3 Life lessons I hope to teach my kids

In a little over the total of 11758 days I have spent on this earth, I have laughed and cried, fallen in and out of love, seen success and failure and then success again, redefined my idea of success, gotten married, experienced a life growing inside of me twice over, felt at peace with myself, felt utter despair, felt quite alone, felt loved and protected and overall had a myriad of experiences which cannot be expressed in words.

After having two kids, my life has been busier than ever and frankly I do not have the luxury of time to simply sit and ponder over things, uninterrupted. Still, increasingly I find myself deep in thought about whether my carefree parenting is less than ideal? Am I not spending as much time with them as I should or failing to teach important skills, social or intellectual?

However after many a evening, spent with unread books in my hand and a coffee going cold, while my kids played nearby, I have come to the conclusion, that if I could distill my life-experiences till now and have to teach them 3 most important things in life they will be these :

1. Develop a hobby and don’t let go

I would love for my kids to become avid readers, piano virtuoso, gourmet cooks, celebrated artists and what not, but I hope to instill in them the fact that they need to have interests and hobbies that they should explore. It could be one thing they completely love and can be immersed in for hours or it could be scores of different things. They may excel in their interest and reach a pinnacle or may simply spend time enjoying few moments lost in that hobby. Whatever it be, I hope to make them understand that not only will a keen interest in different things or even one, help them grow and excel but also be a savior in times of loneliness or a much needed an escape from the stress of the daily life.

2. Learn to feel grateful

Picture five things in life that truly make you feel lucky. For me these 5 things would be my parents, my husband, my two kids and my ability to earn a living doing something I quite like. Well, thinking of such things is the easiest way to feel at peace and bring a smile not only for me but for most people. I would want my kids to learn and practice this ‘attitude of gratitude’. Even research has shown that people practicing gratitude are more optimistic, have better moods and overall life satisfaction, all the more reason for me to try and instill the importance of gratitude.

3. Cherish friendships and family ties

During my teenage, like most of my peers, I believed I could thrive well on my own. Being an introvert, this attitude lasted most of twenties. As a result I made very few friends (though some great ones). However it is recently that I have truly begun to realize that social interactions, true friendships and close family ties are absolutely critical for true happiness. There may be people who are completely happy being alone but for most part and for majority of us, healthy and happy relationships be it with family, friends, spouse or children truly add to our happiness. Different people through different relationships may be our stress busters, sounding boards, inspirations, shoulders to cry on or simply the mischief makers and people injecting jest and humor in our lives. Not to mention that ample social support has been linked with everything from overall well being to job satisfaction and lower death rates in elderly.

If I manage to teach these important lessons to my kids, I would consider that I have done a fairly good job.

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