Carl LIndgren

Managing Editor / Founder, MAP Magazine


This conversation is closed.

What are the Top 5 things you can teach/share with a 6 year old?

I am interested in what other fathers/mother do with their kids to help them become kind, caring and humble human beings.

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    Nov 17 2011: I have three children, ages 16, 10 and 6. We have been writing in and keeping a gratitude journal(s) as a family since 2004. Every night, sometime after 8:30 pm, we sit down togethe, quietly, and take turns saying what we are thankful for that particular day. I write everything down in their exact words and once everyone has had a turn we "Thank God for the day" and then say prayers for our friends, family and animals as well as talk to God as a family about anything specific that may be going on at the time. When one of the kids has a friend spend the nighht, the friend is included as well and asked what they are thankful for that day. We have had MANY "guests' gratitude lists recorded over the last seven years. Today, my six year old was thankful that her teacher brought a wasp's nest into class and that she played "nerf war" at her friends house and that she passed her "white-sash" test in Kid-Fu, and.....and...and...and.. she generally has a long list and I am happy to record everything she says. I have found this daily practice has created a sense peace, belonging, connection, grounding and has really provided my children with an opportunity to develop a relationship with a loving God and to understand, a thankful heart is a happy heart
  • Nov 16 2011: I love this topic!
    My Top 5 things to share with a 6 yr old: (in no particular order)

    1) The golden rule (Show examples every chance you get!)
    2) A sense of wonder about the world (It's important for them to know you don't know everything; learn together!)
    3) The importance of doing your best. (Even if it isn't good enough for someone else, they know they gave it their all and can feel pride. A gentle reminder that NOBODY is perfect comes in handy here.)
    4) Each others' interests. (A well rounded parent fosters a well rounded child.)
    5) All the ways you love them!
    • Nov 16 2011: great thoughts, Sharon... I completely agree with each of them and commend you on the positive nature of your suggestions. some of the other postings focus on mistrust and being 'better' than others while your's is truly encouraging the younger generation to be strong and commit to bettering themselves
      • Nov 16 2011: Thank you for your kind words Geoff. I appreciate that you noticed what my underlying philosophy is; optimism. It doesn't always come easily to me, but where my children are concerned, I try to make it work! My husband just reminded me of another important concept to share, and even though they only asked for 5 things, I think I'd add #6) Apologizing is not a sign of weakness. (If you're wrong, admit it, make it right and move on, but mean it when you say 'I'm sorry'.)

    • Nov 16 2011: What's the golden rule?
      • Nov 16 2011: Do onto others as you would have them to do you.
        • Nov 17 2011: Thanks. Didn't know it was called that.
    • Nov 16 2011: Wow! We have just about the exact same house rules!
      1. #1 House Rule: Treat everyone the way you want to be treated. (Eliminates sibling rivalry and enhances the ability to self assess when I respond to contentious situations with a consistant simple question - Are you treating eachother the way you want to be treated?)
      2. Learning IS fun! When we have time to fill, we do experiments and projects, we go on family ecology trips, and belong to an ecology education group called Earth's Classroom. We try to figure out why kites fly, why birds sing in the morning, and what happens when we mix paint colors with our toes.
      3. We (insert last name)s are hard workers. We (insert last name)s aren't liars ... etc. Also, I may ask for an explanation on why a test comes home with a few wrong answers, but an A test that comes home with a blank answer is definitely met with major disappointment. We (insert last name)s ALWAYS try our best!
      4. We're checking off a major To Do list of everything from learning yo-yo tricks to how to do things even I don't know yet. ...And we READ about everything.
      5. Our favorite game is: "I love you more than a (fill in the blank)! Usually something like, garbage truck, septic tank, 1,000 snakes. Wow, can 6 year old boys come up with some doozies!

      ....Makes for an amazingly wonderful life! : )
      • Nov 17 2011: Melinda, it sounds like you have a heck of a lot of fun! I know we're always laughing at our house...I especially like your #5. I can only imagine how my 7 and 9 yr old boys would finish that sentence! I appreciate that you took a moment to reply to my post. I really enjoy hearing that we've got a similar child rearing philosophy.

    • Nov 16 2011: The golden rule.

      Some of the things that I'd want done on to me, are not things others want done onto them. And vice versa. i never liked the golden rule for that reason. It makes people think that everyone else is like them. People are unique.
      • Nov 16 2011: Ah, but I want others to recognize the uniqueness in me, try to see my needs and fulfill them as best they can ... so that is how I try to treat others. : ) ....Once the six-year-old starts maturing into a 16 year old and then a 26 year old, there are so many more nuances that come along with it.
      • Nov 17 2011: James, I see what you're saying, but as Melinda mentioned, that is a bit too abstract for a 6 yr old. Personally, I would like to think that the other things I'm teaching my boys will help them realize that everyone is different and unique in their own way, but that what we have in common outweighs what separates us. Thank you for chiming in. I'm really enjoying this discussion!
      • Dec 4 2011: I think the gyst of the golden rule is to treat others kindly. So if you're a masochist and the golden rule shouldn't apply, then just go with "Treat others Kindly."
  • Nov 12 2011: I must refer you to The Parents Tao Te Ching, A New Interpretation by by William Martin. The wisdom in this book will help you as it helps me. I was the eldest of 9 children over 20 years. Sometimes children act out when they cannot get your attention and feel your love. Media and material toys isolate their little hearts. Take a walk, talk, talk, talk. When children act out often it is because they are hungry, tired, overstimulated, need more time at home, and routine. Sometimes because limits give them a sense of security. If you make your home a safe haven and eat and talk as a routine at home...not in the car or restaurant, they feel much more secure. Tell them early that there are dangerous people they may encounter, and that they must never be afraid to tell you if they meet someone like this even if that person threatens them or your safety. Children will endure years of abuse to protect a parent. I know this personally. Then don't have more children than you can handle teach and love. As they grow you have to loosen the ties. Three is exponentially more than two. Get the book... and take care of yourself, sleeping, eating, resting...but you have a child and now that child is more important than you are. Don't search for a mate, if you are single to the extent that you neglect your child. Never put your mate or your needs 1st. as I did. I thought I had to find a father after a divorce. Three children by three men and it was worse each time. Be at have a beautiful gift. Read... Take walks....don't spoil with gagets and TV, Communicate. Blessings
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      Nov 12 2011: Sounds like lessons learned transformed into wisdom paid forward. Thank you Mary. :)
      • Nov 14 2011: Thank you, Linda and all....There is one "toy" that has given decades of pleasure and remarkable results for my children. I am an artist and there is an Italian clay block called "Plastilina" used by sculptors. It should be purchased in the==== SOFT GREY==== variety. Even this must be warmed and worked in the hands and sticks or a few wooden sculpting tools in a basket makes a wonderful holiday, or birthday present. This clay never hardens, it is natural and you will be stunned by the creatures and creativity evoked by this material. I also provided quality sketch books and colored pencils and hard and soft pencils for car trips and home. If the clay figurines break or fall apart...if they do it's ok... new ones will appear and it teaches non-attachment from age 4 to 20 I find a little bags of this clay yet in coat pockets and it was purchased over a decade ago! The Tao Te Ching is inexpensive and thin, the block comes wrapped in paper like a pound of butter, and gives years of joy to parent and child and is worth every penny because it lasts and lasts does not dry out, and does not destroy or stain furniture, rugs or car seats! It is a stress reliever, and joy producer!
        • Nov 16 2011: actually, plastilina is not a naturally occuring substance. It is a petro-chemical product combined with plant matter Use real clay, instead, and teach about real clay properties (like having to keep it wet, how to dry it slowly, how to recycle the unused bits or dried up broken pieces in water, how to clean up after use, how to store the clay, ...
        • Nov 17 2011: thanks for the email, Mary and you are welcome. We used plasticine in the classroom for years, but a few years back, out of commitment to use only quality and natural classroom equipment and materials, decided to use only the real stuff. The switch required a lot of trial and error, but now have a nice process so that the children are independent in choosing and using the work without adult interference or control (imperative in Montessori).
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      Nov 16 2011: Thanks Mary. I just bought the book on Amazon.
      • Nov 17 2011: Oh, you will be very happy...I find it so useful in changing my paradigm for relating to everyone but especially for teens and adult children too. I wish I had it when mine were young! I would not be undoing damage I caused whose paradigm dated back to my parents and their parents and the 1900's! It has been said that just carrying a Tao Te Ching with you raises consciousness. No one knows who the actual author is but the translation from Chinese is "words of wise old man." Thank you, and enjoy...lucky child you have...wise parent.
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    Nov 16 2011: We've introduced our girls to caring about the community and the world around them. Our daughters are 5 and 7, and both have a huge heart. It started when we explained the consequences of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and they were so profoundly touched by it that it wasn't sufficient that we donated for the family - they insisted on taking money out of their own piggy banks and bring it to the Canadian Red Cross in person.
    My 7-year-old was also introduced to a young girl with cancer, and decided to cut off 11" of her hair for Locks of Love (an organization that makes wigs for kids with cancer).

