Family and relationships

5 lessons mothers must teach their children

Our mothers are our first teachers. We learn from their example and many of us go through life mirroring their values.

With how kids today are swept up by social media and other influences that give confusing messages and reward bad behavior, it’s often a battle for mothers to be heard. Be that as it may, it is a mother’s duty to try her best to raise kind, compassionate and responsible children.

Mothers have to take on the role of their children advisor, taking care of their emotional, financial and physical wellbeing while, at the same time, be the fun mom that their kids can relate to and be open with. If you’re a new mom or one that’s struggling to compete with other influences in your children’s lives, here are a few things you should teach your kids.

1. To be polite and respectful.

Being polite and respectful toward others is very important in today’s times, when we live our lives both in the real world and online. Politeness means following social rules while respect is acting with regard for other people’s feelings, opinions and situations. One can even say the latter is the root of good relations, peace of mind, and social and emotional wellbeing.

When there is so much vitriol online (and in the real world), teaching your children these virtues helps them build rapport with others and gives them self-confidence. It helps them acknowledge authority figures, whether in the house, school or at work. It also teaches them to open their minds to other people’s opinions, to acknowledge their own worth, and develop empathy toward others.

Psychologists say that without respect, “children can't value themselves or others. Children who don't respect themselves are more likely to drink alcohol, take drugs, have sex, and treat others badly. Children who lack self-respect simply don't care about themselves or anyone else.”

2. To win and lose gracefully.

Children learn about competition early. It may start with their siblings or with their playmates. They learn about losing and winning, and how they feel emotionally different when they win and when they lose. They need to be able to manage both with grace. Teach them that while winning is a great feeling, losing means that they can be better. Teach your children that losing is not the end of their efforts. They can learn to strategize, to study and learn from their mistakes, and give it another go.

3. To persevere.

Teach your children that many advantages in life are the results of showing up, being consistent, and never giving up. Perseverance is a lesson that can be taught early and is applied all throughout their lives. There will be many days when they won’t want to go to school or they get bad grades. What to do when they feel down about it? Show up ready the next day, and the next, and the next. Hopefully they will realize that life is a series of little wins, and one cannot win without persevering.

4. To be ready for anything and everything.

Life deals us blows no matter how good we are or how hard we try. They will realize this via their relationships in school, or when they start working. People may not be fair, but treat others fairly anyway. They will be disappointed when they are not chosen to be the lead in the school play or project, when they don’t get their promotion at their first job, when they are cheated on in their romantic relationship or when their own marriage breaks down.

Teach them that being ready means accepting that the only person they can rely on a hundred percent is themselves. Teach them personal financial planning early. One thing that many adults regret is not listening to their parents when they were young and were told to save money for their future.

Urge them to secure their financial wellbeing with health and life insurance as their first step to independence. FWD Life Insurance’s The One for Life is an insurance plan tailored for Gen Zs because they can personalize it depending on their needs. The One for Life can be purchased online and within minutes, they can be insured without having to undergo a medical exam.

5. To value relationships.

Parents being their children’s friends is a contentious topic. Many parents think children should regard them as authority figures rather than friends, while others say that when their kids see them as friends they are more open with them. Whatever you believe, mothers are often their children’s first best friend.

Teach them that friendship and all other relationships are a two-way street. Their relationships should nurture them and help them grow. Teach them, too, that it’s okay to walk away from relationships that cause them stress and affects their mental wellbeing. The strongest relationship they should have should be with themselves.

It's tough being a mother but the fulfillment from seeing your child grow up happy, kind and respectful is incomparable. Like someone said, a mother is one “who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take.”