What Your Kids Need to Learn When They're Outside the House

By Mommy Donna and Kib - February 04, 2019

Parents-to-be always have this desire that they will raise their kids differently from the way they are raised.  There's this desire to give them only the best things and experiences in life.  There's nothing wrong on having big dreams for our kids because our parents once dreamed of the same things to us too.

Sadly, because of this desire, we tend to forget and leave some of the values our own parents and grandparents taught us.  It has been said that this generation is called the "entitled ones" because they no longer value hardwork and responsibility because parents are always there to shoulder everything for their children, up to the point of parents solving problems on behalf of their kids.

But then, upon realizing our shortcomings, let us be humble enough to accept all of these things and move forward.  It is not yet too late to teach our children the proper values and skills that they need to learn when they become adults.  Just like what the Bible says, "Train up a child in a way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."  We should have the mindset that whatever we teach our child in his younger years will be the ones that he/she will adapt.

I have observed that parents these days are a bit half-hearted in teaching kids some life skills that they need to do especially when they are outside our home.  However, for me, these things should still be taught to our children because it will help them to be more aware of their surroundings in their adulthood.  

These are the things that we should teach our children when the go outside the house:

1.  Commuting -- while most of us have their own family vehicles and sometimes can afford to book Grab, it is still an important skill to teach our children to ride public transportation such as bus, trains, jeepneys, and tricycles.  You might argue that it is dangerous to ride public transportation these days; well, generally speaking, danger can be everywhere, even in our own house.  We just have to remind our children not to flash any valuables while in public and be aware of their belongings (e.g. cling on their bags).  In other countries, people commute on a daily basis, so let us not so be dependent on owning a vehicle.

2.  Crossing the street -- crossing the street is the most basic skill to learn outside our homes.  Look to your left and look to your right before crossing (while this rule may be different in countries whose driving on the right side).  Let us also remind our children to only cross on designated areas (pedestrian lanes) to avoid accidents and being reprimanded by the enforcers for jaywalking.

3.  Getting lost -- losing a child in a public place is really a horrible experience, and I just wrote about it on my recent blog (see post here).  It is very important to teach our children what to do when they get separated from us so that they will also be safe.

4.  Buying on their own -- as simple as asking them to buy at a small store near our home, it is very important to teach them how to pay for the merchandise that they bought.  It teaches them simple mathematical skills and people skills (to tell their preferences).  Also, if handing money to them, we also teach them responsibility, by weighing their wants and needs before purchasing.

When Kib chose the wrong size of pants, I told him that he should be the one to talk to the sales clerk for the change of items.  He did it without hesitation.  Sometimes, I would even ask him to call Sky Cable for customer assistance.  

5.  Lining up -- not because they are kids they are excused not to follow adult rules, including lining up.  Let us teach our kids to line up and wait for their turn.  My son is very vocal about this rule, that when he sees someone not lining up, he would call his/her attention to line up properly.

6.  Throwing trash properly -- we have seen and experience the adverse effects of throwing trash anywhere: flood and sickness.  Let us be good examples of throwing trash properly.  Let us teach our children how to segregate waste and minimize the use of disposables.

When Kib and I eat at food courts, it's heartbreaking to see people just leaving their tables dirty.  I tell Kib to throw the disposables at a nearby trash can, even throwing the trash of nearby tables.  

7.  Being polite and respectful to others -- sadly, this is one of the practices that is dying.  We must teach our children to be polite to ALL, regardless of rank or position.  Being polite and respectful is an indication used by others to measure how a child was being raised by his/her parents.  To show this to others, the child must know how to say "Excuse me", "Please", and "Thank you."  In addition, being respectful also means saying kind words to others.  No matter how upsetting a situation is, a child must taught how to control his/her emotions.  Parents must be the first models of being respectful and polite.

Let us remember that our kids will not be forever with us, so let us make sure that they fully equipped with life skills and values that they need in their adulthood.  They are the next generation so let us be our desire to raise God-fearing, obedient, hardworking, respectful, and wise individuals.

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