    We also try to teach our girls that everyone is special. What makes us different, whether it be our language, our looks, our religion, our nationality or our tastes, also makes us unique and beautiful. We teach them that being different isn't just OK, it's part of what makes the world amazing and exciting. We encourage them to ask questions and to appreciate individuality. How boring life would be if we were all the same!

    I think the biggest hearts of all are found in the tiniest members of humanity. Teaching them empathy, supporting their efforts to help in their own way, and trying to lead by example goes a long way in raising them to be kind and to contribute to a better world in any way they can.
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      Nov 16 2011: What did you learn from your daughters selfless acts
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        Nov 16 2011: I learned that children are without a doubt the most amazing creatures. Their innocence makes them want to love and give unconditionally and selflessly, which leads me to believe that we learn selfish behaviour as we grow. If we can encourage their natural instincts from the beginning, children can grow to be better people.
    • Nov 16 2011: Walking the path of love! I have had similar ideas to what I want to teach my 3year old:-)
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    Nov 15 2011: The choices you make will have consequences. Become familiar with both before you act.
    People who love you will discipline and correct you. Do not dislike them for it.
    God exists. You are His creation. You are both a physical and a spiritual being. Take care of both.
    Do not say things that you know are not true. Telling lies will always hurt someone, usually you.
    You want to be treated fairly and kindly. Treat others the same way, even when they do wrong to you.
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      Nov 16 2011: Telling a child that God exists is both untrue and unfair, because you are taking advantage of your authority and the child's credulity by telling that lie.
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        Nov 16 2011: Let's return to civility and mutual respect. Remember, the question solicited opinion and that is what I wrote. Not everyone who responds will have the same opinion. That should not be license to call someone who disagrees with you a liar and a bully parent.
        Exercising parental authority is precisely what a parent should do. One could not raise a child without doing it.
        If you have succeeded in accomplishing the impossible by proving a negative please share your proof that God does not exist.
        We are at loggerheads Austen. I consider your statement that God does not exist to be a lie. Let's stick to the free expression of opinion regarding the original question without further name calling. God bless you.
        • Nov 17 2011: Edward; "return to civility and mutual respect" what are you talking about? Austen was perfectly civil and not at all disrespectful.
          If Austen deserves any criticism at all it is for the use of untrue where unproven would be more appropriate.

          You are completely entitled to your opinion (as is Austen!) but this is TED. It is a forum for free thought and open minds. This is not a religious sandbox for you to advocate the indoctrination of innocent children. Every person should be entitled to form their OWN views on deity and religion. NO person should be force-fed and brainwashed into a corner before they have had the chance to develop their own objective perception.

          Your manipulation of Austens words into liar and bully say far more about you that anyone else.

          God bless you too...
      • Nov 17 2011: Peace and tolerance be with you all. And with our kids.
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    Nov 25 2011: I am not a parent, but hopefully soon will be. I can only go off what my parents taught me.
    1. Compassion - A little buddhist/christian/human help understanding can go a long way.
    2. Understanding how lucky we are and to be grateful for it. We live in a country where there is poverty but there is still running water and free healthcare. Take your kids to Africa, Eastern Europe, SE Asia or even central Australia and they will see what it is about.
    3. It's okay to make mistakes - mistakes are a natural part of growing up, some even say that mistakes are the only way of coming up with an original thoughts or ideas. Kid need to learn that it is okay to make mistakes .
    4. Respect - Mainly respect for themselves, children now days are being bombarded with what they "should" be. As parents it is our jobs to make them realise they are great as they are. But also respect for the environment, animals, everyone. It goes hand-in-hand with compassion.
    5. Acceptance - Teaching children that everyone is equal and a person sounds like a given, but to many parents and children I meet are either homophobic, elitist or racist. It is paradoxically one of the nice things about working in healthcare, disease doesn't discriminate.
    • Nov 30 2011: You have the making of a great parent Ben. Enjoy!
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        Dec 1 2011: Thank you that is a big relief! At 22 it is hard to imaging what it would be like, but if there is a small something already there maybe when the time comes all will be fine!
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    Nov 16 2011: The Norwegian author Torbjørn Egner wrote about the town of Kardemomme, where the policeman (yes, only one) had made the one and only law the society needed. The Kardemomme law translates to:

    You shall never bother others,
    You shall be both fair and kind,
    Apart from that, you do whatever's on your mind!

    When you give it some thought, you realize that this law encompasses absolutely every way we humans trespass on each other, so by adhering to the Kardemomme law, we'll all get along much better. That's why my 6 year old knows that this rule is the one and only rule I will not tolerate breaking. Anything else can be discussed, and then related to this rule...
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      Nov 16 2011: That is so wonderful to know. I will have to show it to my kids!

      My personal rule, is 'cause no harm' ....... and as you stated above, it requires thinking. For it does come from the Hippocratic oath. Yet, a Doctor does cause harm when he cuts for surgery .... yet that harm is small compared to the harm if they do not operate.

      I find laws, make thinking unnecessary. Which is sad. I will now go looking for this wonderful town!
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      Nov 16 2011: cool :)
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    Nov 13 2011: Great topic!
    (1) Share your curiosity about the world, and do your best to nurture theirs so it does not die.
    (2) Model how to listen before speaking.
    (3) Demonstrate constructive ways of managing conflict.
    (4) Teach the power and value of personal commitment.
    (5) Show them how to manage money.
    (6) Have children care for other living things (plants, animals).
    (7) Show children where the basic sustenance of life come from (clean water, healthy food).
    (8) Teach forgiveness.
    (9) Model humility.
    (10) Show your love to them every day in tangible ways.
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      Nov 15 2011: I really appreciate (10), let them know that you love them, not only you know that.
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    Nov 12 2011: Respect, kindness, compassion, empathy and unconditional love:>)
    • Nov 27 2011: It is a pretty simple answer, yes? Everything you just commented on, should be a given. Why is it not that way?
      Why are humans so terribly cruel to, their own children, their babies? I mean, this is not rocket science? With Respect!
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        Nov 29 2011: Hi again Tishe:>)
        Yes...I think/feel it is a pretty simple answer, and some simple concepts to use in building a good foundation for our "self" at any age. So, I believe these qualities to be very important for all of us, as we navigate the life journey.

        I believe people are cruel, because those are the behaviors that some people learned as children, and they are sometimes passing the behaviors and the wounding on to their children. There are a lot of wounded people in our world, as I think you know, who continue to wound others because that is all they know. If we are not evaluating our "self" regularly, we may not understand the underlying reasons for cruel behaviors. I think/feel that most abusive behaviors are learned...unfortunately.

        With respect to you Tishe...always...all ways:>)
        • Nov 30 2011: YES! Thank you, being cruel and being abusive, is a learned behaviour from other humans. Mostly from parents and caretakers. Colleen, the answer to this topic is, so very easy. (BUT) It is not a reality. With respect to you always, also! ( thank you ) :)
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        Dec 2 2011: Tishe,
        Maybe if enough of us keep spreading the word, it CAN be a reality?
        • Dec 3 2011: Yes I agree. I love how your, glass is always, half full! See, I am not quite there, I'm trying, no worries! :)
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        Dec 3 2011: No worries Tishe,
        Your heart is VERY full, and that is what counts:>)
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        Dec 3 2011: I agree entirely with Colleen. I am as ever so grateful to you Colleen for your great words of guidance and healing.

        Dear Tishe,
        What I would like to add is that you, Tishe, bring in a an incredibly important point to this conversation. Everyone else, including myself, have thrown our 5 cents in to this pot - all good and great things to teach/share with a six year old.

