We are always talking about a good life, living sustainable, engaging in minimalism or taking care of the environment. We should definitely find a way to focus our mind on improving these parts of our life but more importantly we should think about our heirs and what values we want to grow in our kids. There is a saying that goes like: "monkey sees, monkey does". So we are the direct role model for our kids, and they mimic our way of life as good as possible.
Since I am a Dad of a little girl and I am taking care of her full-time, I know how society in our western world is treating kids. Considering that every third child is born based on artificial insemination I can't believe that people are trying so hard to get a kid, even paying a lot of money and when it finally is in their hands, they give it away to care takers, because the job or the career can't wait. What strikes me most is the fact that it seems like they are not even trying to think for themselves, but they follow the herd and do what everybody else is doing. And if you do it differently, like staying at home a couple of years, you are the outsider, the crazy parent that takes advantage of the working class.
Now we are in a strange time right now. The western world is getting spoiled and people are getting more and more paranoid about losing their fortune to some poor people from poor countries. We are facing the highest refugee rate that was ever recognised in our history. And still, we are not thinking about how to give our kids a chance to lead a good life, to be happy, open hearted, selfless and humble and most importantly, how to change the world to becoming a healthy and safe place to live.
1. Be there for your kids
Most parents are giving their best for sure, and most love their kids unconditionally. Yet, a lot prioritise work or their career and only have time for the young ones after 7pm. When there is family time, they are not willed to let go of their mobile device, constantly checking messages or twitter posts. It seems to be no problem for most families to handle everything at once.
What most people don't understand is, that every kid is a born genius. Our society and the system that we force on them kills their natural curiosity by time and when they turn 5 they are helpless without a teacher telling them what to think.
Give your kid a chance to learn the only important thing in life: TO THINK FOR YOURSELF
To do that, you have to be there for your kid, entirely. Give them your attention and encourage them to solve problems by themselves and to find answers for their questions by investigating, not by following what was being told to them.
I am not saying that everybody needs to be home full time, or that the system sucks. I am saying, whenever you are taking care of your own kids, when it is parents time, be there, fully, without distraction, focus on them and lift their wings.
2. Take care of their health
We all know the documentaries and we keep watching them. Films about thousands or millions of animals dying each day, so that we can eat a burger for 1,99$. About land that is polluted by chemicals so that our vegetables and fruits look perfect and are conserved for a flight from South America to China and then to Europe. Our food is poisoned and filled with chemicals, our drinks are full of sugar and everything we buy contains some sort of artificial ingredient that we should definitely not consume.
So do yourself a favour and try to take care of your kids health as good as possible. It is perfectly fine that they only drink water, that you bake your own bread and that they eat vegetables that you have cooked on your own (and that was maybe even grown in your garden). I know that it is convenient to buy a glass of precooked baby mash, but do you really know what all the ingredients mean ? I am not perfect and I know that sometimes it has to be done the easy way, but try your best.
One more thing; Your kids health is not only dependent on what you give them, it's also important how they grows up, what is the environment like in which they live in, how much fresh air do they get, how often they move and so on. And don't forget:You are the role model. Stop drinking, stop smoking, move, be active and go outside. Eat less. Be a role model !
3. Let them play
I have seen people at the playground that can't stop telling their kids how to play. They start yelling at them when they make a mistake on how to climb on the slide. I have also noticed a somehow obsessive behaviour of young parents to push their kids into a direction so that they learn everything first. Parents compare, and this is quite normal - you are insecure and you want to make sure your kid is ok and develops like the surrounding kids - but trust me, this is poisonous. Everyone is different.
Let your kids play, let them go, let them do what they want to do. They learn in their own pace, They investigate by instinct, and some are fast learners while others listen or watch a little longer. That is nature. Give them the opportunity to be as fast as they want. Don't compare, don't train them. If you want your kids to live a good life, encourage them to go their own way. Playing the whole day is how they learn, god damn it. So remember: My kid should be playinghowever it wants all day long.
One more thing
The best and most important thing you can do for your kids is giving them as much love and trust as possible. Push their self esteem and most importantly, do good things, for they will watch you and imitate what they see.
You are responsible and your kid owes you nothing. It was not your kids decision to be here on your side. It was you, so don't fuck it up, you only got one shot.