We have been beetling rapidly through all the different things we need to do with our kids before those chubby little faces grow up and leave home. This week it’s all about numbers 61 to 80 so here we go, onwards and upwards!
61. Teach them about money and how to save it, use it and the value thereof, you can do no greater service for your children than this.
62. Have a family sleepover in the lounge complete with a blow-up mattress and a midnight feast. Throw in a great family movie or three and you’ve got memories to last a lifetime.
63. Go out to a place with significant historical or national significance, learn about why it is important and then do something ridiculous there. We played ninjas on the lawn, you can do or be anything you like.
64. Teach them how to do their own laundry so that they can sort by type, colour and instructions. Make sure that they leave home knowing how to read a garment label because that is one of life’s important little lessons.
65. Show them that happiness isn’t about money, possessions and things, that it is about people, and themselves and about discovering the world in their own way, in being true to themselves.
66. Help your children to build healthy self confidence. Self belief and inner strength are not the same as arrogance and vanity, they are the pillars of a good life with plenty of laughter and happiness.
67. Make insane tinfoil hats and go shopping in them. Together. As a family.
68. Teach your children how to sew, cook two or three basic meals on their own, and type properly on a keyboard. Now they can get their own place and write you emails. Sorted.
69. Stop worrying and start laughing. It’s very easy to get caught up in the difficulties of life. Hey, life IS difficult, but your children have more than enough smiles to keep you going and you should take advantage of them. The average child laughs over 100 times and day and the average adult only fourteen times a day. That's just TRAGIC!
70. Learn from your children. Let their innocence and lack of cynicism inspire you to take more from life and see the beauty in the simple things again. I know that I was almost in tears when I realised how much fun I had lost in the whirlwind of making ends meet, managing budgets and coping with responsibilities.
71. Go and sit in a field with nothing more than a blanket and food for an entire day. It doesn’t have to be some kind of planned picnic, but it must be sans mobile phones, tablets, toys, devices or anything that has been designed to entertain you. Just spend time in the sun with each other and try to do this at least once a month.
72. Sometimes it is important to remember that you are not their friend. You are their parent and you have to stand there and watch them hurt and cry because the lesson they are learning is vital.
73. Listen. No matter how old they are, let them talk at you until they run out of steam and stay interested the entire time. Do you care that X ate Y’s raisins? Of course not! But your child does and that makes it important.
74. Ask their advice and take it. Don’t ask and then ignore it. I asked my daughter to choose my reading glasses for me and then bought the ones she chose. Yes, they are neon pink, but they made her happy.
75. Teach your children one skill that isn’t considered necessary in the modern world. This can be anything from knitting to tap dancing.
76. Help them find something to be passionate about and encourage it with every breath.
78. Tell them that they look wonderful today.
79. Believe in their dreams, even when they don’t, and never, ever give up on them.
80. Show your children that life is short and each day is important. Live your life like that, live in the now, and help them learn from you.