        The more I think of what you said and the more I grasp the size of its prevalence world-wide, the more I realize that our collective effort needs to be placed elsewhere. The angelic child sitting on Carl's lap, already has a good father who is so thoughtful that he is collecting ideas from the world to incorporate into raising that one child. And I wish every parent would watch him and emulate him in the world. But we know that is not
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          Dec 7 2011: Thank you Juliette,
          I am simply passing on information I learned as a child. As you say Juliette, this is a HUGE worldwide concern. If our children are wounded because of how they were treated as children, how can we ever anticipate peace, kindness and respect in our world?

          My mother was a person who taught and lived kindness, respect, compassion and unconditional love. My father was a racist, bigot, angry, abusive, violent man. He taught me how NOT to be in this world, so I learned from both of them. We all have the opportunity to observe behaviors, learn from them, and repeat the same behavior, or change the behavior. Our children are our future, and if they are not treated with kindness and respect, we will continue many of the same behaviors. We need to be aware of this on a global level. I believe it is possible to change, and it has to start with each of us as individuals:>)
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        Dec 4 2011: Tishe - Thank you !!

        I am so grateful that you are speaking up from a perspective that you have direct cardinal experience and knowledge in. I hope that you will continue to speak up at every opportunity, and this way you give voice to so many children (and adults) who repress their own voices hoping to “fit” in society, who need to work harder to claim their own self worth, who have to work even harder to realize their own good potential and whose pain I carry in my heart.

        Every child is a gift to this world and quite often entrusted to underserving company.
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      Dec 2 2011: And the best way to teach them is to BE them.
  • Nov 9 2011: 1. Tell the truth as much as you possibly can.2. Express your feelings as much as you possibly can.3. Trust yourself.....your feelings, your thoughts.4. Always choose positive, whenever you can. 5. Always be who you really are.
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      Nov 9 2011: Thanks Rhona :) I think after two people answering my question ... these answers have more wisdom in them than many kid help books!!!!!
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      Nov 12 2011: Rhona, now I see how you became that positive.

      We have a saying that says (translated): How the old sing so are tweeting the young.
      • Nov 14 2011: Frans, I like that saying. Those concepts developed over the years. Thanks for your expressions. Positive feedback, positive anything is powerful. We are working together to co-create the good world, the good life of our highest hopes. We shall succeed. HAPPY TODAY!
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    Nov 19 2011: 1) meaning of parents..... that parents are best friends...
    2) No One is rich and No one is poor.... all humans are equal
    3) meaning of peace and non violence
    4) Self dependence
    5) meaning of respect...
    Actually i don't have any experience in this field and i know that imagination may be totally different... So i just tried to put my points....
  • Nov 17 2011: Great topic:
    In no particular order:

    1. a sense of wonder about the world around them
    2. creativity in all aspects of your life
    3. compassion for all
    4. appreciation for differences by showing how everyone is unique in their own way
    5. respect is earned through actions not words
  • Nov 17 2011: 1) Insatiable curiosity
    2) Spontaneous dancing
    3) Daily creativity
    4) The joys of compassion for people, animals, life
    5) The ability to give gifts... even to oneself.
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    Nov 16 2011: Good one Joe. I once spent an entire afternoon with my then 4 yr old grandson watching a dragonfly emerge from its shell . We watched until its wings dried and it flew away. In that time I answered so many questions and learned so much about my grandson it was incredible. Now we go about looking for more wonders of nature together.
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    Nov 16 2011: I would tell a 6 year old (and I have) that it is ok to fail. From the time we are born we're told that we should be right, as often as possible and with the smallest degree of error. And we're told that if we're wrong, this is bad for us and we should recover from this failure as soon as possible.

    Failure is something to be embraced. When we lose, we learn and I don't think enough young kids know that.
    • Nov 16 2011: My little one is not yet 6, but we teach her that 'failure' is part of a larger effort. So we don't dwell on any one unsuccessful attempt as a failure, but take it as part of a process and ask what we can improve. In time I hope she'll realize that if something is easy enough to get right the first time, it may not be as satisfying as something else that required a few stumbles along the way.
  • Nov 16 2011: As a parent of two boys, I believe the most important lesson they learn from me is the example of how I treat them. If I treat them with respect and kindness they learn what it means to be treated with respect and kindness. If I trust them, they learn to trust others. I respect their rights as human beings, they learn to respect others' rights as human beings. If I use my power over them to control and dominate them, they learn that the more powerful have the right to use their power over the less powerful to get them to do what they want. I believe I can't teach them compassion, kindness, trust and respect unless I model that in my relationships with them, including the fact that I am still learning and growing as a parent.
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    Nov 14 2011: Great question!
    "Life is beautiful"
    "Be curious"
    "Think again"
    "Take it easy"
  • Nov 14 2011: 1) Tolerance by Example
    2) Imagination to Create
    3) Curiosity to Question
    4) Actions have Consequences
    5) Love is to be given and received
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    Nov 13 2011: "It's only with the heart that one can see clearly. What's essential is invisible to the eye".

    -Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    (p.s. Be sure to give her/him enough time to study the drawings in the book the Little Prince . lolv)
    • Nov 14 2011: That is a very cool quote! (who said it?)
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        Nov 14 2011: ["It's only with the heart that one can see clearly. What's essential is invisible to the eye."]

        QUOTE: "That is a very cool quote! (who said it?)"

        Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in his book "The Little Prince."
        • Nov 14 2011: I will check it out! Thank you!!
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    Nov 10 2011: I think that the most important thing you can teach small children is to be a friend to themselves. By that I mean, enlist their aid in protecting their own heath and bodies and minds. I told my kids stories in which they were the 'king' of their country (their body). They began to understand the reasons for brushing their teeth (first line of defence against the invaders) or not put their fingers in their noses (importing enemies- germs). By getting them on their own side I did not have to fight the same battles over and over. When they realized that there was actually a good reason for eating veggies it was no longer a battle. I

    think that encompasses more than 5 things as you requested but I would add that I also taught them that their words made me think the same thoughts in my head and see the same pictures and better words made better pictures so that they would feel less frustrated. Finally, I think it is crucial to teach them to use their words rather than their fists.
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    Dec 8 2011: I would ask her to teach me how to be as innocently happy as she is. Then I'd tell her never to forget what she taught me.
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      Dec 8 2011: This was my first response too :) My six year old teaches me more every day than I could teach her in a lifetime.
  • Nov 25 2011: Let them be children - I believe sir Ken Robinson said "a 6yr old isnt half a 12yr old"
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      Nov 22 2011: So practical! Wish I'd known all that at 6 years old!
  • Nov 19 2011: My daughter's first fascination was the Moon- all I did was to go and share with her everything I knew about the moon, next I did was searched for pictures & stories about the Moon- then shared them with her. This went on for weeks together- which means till she had 'enough' of Moon. I let myself go with her fascination & would stop sharing about a particular topic when she stopped asking about it. The next thing she got fascinated about was the Horse. All I did was collected all the material I knew about horses and shared it with her. While I did all this, the intention was NOT TO TEACH anything. The intention was to EXPOSE HER TO INFORMATION & EXPERIENCE. So the axiom I follow is FOLLOW WHAT YOUR CHILD WANTS TO KNOW/LEARN. The rest of the things children merely absorb from you- mostly without you even being aware of!
  • Nov 17 2011: Hug
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    Nov 17 2011: -
    Basic "games theory" stuff...

    - Seek and consider options before making decisions
    - Retain options for as long as practical
    - Good decisions need good information
    - All information needs to be tested (Critical thinking)
    - Almost everyone will help you; for free
    - Trust is important, and honesty engenders trust
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    Nov 17 2011: Hi Carl,

    I am tippy toe-ing back into your conversation to add my bit. I have read some of the comments others wrote and this thread you created has now become a rich reference for some fabulous ideas of things to teach a 6-yr old. There is a lot here to "teach" a 6-yr old !!

    So my itsy bit is in regards to the word "share" and is two fold. (Share being a two-way street)

    Part one has to do with being and acting as your best and highest self at all times ( since it is what you do and not what you say that really counts ).

    Part two has to do with learning from the child instead of trying to teach her/him. I believe that children come into this world already knowing a lot, and they learn so much faster than any one else, so by the time they are six, I think they have surpassed the grown ups in many ways.
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      Nov 17 2011: Thanks Juliette ... it's so wonderful to have such a quick document of so much knowledge. I agree with you too :)
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        Nov 17 2011: Well, what lovelier topic than children !?

