kids need to learn before they start their unending rants of what their friends have and what they don’t.
5. Bullying is not okay.
In school, some kids get bullied while others are the bullies. Disrespect and looking down on others is something that parents should nip in the bud. Turning a blind eye on your child’s cruel behaviour with his peers only reflects on you as a failed parent and guardian.
Bullying is not a part of growing up and it is not harmless fun. It is victimising someone else for something that they haven’t done. We do not live in a Spartan age, where everything has to be perfect. We live in an age of diversity where school is meant to be a safe place for nurturing.
6. Learn to respect everyone.
Rabindranath Tagore believed that God resides in human souls and helping and respecting one another is true worship. In that vein, respecting everyone for who they are is something every child must learn. Nobody is inferior. Women are not sexual objects and all men are not sexual predators, and servants are not slaves.
7. Focus on making the world a better place with your actions.
Whether it’s helping an elderly neighbour or just being a passionate volunteer for a cause, helping make the world a better place is is a great way to heal the mind and soul. It is also one of the simplest ways of being happy – trying to make others happy.
8. Pursue your passions.
Whether its sports, fine arts or miscellaneous hobbies, no child should be stopped from doing something productive that makes them happy. Remember, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, so just because exams are around the corner, doesn’t mean all non-academic activity must stop.
9. What goes around, comes around.
If one has to play the Justin Timberlake song to get across to their kid, by all means do so. I’m not trying to get all spiritual here, but let’s get real. Karma is a b****. Noble and good deeds to the world come back to us while cruel intentions come back to haunt us after we have inflicted them on the world. In a nutshell, teach them to be nice as harming others will only bring harm upon themselves.