Before preschool or kindergarten, we learn things that we continue to use as we progress through life. Our parents taught us the values of life and the skills we needed to be truly successful. It was important that adults reached out to us as younger children in order to help us develop and understand the world.
At a young age we were taught how to share and be respectful of others. Good manners set a standard of behavior against which other behavior could be measured. We were encouraged to step outside of our comfort zones which gave us confidence in ourselves, encouraged a healthy body and mind, and set us up for success.
Some of the best lessons we learned, we learned before school started. Here are five of the best lessons we learned when we were young.
One of the best lessons we learn as a child is that “sharing is caring.” Sharing is the first step to creating friendships that can last a lifetime. It also teaches children vital skills that help them play cooperatively with others. Australian parenting website, Raisingchildren.net says, “Sharing teaches children about compromise. They learn that if we give a little to others, we can get some of what we want as well. Children who share also learn how to take turns and negotiate, and how to cope with disappointment.”
When we were taught to share, we learned to be respectful of others. Sharing encourages kind phrases like "please" and "thank you," as well as other good manners that translate into adulthood. Listening skills are also a part of sharing. Children learn to wait until others are done talking to begin speaking and how to listen to their peers and adults.
TIP: When a child shares, use plenty of positive praise to encourage the behavior.
Playing outside is one of the first ways the adults in our life encourage us to exercise. Spending free time exploring nature has a huge impact on a child’s health, according to journalist and author Richard Louv. Hiking, playing tag, and taking walks outside with our children prevents obesity, increases creativity and imagination, and reduces stress and fatigue. Mental and psychological wellbeing are improved when we allow our children to hear, see, and smell different parts of nature.
Operation Warm wants children to experience the joys of playing outside all year round. When the winter weather sets in, children quickly learn that playing outside is just not possible without a warm coat. Operation Warm has made it their priority to allow every child to explore the outdoors even when the weather is too cold.
TIP: Inviting the neighbors over is a good way to get children away from electronics. Children’s book author Kevin Christofora says, “It’s natural to go outside when four or five kids can’t play on one computer.”
As we grew into toddlers and became more independent, the adults in our life allowed us to become our own person. They gave us encouragement, empowerment, and let us have experiences that taught us how to be confident in ourselves.
Giving a child self-confidence is one of the best lessons we can teach them when they are young. Positive feelings like self-acceptance or self-confidence help children try new challenges, accept their mistakes and try again. If we believe in our children, they believe in themselves. When children feel confident about themselves and their abilities, they have higher self-esteem. A high self-esteem sets children up for success and a lifetime of happiness.
TIP: The best way to teach a child to be accepting of themselves is to be a good role model. Set a good example for your child by having a good attitude and believing in yourself.
Education is Important
When we are little, our parents instilled in our minds that we need to stay in school. For children who would rather be playing games, it’s hard to fully understand why getting an education is important. Without our parents constant reminders, many of us wouldn’t be as successful as we are today.
School promotes social interaction between children. Kids are able to spend time away from their parents and build trusting relationships with adults outside of the family. Many of us met some of the best friends we’ve ever had in school. Early education also teaches children good morals, basic knowledge such as reading and writing, as well as the ability to take care of themselves and others. Operation Warm wants every child to have a chance at an education. Our brand new coats give children the opportunity to get to school in harsh weather conditions.
TIP: The best way to ensure that your child is successful in school is to teach them how to be organized. Help your child or children set up to-do lists so that homework, chores, and other activities are accomplished in a timely manner.
You Are Loved
The best lessons we learn when we are young is that we are loved and to love others. There is always going to be someone out there that cares about you. Hugs, warm smiles, and appreciation are all different ways we are shown and show love.
When children feel loved they are happy. They are more positive, cooperative, and loving towards others. A child who knows that someone cares about them is more likely to be caring as an adult. Why not show someone you care by delivering them a gift of warmth?
TIP: The simplest way to show a child you care is which a smile. Smile when they enter the room, or smile when you’re cleaning up after them. This small gesture reassures your child that you’re happy to have them around.
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