        1. Create the healthy environment for them (emotional and physical environment)
        and yourself.
        2. Let the children lead the way
        3. Learn from children
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    Nov 16 2011: Our family dogs and cat have taught the kids: to care about someone besides themselves, to have patience with others, to take responsibility and the many shapes of Love. This started before they were 6 and continues on. The ultimate lesson the animals teach them is how to cope when a loved one dies.
  • Nov 16 2011: Values :
    1. Critical thinking
    2. Respect and compassion
    3. Honesty
    4. Learn from one's errors
    5. Confidence and Self-defence
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    Nov 16 2011: Do what I say not what I do. Thats a good start for teaching children how to behave and learn in the world. More often than not we can teach our children more through talking to them and observing them. More than showing them, we adults have a very dismal record for this process. I more often ask my 6yr old grandson how he thinks and feels before I offer my pearls of wisdom in any given situation . you know that saying out of the mouths of babes.. The premiss of this topic should be what can your 6yr old teach you..
  • Nov 16 2011: My daughter will be six soon, so this has been fascinating to consider. From my perspective:

    1. Rhythm - Music and dance nurture the spirit, clear the mind and foster immense creativity.
    2. Breathing - This may be a lost art. My oldest daughter is very spirited, and practicing breathing with her allows her to take control of her situation, ground herself and find inner peace.
    3. Tolerance - Somehow my kids haven't yet learned to hate. When they do, I would like them to understand the consequences of hatred and be able to choose tolerance on their own.
    4. Confidence - I want my kids to always be willing to stand up for what is right.
    5. Appreciation of a sense of place - They ability to engage and find beauty in their immediate surroundings. If my kids grasp this, environmental stewardship and respect for all creatures will fall into place.
    • Nov 16 2011: Indeed: Music, learn them to play music and dancing! And Yoga :-)
  • Nov 16 2011: Not so much a top 5, but satisfy their curiosity. Answer questions with detail, try to teach them about things, show them (boy the Internet is great for this one!) get them used to asking questions so that you can tell them about the world around them. Amazing how much they retain when you treat them like they can and will understand things.
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    Nov 16 2011: I want to teach/share 6 things with a five year old, if that's ok (because I love this quote by Ernest Hemingway).
    "Before you act, listen.
    Before you react, think.
    Before you spend, earn.
    Before you criticize, wait.
    Before you pray, forgive.
    Before you quit, try."
  • Nov 16 2011: 1. Many hugs, kisses, and I LOVE YOUs (everyday)
    2. Listening to everything they have to say.
    3. Activism. Whether its about being green to democracy, there's always something we can do to help the world be a better place.
    4.Reading. It opens their minds to ask questions and spark ideas.
    5. Service. Children see how we treat others and keep that inside of them. So whether its feeding the homeless, picking up trash at a park, reading to the elderly it helps them to learn compassion.
  • Nov 16 2011: 1. To understand and learn from failure as well as success. Failure is not the end of the world!
    2. Humility - I have a seven year old who is struggling with this one! We'll get there!
    3. Appreciation of other people's strengths as well as your own.
    4. Confidence/belief in one's skills (whilst maintaining humility - it's not easy!).
    5. Understanding and appreciation of different belief systems so they can choose the path that is right for them.

    That all sounds a bit heavy - I'm assuming that play, creativity, fun and happiness go without saying in childhood!
  • Nov 16 2011: I am a homeschool Mom and have taught three 6 year olds. In my opinion these are the most important things to teach.

    1-All people are valuable. This is taught through exposure to different cultures, ages (nursing homes, smaller children), economic backgrounds (seeing homeless, touring or working in food bank). Children are very receptive and compassionate when raised to see beyond their home and people like them.

    2-Never be afraid to question. Instead of rote answers six year olds learn better by activity and exploration. Ask the hard quesitons. You may be surprised what your child will come up with. My son invisions usining gravity to make electricity. Keep their minds open and don't say that's impossible. Maybe he will invent a new power system someday.

    3-Communicate, communicate, communicate. So many of the worlds problems are failure to communication.

    4-Listen, Listen, Listen. This goes with communication. Teach children that their thoughts are valuable but to truly know how someone is feeling that you must listen with your feelers. Try to feel what the other person is says and see where they are coming from.

    5-Faith. Whatever your faith is. Teach your child there is more to life than themselves and they have something to believe in.
  • Nov 16 2011: 1- Social skills (make friends, handle conflicts, respect yourself and others)
    2- Tolerance to frustration (never give up, things get better with practice)
    3- Self-soothing coping skills (mindfulness, meditation)
    4- Critical thinking (question things, NO to blind faith)
    5- Healthy habits (healthy eating, no smoking, practice sports)

    And what I love the most to do with my own 6-year old, travel, travel and travel
  • Nov 16 2011: The best thing I ever did with my kids was to involve them in helping the poor. We delivered Christmas gifts to poor families and served food to the homeless.

    Never tolerate meanness. Always encourage compassion and kindness.
  • Nov 16 2011: Don't try to teach.
    Just behave the way you want him to be.
    Share good memories like a " FRIEND ".
    And what to teach(indirectly)/share ?
    That many knowledgeable people already wrote.
    • Nov 16 2011: I agree with you 100%!!!!
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    Nov 16 2011: 1. To accept mistakes without feeling guilty
    2. To forgive
    3. Always ask when need to know something
    4. To be curious about everything nature offers us
    5. To share with others his/her feelings
    6. To live among other kids with the idea that we are all equal and that every difference we see in others makes us richer inside
    • Nov 16 2011: Yes! to number 1 especially. In fact, I'd go even further and say to embrace mistakes - that's the best way to learn.
  • Nov 16 2011: Show them that parents are sometimes wrong, and the right way to handle a mistake
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    Nov 16 2011: You should teach him to make sure he understands the importance of knowledge, love, and self control. Let him know the importance of raising questions and how to govern their solutions.
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    Nov 15 2011: 1.Teacher don't always tell the truth, stand up for your own mind.
    2.School is a place leading to the paradise or the hell.
    4.Find the things you realy into it. are a miracle.
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    Nov 11 2011: 1. Mind-stretching; asking questions like: "If everything could fly, what would birds do?", or "If everyone suddenly started getting up really late in the mornings and take ages to get to school and work, what would the squirrels think?
    2. Focusing on the good and feasible; "What's the best thing that happened today?", "How can YOU contribute to change?"
    3. Seven tests for ethics, as formulated by Stephen S. J. Hall for IIQEST.
    4. You're important! You are the only person EVER that is you, and can do exactly what you can do. Nobody can replace you, nobody means the same to the people around you.
    5. Responsibility for your own actions; "Yes, I made a mistake. I now know better, and this means..."
    • Nov 12 2011: Hi Eirin.

      The name Stephen Hall didn't ring a bell. But when I looked him up, I remember seeing these tests before. Thanks for sharing. They really should be part of every child's education.

      For those who haven't seen them (or like me, had forgotten Hall's contribution) here they are:

      "Seven Tests for Ethics" (Stephen Hall. IIQUEST, 1995)
      1. Is it legal?
      2. Does it hurt anyone?
      3. Is it fair?
      4. Am I being honest?
      5. Can I live with myself?
      6. Would I publicize my decision?
      7. What if everyone did it?
  • Nov 9 2011: These are the top things I told my own children as soon as they were old enough to ask me why:

    There are no dumb questions; always ask why
    In your entire life, there will never be anything more important than your family
    Listen before you speak; think before you believe
    No one is perfect, not me, not you. Always do the best you can and always see the best in others.
    Everything dies -- it's part of life itself and it's what makes life precious
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      Nov 9 2011: HI David.

      Thanks for these :) It's nice to be reminded. And ... 'Think before you believe' What a great lesson!!!! Thakns for sharing them with me.
  • Dec 2 2011: Children can understand more than we often assume they can, and when they don't understand that is the opportunity to teach. I speak to them as an adult. The way we learn behavior is by watching what is happening directly around us. What I found to be successful: treat the child in the same manner I want the child to treat others.
  • Dec 2 2011: I don't have kids but I think all people (little or big) should be taught these things.
    1. Compare yourself to those who have less than you, not more or what you do have will never seem enough.
    2. Learning is an adventure (and can solve most of the world's problems)
    3. The world is big and loud and colorful and it should be explored.
    4. You can learn the most from those who live the most differently to you
    5. It is very brave to say "'I was wrong""
    6. Everyone is as important as you (and therefore should be treated as you wish to be treated).
    • Dec 4 2011: Uh, first off, girlfriend, I would like to point out that they are six things on your list....
      Secondly, WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! What you wrote is incredible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Damn, I wish I thought of those...
  • Nov 25 2011: To give the room for kids to be kids, a slower education with balance with nature. To do what is right because it is right. The joy to listen, the joy of action, the joy of seeing, the joy of stillness, the joy to learn. To be parents of goodness of heart and wisdom of mind.

