Children are like clay – they take the shape that you mold them in. It’s therefore essential to instill the qualities in them, which you want to see in them as adults, from an early age. Some of these qualities will help them make wise career decisions while the others will help them form meaningful relationships in life. So which are the most important qualities that you must nurture in children so that they become an important asset in their lives when they are adults?
Two very essential personality traits revolve around trust – how to trust others and how to be trustworthy. Without having the ability to trust others, children will face an uphill development battle in their lives. They’ll find it difficult to lay the foundation stone for most of the relationships in their lives and therefore will suffer from lack of confidence, desirable social skills, communication skills, etc. Learning to trust others will help a child become trustworthy herself. Haven’t we all faced situations in life where have been unable to trust someone because we don’t trust ourselves? Imparting trust starts from the time an infant is born. Feed your infant when she’s hungry, rock her cradle when she wants to sleep, change her diaper when it’s soiled, cuddle her when she craves for affection, make eye contact when she tries to communicate and create a world for her that she finds safe and assuring. Try to pay attention to her signals and react accordingly to her needs.
Compassion – the ability to understand and be sensitive to other people’s feelings – helps us to be more deeply attached to our family, friends, and even strangers. Putting oneself in someone else’s shoes is also a crucial building block for other caring emotions. Here are a few ways that will help you nurture compassion in your child from an early age –
Play pet games – Your child must have often been busy raising a pet online but you may have never given it much importance. It’s time you sit back and take note. Playing pet games is a great activity that will make a child more sensitive and responsible towards others’ needs. Pet games mostly include raising virtual pets, ranging from real to fictional animals, grooming them, feeding them, and taking care of their various other needs. If parents don’t want home a real pet, then engaging the child in pet games is a good way to help a child grow to be compassionate.
Start listening to your child and teach her the value of listening to others. As we lead fast-paced lives, we are slowly forgetting the need to pause and listen. Besides listening being a good manner, it is also a definite sign of compassion.
It’s a good idea to read books and tell stories that portray compassion and care for others. Conveying important messages to children through stories is a wonderful way of teaching them, and of course, regular reading and storytelling build important communication and literacy skills too. Look for stories that have messages of compassion for animals and people. Feel free to share stories from your own life about how you learned to be compassionate.
It is known that good things come to those who wait. Learning to persevere and not give up while trying to achieve success comes to people who are patient. Instilling patience in children will have to begin at home. If children observe parents flying off the handle at every instance, they learn it too. If your toddler spills food, calmly help her clean it up or if she disturbs you while you’re working from home, politely explain to her not to instead of losing patience and rebuking her. It’s equally important to understand that toddlers don’t perceive time the way we do. They cannot read minutes and hours. When they ask for their milk, tell them you’ll get them milk as soon as you complete what you’re doing rather than promising them to get them milk in two minutes. This will help the child watch your progress and gauge when she can expect her milk to be served.
There are plenty of other life skills that we would want our children to have. These are just a top level list of the most important personality traits that every child must have as an adult, so it goes without saying that the penultimate responsibility lies with parents.