As parents, we teach our children many things. We teach them basics of life like how to get dressed and put on their shoes, we teach them to brush their teeth and eat healthy. We also teach our children truths about life that are timeless and will make lasting impact on your children in how they live their life and how they treat others.
These 7 truths are simple (you’ve probably heard most of them all your life too). But, individuals who learn to master these 7 truths when they are young will be able to handle the challenges of life and be well prepared to be successful adults.
As parents, it’s worth our time to be sure our children learn these truths and practice them every day.
7 Timeless Truths to Teach Your Children
2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
Some commitments in life are required and some we choose. Everyone must go to school, everyone does not have to play on the basketball team at school. The first part of don’t quit is to teach your children some parts of life are required and we all have to do things we might not like or prefer, but we still do them and we don’t quit.
We don’t quit just because we don’t like something, and most importantly we don’t quit just because something is too hard.
We also must guide and help your children choose their commitments wisely. When your child makes a commitment to a team, group or a project, someone is counting on them to do their part. For example, if you choose to play on the basketball team, you must be sure you like playing basketball enough to play the entire season. You don’t just quit after 2 practices.
Determination to finish what you start is an important life truth that can be taught to children of all ages. We don’t let our babies quit when they have trouble learning to crawl or walk, we don’t let our school children quit when they have difficulty learning to read. We want to always foster a “can-do” attitude with our children so they grow up knowing they can do anything and most importantly don’t quit when it’s hard.
Always Do Your Best (Work Hard Principle)
Ecclesiastes 9:10, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do with your might,…”
Hand-in-hand with the truth of don’t quit is always do your best. Once you have committed and start doing the work on a project or commit to being on a team, always do your best.
I did not say, always be the best. We all cannot be the best at everything we do or try, but we all can do our personal best at everything we do.
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The habit of doing just enough to get by starts early in children (we see it when they are told to pick-up their rooms or do chores). We also see it when children start school. We have to be diligent to teach our children to always do their best and not accept work that is only partly right.
Working hard is part of life. Successful individuals know the truth of hard work and doing their best.
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Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind one to another, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.”
Luke 6:31, “And as you wish others would do to you, do so to them.”
Teaching respect for others is a truth we can start teaching our children when they are young, and continue all through their growing years. When our children our little, we teach them to share toys and not take things from others without asking.
As they grow, we expand our teaching to them of respect for others. We teach them to listen to others ideas and respect their opinions (even when we disagree). We teach them to speak kindly and not use hurtful and unkind words (especially with their siblings).
Respecting others means treating them in a way we would want to be treated by others. We can teach our children to ask themselves before taking an action, would you want another person to treat you like this? If the answer is no, you are not respecting others.
Use Time Wisely
Psalms 90:12, “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”
We all have the same 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in our day and 168 hours in a week. Each minute is precious. The Psalmist writes to us to number our days and be careful how we use our time.
Our children also need to learn the value of time and how to use time wisely. Sure, it’s okay for kids to be kids and enjoy childhood and have fun, but also need to teach how to use time. Here are a few examples we can teach them:
- Learn how to use a planner to track assignments and chores.
- Plan their day and activities. Just as we plan our day’s priorities, let’s teach our children to recognize important priorities and tasks.
- Recognize important tasks and complete the most important things first.
- Enjoy rest time too
Don’t assume your children will just grow up and someday know how to use time. Money and possessions can be replaced when they wasted or lost. But time cannot be replaced or reused. Once time is lost it’s just gone.
Start today teaching your children the timeless truth of valuing and using time wisely.
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Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Psalms 139:13, “I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. My soul knows it very well.”
Children are always comparing themselves to others. They will say things like, “She is prettier than I am, he is a better football player than me. She is smarter than me. I wish I lived in her house. He has a great car, wish I had a new car.” When we compare ourselves with others, we are not accepting the value and importance of ourselves.
Comparison will always take our joy from us, because we are looking at others and what we think others have that is better or more important than what we have. The Bible tells us we were all made by God in his image. We are all unique and have special talents and abilities.
When you hear your children start to compare themselves with others, remind them of their special talents and gifts. Assure them they have been uniquely made by God for a specific purpose. When we know the timeless truth that we have been made by God for His eternal work, we will not need to look at others to find our purpose.
Always Be Truthful
Proverbs 12:19, “Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.”
We live in a world that places no value on the truth. For the world, the truth is relative. We know that truth is absolute and does not change with circumstances or opinions.
Being able to speak the truth in kindness and love will make our children stand out in a world that cannot and will not accept the truth.
On a more basic level, we also want our children to tell the true in all the simple experiences of life too. When you ask, did you clean up your room, you expect a truthful answer. If you ask if your homework is complete, you also expect the truth. If you want your children to tell the truth, you must value the truth and always expect the truth.
If you are inconsistent or allow small lies, those untruths will become larger lies. Always insist on truthfulness. Always tell your children the truth.
Attitude Changes Everything
Philippines 2:14-15, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights of the world….”
I saved attitude as the last truth because our attitude truly impacts what we will do and our complete outlook on life. Consider the children of Israel as they traveled from Egypt to the Promised Land. During the long journey, despite God’s continued faithfulness to them, they consistently grumbled and complained with a bad attitude that God did not provide in a way they wanted Him to. Because of their attitude, many of them were never able to see the Promised Land.
It’s been said that 10% of life happens to you, and 90% of life is your attitude and how you react to it. If that’s true, having a positive can-do attitude will be a life-changing truth. We know a bad attitude will stop us from doing things, and a positive can-do attitude can also impact us to do more than we ever thought possible.
It’s an important and timeless truth to teach our children that attitude does change everything. A bad attitude can take us a direction we don’t want to go and a positive can-do attitude will help us achieve and be successful.
As we decide what are the most important things we should teach our children, remember these 7 timeless truths and the long-lasting impacts they will have on your children. It’s never too late to start teaching these truths: don’t quit, always do your best, respect others, use time wisely, don’t compare yourself to others, always be truthful and the right attitude changes everything.
Your turn …
Which of these 7 truths are you teaching your children? How do these truths impact you and your children?