    That each parents is the true north of each other and simple in nature for the kids and each other.
  • Nov 24 2011: Ok, I am not a parent, but was a kid recently. Here are things that my parents did or wish that they did and i hope that they are usable:
    1. listen to your child. communication is absolutely essential. see where he or she is coming from. Also, remember that communication is two-way. You should also share your concerns with your child, letting them add an extra perspective and even give out advise.
    2. put in place the mechanisms for learning. Your ultimate goal should be to make your child autonomous. When they ask you a question, you could show them how you would go about finding the answer by searching the web, asking an expert or reading a book. Your child shouldn't believe every word you say, and should constantly question the legitimacy of what is being said.
    3. Nobody is perfect. I can say for certainty that the best way a parent-child bond breaks down is by being hypocritical . This happens much more frequently than we think. Show your child that you are often wrong, and that they are also not perfect.
    4. Lead by example. one of the best ways to get your kid to do homework is to do your own work work right next to them.
    5. introduce new ideas to your child constantly. maybe show them a few ted videos.
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    Nov 24 2011: Hi Carl,
    I have to be honest, Im not a parent, but I was 6 years old once..
    and now that I'm a bit older, i look back, and im glad I was taught certain lessons, and i also wish i had been taught others.

    Lessons learned:

    * There are concequences to every action. good or bad.
    * A strong family is both a great life example and support system.
    * It is never too early to start stimulating the mind. With music, reading, writing and any creative activity.

    Lessons i missed:

    * Children learn about money at home. Teach them to work smarter, and to make money work for them, not the other way around.
    * Money is NOT everything.
    * Think for yourself, educate yourself, and make the best desicions after thinking critically about your options.

    Maybe these carry over into the later years, but 6 years old is just in time to start using the right vocabulary of love, optimisim, generosity, and respect that will characterize the rest of their lives.
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    Nov 20 2011: I asked a very similar question 25 years ago to a well experienced school physiologist.

    I asked what where the two most important things I needed to do for my children?

    The response I received was to provide children with these two key things if you can.

    1- Provide them with their own spot at the dinner table.
    If company visits for a meal ask the child if it is acceptable to them to have the guest sit in their spot. The theory was that we evolved as a pack animal and it is important for children to learn early that they have a place of presence.

    2- Provide children with a room of their own that they are responsible to keep in order. As they enter their teens their room will likely explode in disarray! As they become adults they will have learned to keep structure in their personal world and be much happier for it.

    We tried to do this as best we could with our four children and I am very pleased to say they all are very well adjusted happy adults today!
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    Nov 19 2011: • Sharing stories either by reading, story telling, or age appropriate stories from the past
    • Spending time experiencing the world together and providing a good mirror image of behavior, i.e. showing kindness in all interactions big or small and with all we encounter
    • Keeping negative speak away from little ears
    • Build up and never tear down in every interaction – specifically in word selection
    • Play and interact at her level and at her pace – even if it is the last part of the day we find time to interact one on one alone where she can tell me all about her day. We call this ‘talk about it and cuddles” and we have been sharing this time together since she was a baby. It’s my way of honoring her and her time and her contribution to my life and our family. I want her to know that she may be six, but she is as important as any member of the family.

    I find that the more connected my daughters are with my husband and me the more grounded and centered they are. They in turn are able to contribute better to their community at school with their friends in a more kinder and gentler way. They are modeling the behavior we are demonstrating towards each other and towards the people we interact with daily.

    Great question! Hope that answers your question. :)

    Thank you!

    Tamra Wade
    Paper Hope
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    Nov 19 2011: (1) Emotional Awareness. It is vital for all children to become aware of their emotions, to be able to name them, to be honest about how they feel but to be able to prevent negative emotions triggering negative behavior. So often children simply do not develop an emotional vocabulary and as a result they become a slave to their feelings often lashing out at the world when they become upset. (I have taught my son that this is the "volcano" response.) Or worse yet, children are taught that controlling their emotions means they must deny how they feel. (We call this the "potato" response.) We talk about how characters in stories handle their emotions and whether the characters made good choices, or volcano or potato choices.
    (2) An understanding for how big and diverse the world is. I bought a globe and took it off the stand. It roams around our living room as a large ball. Whenever we come across a reference to a country in a story, we find it on the globe. We have found the countries my grandparents came from. We've found the places where penguins can be found. We've found the countries that have lots of volcanoes. He noticed that Japan looks like a seahorse, and Tokyo is in the belly of the seahorse. (Vimeo has been a wonderful resource for exploring the world. We have watched volcanoes in Iceland, shipping traffic in Australia, and beautiful time lapse videos from Japan, the UAE, and American Southwest. Vimeo is a video posting site for those with professional aspirations. They don't allow inappropriate material.)
    (3) A respect for science -
    (4) An appreciation for fantasy and a love of reading -
    (5) Knowing that it's ok to be wrong. Being honest about being wrong helps us to learn new things.
    • Nov 23 2011: Emotional awareness

      Thumb up!
  • Nov 18 2011: Clearly what worked for me while i interact with my kids is
    1. Tell them stories about what you did when you were a kid and relate it to his situation, that helps immensely
    2. Kids listen everything around them, so be very careful on what you talk in front of kids. Kids look at how we talk to a helper or janitor
    3. Sure play with them anytime, physical activity works wonderfully
    4. I try to make him sleep with us, he feels secure
    5. I make it a point to show my attachment towards my parents and friends in front of them, so they can do the same
  • Nov 17 2011: Live the example you want to teach them - in how you treat them and how you live your life every day with every one. it's not complicated.
  • Nov 17 2011: Nothing elaborate I am lucky my strong willed 6 year old daughter can do just the everyday things...
    1. share toys with her 2 yr old brother
    2. Say please and thank you
    3. Knock on the door
    4. Greet and hug her grandparents
    5. Saying I love you before going to bed
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    Nov 17 2011: A new language // It's amazing how children can pick up new languages so quickly!

    Importance of having good friends

    To take care of their parents (and to never place them in an old folks home) // Take them to visit an old folks home to chat with other abandoned seniors (I've done this and it was really heartbreaking..)

    To question everything // Debunk the old 'children are meant to be seen, not heard'

    To try everything (as long as it doesn't harm anyone :) -- sports, food, music, math etc
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    Nov 17 2011: 1. The Golden Rule
    2. Critical / Creative Thinking
    3. Passion / Drive
    4. Sense of Wonder
    5. Anything is possible with the above 4.
  • Nov 16 2011: I think the basic stuff has been covered here. What I would like to add is the acceptance of failure.I think a lot of kids are being somehow pressured to 'do the right thing', in any situation. Although I fully agree with the notion of guiding your children in making the right decisions, as parents we should very much allow our children to fail, in any way, and teach them how to learn from that without them feeling guilty about it.
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    Nov 16 2011: I take my 6yr old volunteering with me when I can. At the moment it tends to be fundraising activities for different charities such as teenage cancer trust, air ambulance, british heart foundation to name a few. I try to explain, in a way a 6yr old will understand, what we're doing, why we're doing it, and most importantly who will benefit from the activity. I also explain how we benefit from the activity through achieved awareness of the wider world, feeling good about helping others and more. We take photos, speak to the public and shake tins!! All being well he'll catch the volunteering bug from a young age and continue volunteering throughout his life. It's a win win
  • Nov 16 2011: If I had to pick a trait to encourage, it would be curiosity...
  • Nov 16 2011: So many great thoughts here. I'll add one...

    Learn to play the 'look for the silver lining' game. There will always be mishaps and disappointments, but the key is to find the silver lining... because it's always there (always!)... you just have to find it.
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    Nov 16 2011: 1) read stories to them at bed time
    2) answer all their questions as honest as you possibly can
    3) challenge them, and appraise them for each achievement
    4) Show them your passions and interests
    5) Play play play! play with them, learn them to want to win and accept to lose, learn them rules, and that rules can change... play more! all kinds and forms of play! it's fun and so good for their development.

