For some time, there’s been a distinct lack of an official dad’s curriculum; a set of skills and life lessons that should be passed down from every dad to his children. Of course, different people have different views on what being a good parent means, but many would agree that there are certain universal lessons that every dad should make time for. Here are just a few of the big ones.
The Value of a Quid
I thought I’d start this off with the most practical lesson you can pass on to your kids. I’ve got a list as long as my leg of people I know who wish their parents had done more to teach them about handling money! There are three main financial skills you need to pass on to your kids fairly early on in their life: saving money, earning money, and spending it wisely. The best way to do this is to give them total responsibility for their own money pretty early on. It’s much better that they blow a hand-out of £10 than come to you in their twenties when they’ve spent so much on a night out that they can’t make rent! Give them the necessary freedom, and they’ll naturally begin to learn how to stretch their money out.
The Joy of Hobbies
This wouldn’t really be necessary to mention back in the “good-old-days”, but now it’s a different story. With all the video games, smartphones and tablets modern kids have from an early age these days, it’s harder than ever to get them out of the house and experiencing all the freedom they have. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had more than one addiction to a silly little smartphone game, we all have! Still, I’m sure you’ll agree that sitting indoors glued to a screen for fun isn’t going to be the best thing for building your kids’ character. The easiest way to get started is sharing your own hobbies with them. If you’re a golf nut, skip a day on the driving range and take your kids down to the putting green instead. If you love to fish, get them a starter rod from a store like Wet Wellies and take them down to the bank with you (not too early!). There’s no guarantee that they’ll take to the things you love, but exposing them to the sheer joy of hobbies will make them want their own.
How to Clean Up
If you think that any lessons to do with housework should be left to mum, then you’ve got a lot of catching up to do! Teaching your kid to clean the house up early on will not only reduce the chances of them growing into an unbearably lazy teenager but will also instil a strong sense of responsibility. In the case of sons, it also drills in the idea that housework should be a shared responsibility, and that the last clinging stereotypes around gender should always be challenged.
There you have just a handful of the essential lessons that every dad should teach their kids!