I have great appreciation for the work that school teachers do. As a children’s Sunday School teacher, I know what it can be like not just to be surrounded by more than a handful of children, but to actually try and impart knowledge. It’s no easy task, and I have them just for a few hours on Sunday!
Yet, for all the great work teachers do, the fact remains that the home is the first school, and parents are the first teachers. I consider the opportunity to pass on what I know to my offspring, a privilege. Here are 5 things I can’t wait to teach my little one:
1. Cooking. This just had to come first, because food is a basic human need, and every person, male or female, should be able to prepare food for themselves. It’s never too early to start. My son is just four years old and I’ve decided he can start learning basic things about food and cooking now, even just by watching me. I would love for him to grow into a man who isn’t waiting around for a girlfriend or wife in order to eat well. Also, the children on Junior Master Chef are totally adorable.
2. Hygiene. The days of being given a bath are rolling into the days of assisted bathing, and soon the days when he’ll be caring for himself will be here. The importance of cleaning teeth and tongue morning and night before baths has been instilled, but as kids grow they should understand that body odour has to do with both the body and the clothes. Teaching him how to wash and dry his clothes, make using deodorant a habit, and clean his environment, are things I look forward to.
3. Computer skills. I was surprised to learn that the curriculum for his KG class includes computer training, but I didn’t mind. Thanks to school he already knows things like monitor, mouse, and such, but I’m really looking forward to teaching him how to type, save documents, shut down and restart, use commands like Ctrl +Alt + Delete, and other things that will prepare him to function in the high-tech world he’s been born into.
4. Money management. Recently I was telling a friend how I had the feeling my son knows less about money than I did at his age. Sure he knows we need it to buy things, but that’s about it. Where does money come from and how do people get it? The concept of exchanging value for money is one I can’t wait to introduce. People work by providing services or selling things and they get money, which is not all to be spent at the mall. We need to save money, some of which we can then invest to earn passive income while keeping the rest for a rainy day. We also need to give money to others who are in need and can’t earn enough to get by. I can’t wait until he’s old enough to understand all of this. One step at a time.
5. Communication skills. This is something for which I remain eternally grateful to my teachers, parents, and guardians. At 6 and 7 I was already travelling out of state for debate competitions, but before that, my parents made sure I overcame my shyness (which was due to my stuttering anyway, not my personality) and learnt how to be comfortable in front of a crowd. They also bought me good books and taught me to read at a young age. Encouraging children to stand up and recite poems or other presentations in front of family and friends builds their communication skills. I have a friend whose dad often made them write him letters when they had something to say, and this continued as they grew. My friend has mad written communication skills despite being a science student, and it’s beautiful to see. I am so doing that for my children, God help me.
Of course, all of this requires having time for the children. Proper parenting requires presence, and children are said to spell love t-i-m-e. Here are a few tips for parenting when both partners work.