    (or go for the marshmallow test, and hope he/she can sit out the temptation)
  • Nov 16 2011: - Use your imagination
    - Respect Life and treat it accordingly
    - It's OK to fall
    - When you fall, get up, understand why you fell and try again correcting your mistake
  • Nov 16 2011: I love to share my passion for nature and the great outdoors with my son. We hike, hunt, ski, bike, fish and camp. It is a great idea to teach the little ones survival skills and a heathly respect for the wild woods. Time spent outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine is so important to growing healthy bodies and minds.
  • Nov 16 2011: Every day is an adventure. Walking to the shop is a mission. Going on the bus is a journey. Going on the train is an expedition. Cooking is fun. Washing up is even more fun (wet fun!). Reading, reading and more reading. Virtually no television, and what television there is, share it and talk about it. Encourage imaginative play. Ask questions, and don't sneer or laugh at wrong answers - discuss. If the answer is nearly right, say, 'wow that's really clever - it is kind of like a giraffe isn't it!' (if appropriate). If asked 'Why?' Say 'Why do you think?' Be open and honest. Have fun. More reading. Giving - wrap presents together and talk about who the present is for, and then encourage them to give the present. More reading. Mine is not quite six yet (he's nearly three actually) but he's soaking up everything like a sponge... I hope I'm doing all the right things to help him grow into a really beautiful human being.
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    Nov 16 2011: I am a parent of 3, and I was a PE teacher for 6 to 14. If I remember correctly, 6 is a difficult age social wise. The need to be cool becomes more insistent with the new level of kids the child is in contact with.

    As and adult, I felt is was my job to prepare the child for what was coming as well as helping them through what was happening.

    So, for a 6 year old, knowing that they were most likely facing 'bullying', whether as one or a victim, or both, I would be speaking with them about how to deal with it, mostly by not taking it personally, rather than be a victim, and trying to make connections between when they were, and how they felt about, and when they were victims and when they where just witnesses.

    6 year olds are very justice oriented, so we had a "talking stick", and when things got really bad, we would hold court. In this, I found they learned to listen and discovered how good it felt to be listened to. We would create rules .... and then try to act accordingly. And sometimes we would find those rules didn't work, so we would change the rules.

    Good faith - This became a key point with us, as many times, in playing the fights would occur because one person accidentally hurt another, and this would start a fight. So before we started a game, I would remind them of good faith.

    Self control/awareness/Responsibility - In learning to know themselves they gain compassion for others, and learned to do things because they wanted to not because it was cool. Even if we are manipulated into it, how we respond it is up to us ..... this is empowering.

    Patience - All mentioned things above are only learned through patience. Our life is here to be lived, felt, thought out, moved through and experienced. The practice of patience, allows us the freedom, internally, to live.
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    Nov 16 2011: 1. Be kind to others.
    2. Good things happen to you when you do good things.
    3. There can be fun in everything you do. You just need to look for it.
    4. Trying new things, helps you grow.
    5. Run and play as often as possible.
  • Nov 16 2011: I (try to) teach my daughter what has help me most in life:

    1- Eat well and stay fit. Other health issues will usually fall into place.
    2- Tend to relationships: family, friends and love.
    3- Question everything with an open mind. It promotes good judgement and tolerance.
    4- Don't be afraid to try new things. Experiences are the stuff of life.
    5- Work is an important part of life. Do something rewarding.
  • Nov 16 2011: -Gratitude
    -Be humble
    -Listen to others
    -be yourself
  • Nov 16 2011: I help kids to remain connected to nature. When connected they learn humility, kindness and respect. Kids who are connected are more intelligent and healthier, more rounded and complete individuals.
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    Nov 16 2011: helping my kids become kind, caring and humble human beings = I BE kind, caring, human being to them and to others. I truly believe kids are a reflection of their parents.
  • Nov 16 2011: To embrace their natural inclination to Love and Trust, by always giving love back to them,
    The joy of music, singing together, teach the gift of listening and that one voice is nice but the harmonies of human cooperation is a wonder.
    That everyone can have a bad day, the gift of empathy.
    That talent is commonplace but achievement through effort is the real gift.
    Poetry and nursery rhymes. That words are like pieces of gold, the better you learn to use them, the wealthier you are.
    Last one which holds them all together:
    Teaching that play is good at any age. Chasing, or rolling around on the lawn, or mucking around with paint.
    Sorry that's six!
  • Nov 16 2011: We walk a kilometer to school and back four times a day. I find that the 30 minutes it takes us to get home opens a hundred doors for my children. We talk about nature and its importance. We marvel at insects and leaves. We discuss school and friends. We apologize for mistakes but remind each other that we're loved. We try not to step on ants because everything deserves respect. We have acknowledged death and life through the various animals around us-living and dead. Our house is full of our treasure-leaves, feathers, pine cones ect. The children teach me how to see the splendor in our little walk home.
    Now walking to school is a different ballgame. I pull them in a red wagon and it is all about fun and how fast we can go, how many puddles we can go through and whether mommy can pull them the last bit. They cheer for me and I will always cheer for them.
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    Nov 16 2011: 5_ Love for music.-
    4_ Crativity is good.-
    3_ Be a god person.-
    2_ Apreciate the time.-
    1_ And Learn .. Learn... Learn...
  • Nov 16 2011: How to fail! It's not all about success. They will have many more failures than successes.
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    Nov 16 2011: Listen to stories, tell stories.
    Dance every now and again.
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    Nov 16 2011: Here's what I try to teach my son (now 11 years old)
    1. Do the right thing.
    2. Do your best.
    3. Treat others kindly.
    4. You are unique.
    5. Make a difference for the better.
  • Nov 16 2011: Since my daughter was able to talk I've been teaching her what I call the "big deals" there are now 6 of them but we started with 1 , then 3 then 4 5 6.

    - compassion
    - love
    - patience
    - awareness
    - karma
    - a calm mind

    She can recite them and they are often handy to discuss when we are trying to correct behaviour. It was important to me to convey compassion not as pity, but as mutual respect for happyness and contentment.
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    Nov 16 2011: We can suggest them to Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish. Because this is what the childhood is all about.
    Thanks to Steve Jobs.
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    Nov 16 2011: There are lots of suggestions... good to see people think so much and teach their young ones such nice things. I too would like to add. They might be already told, may not be in same order
    1. Share your things with your younger brothers/ sisters and friends.
    2. Never laugh if your friends are not able to perform up to the mark. However, encourage him/ her stating "Good try you will do better next time". If he or she is performing good... clap and appreciate stating " Wow so nice, you have mastered it, you are doing so good..."
    3. Share everything with your parents daily. Everything means everything, where went, what did, did you like, what liked, what not liked, what read, what played, what talked, whom met ...
    4. Play a lot of physical (outdoor) games.
    5. Finish your school works fast, if get stuck ask your teacher and your parents. Do not waste time, guessing.
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      Nov 16 2011: Would it ever occur to you to ask the same of an adult?
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        Nov 17 2011: Thanks Eirin for the comments. Yes, you are right do Adult follow these? No, because the word Adult and adulteration are not far from each other. I have replied in context to a six year old kid… thinking the comprehension power a kid will have. The basics activities inculcate habits in anyone and its very quick and deep in kids. Look, what are we expecting people around us. And then think why people (Adult) react the way they are. Because they have not understood the happiness in sharing the things and feeling happy looking other’s smile. We kill people’s thoughts, the moment it comes because we have never taught to ponder on others thoughts. We keep our week points with self, and concerns also we don’t open up and hence difficult to get solutions. When we learn these, from birth, we are not encouraged to share our day today activities hence never get first hand feedback and correct early. We always expect others to be on time and live with example. Do only words can do that? Be committed to own work. Start these as early as six.
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          Nov 17 2011: I think I understand some of your intentions here, but as a mother of a six year old who sees a lot of others her age, I must say that you gravely underestimate their capabilites. Children at the age of 6 are PEOPLE, each one as individual as any adult. An children often seem to exceed adult skills when it comes to enjoying the joy of others and being open about their emotions ;)
  • Nov 16 2011: If i had a 6 year old I'd teach him/her to :

    1. Question things , [ Beliefs , systems , people's authority including mine :P ]
    2. Never allow his/her decisions to become affected by other people's criticisms , opinons , yada yada yada
    3. Always show kindness and understand that not everyone has the same opportunity or chances in life. that other people probably don't live the same way he/she does
    4. To be humble & strong
    5. Never taddle tale !!

