Ask any parent what the biggest responsibility is when it comes to raising well-rounded kids and you’ll hear the same thing again and again: giving them the skills they need to thrive. And we’re not just talking about learning to read or to drive a car.
1. How To Say No Politely
“It is difficult to decline something tactfully—many adults even go along with things when they don’t want to,” says psychotherapist Stephanie Wijkstrom, MS, LPC, NBCC, and founder of the Counseling and Wellness Center of Pittsburgh. That’s why it’s critical for parents to teach their kids an early lesson in consent about when it’s appropriate to set boundaries and say “no.”
2. How And When To Apologize
There’s a big difference between shouting the word “sorry” from across the playground and a sincere, heartfelt apology. Considering how successfully the latter can smooth over tensions—and how quickly the former can heighten them—teaching your kid to say sorry and mean it is invaluable.
3. How To Practice Self-Care
“Most of our children are going to leap into the world and find their place among work and family. They will need to understand how to use their downtime, how to recharge their batteries so that they feel balanced and happy in life,” says Wijkstrom. “Breathing, yoga, walking in nature, having a hobby.