Editor's Blog

It’s not all about test scores and grades

Written by Daniel Otero

Eight life skills parents should teach their children before six-years old

When educating a child, as I’ve stated in the past, it’s not only about test scores.

Parents have to teach their child at home not to be bratty.  If they don’t, the child will throw tantrums to get his/her way when they’re outside.  Creating in the future of the country and our world a crappy-human being!

Here’re eight concepts to follow to help a child grow-up properly:

 Number one, you can’t always get what you want!  In this life, a ‘yes’ is always delicious and sweet, but a ‘no’ can be extremely painful.  And it’s a reality of life.  We must learn to accept rejection early on.  These are facts.

Number two, boys and girls must learn to respect each other.  In other words, boys don’t hit girls or touch them improperly and vice-versa.

Number three, teach kindness: helps children to learn to share, be kind to others and animals.  Especially we teach children to give to those in need—makes them better people throughout their existence.

Number four and a major one, teach children to cope with emergencies; if as an adult you don’t know, then research literature, the internet or ask those with experience for help (police, paramedics and firemen).  An important thing is to teach youngsters how to dial 120 (China), 911 (U.S.) or 999 (U.K., also applies to Hong Kong and Macau) and report an emergency for a family member or loved one.  On that note, teach children how to swim and if you [the parent] don’t know, then it’s time to learn.  It’ll save your lives in the long run!

Number five.  I sincerely hate those T-shirts which say, “Happy every day!” Oh rubbish. A child must be taught to understand, not everyday he/she can be happy.  In life, all people have their ups and downs.  There’re seasons of happiness and unhappiness.  What we should be able to count on is a family’s unconditional love and emotional support.

Number six is to teach children the reality of the world.  I mean, let them be babies and innocent; however, they should learn about the environment, poverty and not wasting food, etc.

Number seven, one thing that has to be specially understood is—a stranger doesn’t always equal danger.  This was one I had to learn to change in my own mind.  Be an example by showing your children how to speak to others.  Like saying, “hello”, “please” and “thank you”; but to remain distant till they know the person/stranger better. Also, children should know when somebody is properly and improperly touching them.  Hugs and kisses on the cheek are proper from known people, friends and family members.

However, a child should be taught to runaway if they’re being touched in their private parts or if an adult is asking a child to go somewhere unknown without their parents’ permission.

Number eight, common sense and knowing your surroundings…

Always look around to know your whereabouts.

Before walking across the street a person must look to the left and right for safety.

A child should know the simple facts about not playing with knives or electricity at home.

For this, the parents or grandparent must be active in the child’s life.  Give the child love, but also have a firm hand in discipline.

Teaching these simple things will keep a child safe and knowing that, yes, the world is a beautiful place; but caution must be used to survive in it!  Further, parents will be adding a wonderful person to our world and we certainly need more of those.

About the author

Daniel Otero

A New Yorker who has been living in China for the past 10 years. He's a freelance writer/journalist and ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher.

A former member of the military with extensive travel to 50 countries and has lived in six.

Lover of life, good food, travel, writing and dealing with social issues.