    I don't have kids , lots of nephews and nieces though
  • Nov 15 2011: Another most important virtue which should be developed in children is element of curiousity. Unfortunately, the education system harps on 'getting more marks' rather than helping children to get to 'learn' more. In this age of working parents, time is a luxury. Children might find/try to find other avenues for sharing their views, concrns. Hence children should be taught to be open to parents about their difficulties, concerns and a general atmosephere of openness should prevail in the household...and parents are the ones who have to create that like for example when a child is back from school, asking them about what happened at school, in class gives a feeling of closeness to the child.
  • Nov 15 2011: The first and foremost thing that I feel we can inculcate in them is a sense of respect for the system, sense of respect for peers and for those who came before them. The second thing that we should teach them is to 'wait for a while'. Though I would say that parents are also responsible for instant gratification...the children are given the object of their choice the moment they demand it...I feel shouldn't be done. They should be taught that everything in life doesn't come in an instant.
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      Nov 16 2011: I absolutely disagree with your first and foremost thought here! How would any society evolve if all respected the system?
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    Nov 11 2011: I have a grandson who will be six in a few months.... I hope to show him that it's always better to try and to fail than to not try and succeed. I never had anyone teach me this until it was way too late (in my 30s). I want to challenge him to try things, show him new things, persuade him not to fear things (as I did) but to simply face them. Most of all I want him to first accept, then like and finally love failure.... I'm blessed in that my daughter-in-law seems to see the world that way, but I want him to get validation that it isn't just mom who encourages his feeble and faltering efforts, but his grandpa, too. (I very much hope to be around when he -- hopefully -- reaches adulthood. If I don't I want him to remember me as the 'old guy' who helped him believe that failures are just learning opportunities....)
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    Nov 10 2011: 1. To have trust people
    2. To forgive people
    3. Inspire them to do anything they want.
    4. Let them draw there thoughts and ideas on paper and inspire them.
    5. Make them understand that there isn't anything different between people with a different color.
  • Steve C

    • +1
    Dec 7 2011: Oh, man... I already have it typed-up, but have no kid. Will my answer still count?
    - Teach them that they can help others.
    - Patience / Boredom. (Give them down-time) This quote comes to mind: "If you want to see what children can do, you must stop giving them things." ~Norman Douglas
    - Give them time in the woods.
    - "Just be yourself, & let them follow" is one thing I remember from years ago.
    - Teach them to talk to strangers; so they know somewhat how to deal with real, actual strangers should they have to.
  • W T

    • +1
    Dec 5 2011: A six year old.....

    1. good manners....thank you, please, I'm sorry, excuse me
    Like Barney sings: Please and thank you are the magic words

    2. Love people more than things: Toys are great, but playing with your friends is better.
    Watching tv is ok...but putting on a show for your family and friends with cookies and juice afterwards is a treat.
    Video games are all right, but board games where two or more can play are far more interactive and FUN!!

    3. Loving ideas and the sharing of ideas.
    "Show and tell".....let him see you talk to all kinds of people about all kinds of subjects.
    Not just online, but face to the grocery store, library, at the park

    4. Appreciation for life...look for teachable moments to point out the wonders of creation/nature
    Isn't it great that our ears are not on top of our head, where rain can come in, but on the sides?
    How wonderful to see the variety of colors in flowers......and how their scents vary!!

    5. Reading is fun....set the example and read to them every day
    Poem: I love the library
    It's my favorite place to be.
    Books and books on every shelf
    Books from wall to wall
    Big books, little books, fat books, skinny books
    If I read, and read, and read, and read,
    One day, I'll read them all
    My favorite authors for 6 year olds: Robert Munch and Mercer Meyer
    Robert Munch's book "Love you Forever" is great reading if you have a little boy.
    It is a book your son will read to his son...PLEASE look it up and you'll see what I mean.

    Never ever forget this:

    "What we are shouts so loudly in our childrens' ear, sometimes they can't hear what we're saying".
  • Dec 5 2011: 1. You are loved.
    2. You can.
    3. Failure is okay as long as you do your best.
    4. Stand up again (after you fall...and you WILL fall).
    5. Don't take your pain out on someone else.
  • Dec 3 2011: Let children be children.....the biggest learning you can give your 6 year old is to develop their creative minds not tainted by our view of things. By listening to every thing they say, by seeing every thing the do, and living with respect, they develop the biggest foundation for learning "open mind".
  • Dec 2 2011: I am not a parent but these are ones I could think of:
    - Expose children to as many different things/experiences/arts as you can. Kids can absorb more than we think and may also find a passion of their life in the process.
    - Interact with them as if they were adults. That would build their self respect.
    - Avoid exposure to TV and video games as much as possible. Interaction with people is much more important to their development.
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    Dec 2 2011: Hello! The top 5 things are to be with him/her (us), tell to him/her (us) every evening a tale, drawing, dancing, listening music, playing chess and all kind of SPORTS, e.g. aquatic, athletic etc.
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    Nov 29 2011: As a parent of a 6 (or as he says almost 7) year old here's my best guess (not in any order):

    1. Patience. I could say this one 5 times.
    2. Empathy. It's hard for them to learn its not always about them.
    3. Dignity. Tuff to do with always being dirty.
    4. Security. They got to feel it or nothing else matters.
    5. Discipline. Hard to do since they are so damn cute.
  • Nov 25 2011: Reading together, sharing your child's thought, thats what I do with my kids and I think I doing a good job!
    Good luck
  • Nov 23 2011: I think near the top of my list is respect for others. When you have a tough parenting moment (or moments) with your child, and you are wrong, apologize to your child. This is a very important lesson that may be under appreciated by adults. Whenever I feel that I may have been more enthusiastic in my disciplining role because of the moment, I go back and review with my 8 or 10 year old where I was incorrect and adjust the situation to match the behavior with an apology to them. This is very valuable to the child as an example of relationship building and it makes me feel good too because I am aware of my power as a parent and am willing to reign it in when apporpriate.
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    Nov 22 2011: 1 love them
    2 be honest with them
    3 be consistent
    4 learn together through play
    5 enjoy them
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    Nov 22 2011: Top 5 things you can teach/share with a 6-year-old:

    1. Empathy above all-the realization that we are all part of a global community and that no matter how different we may be we share many of the same human emotions.
    2. Positive energy is contagious; negativity breeds negativity
    3. Try to enjoy all of the little things in life--watching the rain fall, touching leaves, watching a sunset
    4. Have fun--try not to take life so seriously, especially as a child.
    5. Be kind to others--think before you speak and try to imagine how words or actions might make you feel.
  • Nov 22 2011: Be open and honest but shield them from heavy stuff they can do nothing about or cant understand
    Show them continuous and unconditional love - hugs kisses and encouragement - as a family do as much stuff together as possible from the mundane to the exceptional - be happy together - have as much fun as possible
    Be consistent - have rules - explain their purpose but dont change those the rules to suit you
    Give good example - teach them to respect others - to listen, to be patient that teams work better
    how to communicate , how to work and be productive people, understand the world, to think for themselves, to think critically, not to believe everything, to ask questions and to learn and keep learning all through their lives - encourage their natural inquisitiveness and interests - they may not like what you like - dont force them and try not to bribe them as thats a slippery slope - best of luck - I've 3 kids - not perfect but good balanced people
    give the best example you can in everything
  • Nov 20 2011: Be aware...if you are, they will learn to be aware, too.

    Speak as truthfully as you can...without blame or criticism...think out loud, so they can hear your process.

    When you "mess up" go to your own space as soon as you can, gently. Breathe yourself back into the present, remember your deep love for them. When you are back, go to them, tell them how sorry you are, you can say something like "I forgot myself, and I said and did things I wish you never had to hear or experience, but I've come to my senses again and the first thing I remembered is how much I love you. I am so sorry, will you forgive me? " Give them time if they need it, tell them you understand that (don't you?)

    When they forgive you, thank them. Thank them for putting up with your mistakes.

