10 Things Your Kids Won’t Learn in College
What are life skills? Will a higher education teach your children all the lessons of life and prepare them for adulthood? Of course not, for there is no college program that could ever do that. Life skills are described by Wikipedia as “a set of human skills acquired via teaching or direct experience that are used to handle problems and questions commonly encountered in daily human life.” Time, experience and a good dose of parenting provide the bulk of each life lesson learned. There is no college prep course to provide your child the common sense, self-discipline, and confidence they will need to thrive during their college education and beyond. Here are 10 to get you thinking.
1.Strong Morals and Common Decency
Cheating is rampant in schools across America. Bullying is being taken to new levels. It is imperative to our future that we give our children the most basic instincts of right and wrong. That we apply the Golden Rule to our own lives and instill it in our children as well.
2. Perseverance and Stamina
One of the most difficult things to teach a young person is that disappointment is not the end of the road. Their limited experience makes it hard for them to understand that something new and amazing they never dreamed of is most likely right around the corner. Troubles will always come and go. Perseverance to stick with the plan and stamina to never give up sees us through the most difficult times. There always has been and always will be a light at the end of the tunnel. Teach them how to find it.
3. Developing Self-Confidence
Everyone has insecurities. They could be in our bodies, our personalities, our upbringings, or our social status. If we allow these feelings to dominate our lives, it leads to destructive behavior and failure in most cases. Confidence arises when we understand our limitations, yet also determine and develop what our strengths are. Even our weaknesses can become strengths when we are able to see them clearly. Confidence comes when a person feels competent. Psychologists will tell you that mothers and fathers have the most profound influence on how a child feels about himself. Make sure your child feels competent and worthy, and confidence will follow.
4. Money Management
The simplest way to teach this is having them learn the true value of their dollars. Put them on a budget and force them to live within it. A “tough love” method is the way to go here. Without a true appreciation of how difficult it is to earn and keep wealth, they may wind up in debt and in service to others their whole lives. Each individual parent should decide the best way to go about this for their own circumstances, but the formula should be hard work + prudent decision making = financial reward.
5. Making and Keeping Friends
A person will have many acquaintances in life, but only a handful of true friends. Friends support us, comfort us, challenge us, better us and most of all, they make life fun to live. Choosing the right friends is a skill that needs to be taught. The most important part is to always be exactly who you are and expect the same from your chosen friend. If you are not being accepted for who you are, or vice versa, then the friendship is based on something entirely else and is not real. They are an acquaintance. Friends come in all sizes, shapes, and colors. An open mind is required to find them and a loving heart is required to keep them.
6. Developing Self-Discipline
When your child gets to college, will they wake up for that 9 AM economics class after having stayed up late at a mixer? Later in life, will your son or daughter have the ability to say no under pressure because it’s the right thing to do? Eventually, each person becomes solely responsible for their own actions, successes, and failures. Self-discipline and the ability to apply it will largely determine how well it all goes. As is usually the case, leading by example as a parent will set the tone for your child.
7. Courage and Faith
Most times, the easiest way out will be the wrong path. As it is written, the path to desolation is wide and crowded. The right way is usually a lonely, dark, bumpy road that leaves us unsure and afraid at first sight. Courage and faith allow us to place our feet on that narrow path and only then to do we realize that we took the right road. Teaching a child to be courageous, to be faithful, is a long process of example, discussion, and experience.
8. Generosity and Loyalty
If the desire is to teach your child greed and to think only of himself, then all that is required is to sit back and let culture do the work. However, if we are raising the bar and seeking a better existence, then it will be necessary and vital to go out of our way to teach the opposite. Generosity is the ability to sacrifice for the happiness or benefit of another. As for loyalty, it is summed up well in a quote from Rensis Likert, “The greater the loyalty of a group towards the group, the greater is the motivation among the members to achieve the goals of the group, and the greater the probability that the group will achieve its goals.” Loyalty is critical in order to accomplish goals in life.
9. Unique Identity
From the earliest stages, we are taught to conform. We are instructed to get in line, to recite in unison, to obey, and to adhere to a societal norm. These are basic structures of a functional society and important. Yet, rarely are we taught to be display uniqueness and free thought. If not for unique, free thinking individuals throughout history, we would have never moved past the cave. We all have gifts bestowed upon us that are special and to be used for the betterment of our species. Discovering those talents and developing them are essential not only to individual happiness but for society as a whole.
10. Finding and Keeping a Spouse
Respect plays an extremely important role in a successful marriage. Respect for each other, respect for the marriage, respect for their Creator, and respect for those watching them. Teach your children to choose a spouse that they of course not only love, but they respect as a human being. Someone of common values and mindset that they truly enjoy spending time with because it enhances their lives. With respect on their side as well as love, there is a very good chance they will weather the storms of life together.