They’re not stupid. And they’re not bad. Sure, they get into things they shouldn’t. And they destroy expensive property like the act of an angry god. They don’t always come when you call them. And they sometimes relieve themselves on the carpet. I’m talking about pets. They aren’t bad. And they aren’t stupid. They just need to be trained from the earliest possible age.
Rinse and repeat. Except this time, I’m talking about kids.
As with any other animal, training has to begin at the earliest feasible age. If you wait till your child is 18 before you teach them anything about showing respect for other people, you have waited too long. The world around them is going to be a worse place.
Just as the formative years (usually the first five) are crucial for physical development, there are formative years for social development that extend to adolescence. During those years, there are lessons a child needs to learn. Failure to teach those lessons could result in a disadvantaged adulthood for your child. Here are three:
Weird Al Yankovic: the great sage of our time once said:
“You’re gonna lose your mind watchin’ TV” They told me, they’d scold me
But I’d still tune in every show (show)
My cable gets C-SPAN, TV-Land, and HBO
The Travel Channel, Discovery, and Lifetime (yo)
This parody demonstrated how one could lose themselves in the mindless pursuit of watching mindless TV to the exclusion of more useful endeavors. But on second glance, there may be another message. Rather than saying that TV is a bad thing, the message may be to be more discerning about the content you chose to watch.
Not only is that a good lesson, the snippet of lyrics I posted suggested a pretty good channel lineup. C-SPAN, TV-Land, and HBO
The Travel Channel, Discovery, and Lifetime sound like a pretty great lineup for entertainment, politics, culture, education, and wholesome fun. Kids today could do a lot worse, and usually do.
A DIRECTV savings package could get you all of those channels in a single package, rather than trying to find a skinny bundle with everything you want.
The point is not to get your kids to watch more TV. It is to teach them what TV content is worth watching and what is junk. Grocery stores are full of healthy food and junk food. They have to know the difference. The same is true from TV content.
The new movie, Boss Baby, is reminiscent of the eTrade baby from a few years ago. It is funny to think of babies as super intelligent financial gurus. But the sad fact is that a baby will sooner eat a hundred-dollar bill than invest it.
But at some point after they stop loading their diapers with the remnants of all those hundred-dollar bills they’ve consumed, children have to learn the value of money. It is easier to teach kids how to be smart with money than it is to teach adults.
They need to know that the things they want are paid for with money. And they need to have some sense of the unit of work that money translates to. They have to learn the value of savings and delayed gratification. If they don’t learn any of these things, the next financial lesson they have a chance to learn might be debt and bankruptcy.
We develop our relationship with food from childhood. Kids need to be taught the differences between good food and junk food from the time they can ask for a cookie, if not sooner.
They need to know that ice cream is not a meal, Kool-Aid is not a food group, vegetables are not punishment, and sugar does not need to be added to fruit before it is good. You can’t count on schools to teach these lessons, especially if something else is taught at home.
Responsible content consumption, finances, and nutrition will not just teach themselves. Teach your kids these lessons so that they have the best possible preparation for a successful adulthood.