    Be near them, pint out the ways you are similar, Tell them how much it means to you that they are your child.
  • Nov 19 2011: 1) Dance together like no one is watching -- we need to move and express our creativity and emotions in a healthy manner. There are so few opportunities to do this. -- Thanks Susan for helping us realize this!
    2) Hugs -- The importance of physical contact is often not addressed enough. For a child who spent 20 months in an orphanage, we realize the very important daily need for that human physical interaction and touch. What we do so naturally for infants and preschools we start to not pay as much attention as they get older -- and it is still is really really important when you are six or sixty six.
    3) As a parent make mistakes and admit them. Let your child know it is ok to make mistakes as that is sometimes the best way we learn.
    4) Pursue your passions -- Demonstrate how to live passionately, respectfully doing somethings that you love and support them with their passions and dreams.
    5) Listen fully
    6) Observe nature -- The wind in the tree, the growth of a plant, the size of the moon, anything -- but try to make it part of your day.
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      Nov 22 2011: I really like # 5.
      It is important to listen to what kids have to say. If they learn that their voice and their opinions are getting heard, and taken seriously, they will be less likely to act out for attention. This should help them to grow into an adult that thinks and acts more rationally and reasonably. Also, they should be more likely to listen to the concerns of others.
  • Nov 19 2011: I am going to take my daughter to the library so that se can give her old books that we purchased for other families and children to use. Then she will want to pick out some books about air and wind and check those out. Then we are going to have fun in the fields behind the library running and kicking the soccer ball. After I am taking her to are near Falls river so she can collect rocks.We will grab some lunch and go to the play ground and then the indoor pool to swim.Then she write what she did and how she enjoyed her day.
  • Nov 17 2011: 1. Treat other people the way you'd like them to treat you.
    2. Laugh WITH people, not AT them.
    3. Be kind.
    4. Look at everything around you and wonder about it all.
    5. If you don't know something, ask about it.
    6. Let grownups know when you are happy, sad, or scared--and tell them WHY.
    7. Run (outside!) and play make-believe games with your friends and family.
    8. Read and ask other people to read to you.
    9. Eat when you're hungry and sleep when you're tired.
    10. Think every day of at least three things you're grateful for.
  • Nov 17 2011: I already responded with my list of 5 and wanted to say that for exceptional and cutting edge parenting and teaching, I suggest including Montessori, Piaget, Steiner, Friere. Many contemporary authors are building on what these guys developed. Source material provides great creative and intuitive fodder. I also encourage parents, caregivers, and teachers to get out in the community and observe classrooms. It took me about 150 classroom observations before I felt comfortable making assessments. We all have a right to know what is going on in the classroom. Many of us have unimpressive memories of school (see Ken Robinson) and we would do our children a service to make their experience richer and more nurturing.
  • Nov 17 2011: I think the practicalities of life will come simply from living, they son't need to be taught/shared deliberately. I think that It's important to share more intangible concepts with kids:
    -No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. If you make a mistake, try to gain some understanding and make better choices in the future.
    -Give your best to everything that you do.
    -Be honest; it might hurt in the short term, but it'll help in the long term.
    -Other people like to talk about themselves as much as you do, so remember that asking questions is important too.
    -Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

    In order to internalize lessons like these, I think it helps to start early. My 6 year-old son has already picked up ideas to the contrary.
    • Nov 17 2011: Although it is most popularly associated with the 3-6 year old, your last sentence is exactly why Montessori actually starts at pre-natal stage helping parents prepare for parenthood. Children begin absorbing the environment, forming impressions and making decisions about life starting before birth. So, I definitely agree that it helps to start early.
  • Nov 17 2011: Every night, when we bring our son to bed, we ask him the 'top of the day and the flop of the day'. It makes him aware of things that have happened during the day and we can talk about it. It also gives him the security of being heard.

    and sssshhhh.... I tell my kids I love them while they are sleeping.
  • Nov 17 2011: Great to read all this. But then I thought, most of the things people have listed apply to children of all ages (and even adults.) So, what specifically to teach and share with a 6 year old? It's an age of fundamental awakening as the mind opens to the greater world, and is prepared to start understanding more complexity. So:

    1) Build or make things with them. Show them how raw materials can become something else. Explain principles, techniques, options, and choices along the way. And give insights into materials themselves -- That felt is really rabbit hair; That wood expands, and here's why; etc. Also, make the project last a few days.

    2) Take them to another city, or better yet another country, and preferably by train. Try to find together all the things that are different there.

    3) Then go explore your own city. Take them to places they've never been -- inside impressive buildings, down to the water works, or even out to the landfill.

    4) Go look at the night sky together, and demonstrate that all the dots are not stars: Find planets, satellites, and airplanes. Then get out some binoculars and look at the moon.

    5) Then get a microscope and/or a strong loupe and look at everything and anything -- but especially living things.

    And let me add a 6th: Get them to write simple letters and send things to distant family and friends. (And then get on the phone and make sure that busy person takes the time to send them something back, something hand-written.) In our brave new world of FaceBook and smartphones and iPads, let's not forget to show them the far deeper pleasure of contact through paper and envelopes, and all their rich physicality and excitement.

    Easy to go on with a 7th, 8th, 9th, and more...

    Each of these things is ripe with opportunity for questions and answers, mystery and adventure, and lessons of all kinds. Importantly, however, they all expand their sphere of understanding of the greater reality they are a part of.
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    Nov 17 2011: Read aloud appropriate children's literature, especially picture books, on the subjects of empathy, race relations, other cultures, kindness to siblings, etc. As just one example of a wonderful book to share with a six year old: "The Other Side" by Jacqueline Woodson. (Two young girls in the 1950's, one white and one black, don't understand why they are not allowed to play together). The art work is also gorgeous.
    Take your children with you to do volunteer work whenever you are able to do so!
  • Nov 17 2011: To love
    To imagine
    To create
    To learn
    To respect

    And... self awareness.
  • Nov 17 2011: I have shown my children they have big hearts by asking them to draw on HUGE paper a very big heart and to write and draw people and things they like and the reasons why. In particular I ask them to include people and things they do not like but to find things they do like about that person or activity etc. This task reminds them that if they tell me they don't like someone, it's actually an aspect of that person they do not like, not the person themselves.
  • Nov 17 2011: At 6 years I would teach my daughter the following:
    1- Animals are not ours to eat or use.
    2- We are borrowed matter. We are stardust that has been and will be recycled forever into all sorts of things so respect nature and animals as if they were yourself.
    3- Be nice. Treat everyone as you would like to be treated. Be courageous when not treated right.
    4- Be curious. Find your passion and nurture it
    5- Be happy. Happiness is an attitude and you can choose to be happy.
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    Nov 17 2011: 1. apart from talking about respecting people, parents have to demonstrate respect for everyone around- no matter what the status of the other is. children see how their parents behave and learn through that.
    2. indicating that success is good but failure is not the end of the world. both happen in life. while you strive to perform your best, remember that there can be improvements.
    3.demonstrating care for others around- thats how children will learn to do the same.
    4. telling children that they are always loved and cared for even if there are occasions when parents may not approve some specific behaviours.
    4. lean to share but also to understand own rights while sharing (this is a bit complex but helps children become assertive)
  • Nov 17 2011: Secondly, problem solving skills via games, puzzles or daily scenarios. Teaching that choice can be positive and empowering. It also teaches cause and effect. Problem solving brings confidence and also allows the child to consider options, feelings of others, end results, pace of decisions and timing of decisions.
  • Nov 17 2011: Come along to a CWA morning tea that they provide at the local branch. This is a time where a young person can meet others of different genrations and learn the importance of listenning to wisdon, stories and respect women and what contirbution they make in the community.
  • Nov 17 2011: 1. Positiveness
    2. Dynamical
    3. 1st goals 1st, planning
    4. Ideas, principles, interest, not material things
  • Nov 17 2011: I thought about this quite a bit today and when my 13 year old got home from school I asked him what he thought were the most important things he has learned from us (his parents). His answer was "how to be a good person". So I then asked what this means to him and he replied "learning to be honest. And not worrying what other people think of you but doing what's right because it's what you want to do and not getting held back by what somebody else might think." Then he added "and nutrition, lots about nutrition - and that's pretty important too." I thought these were pretty great responses (yes,I know, i am biased) and now I hope that my 3 and 6 year old children learn these things too!
  • Nov 17 2011: Teach them that they can do achieve anything they desire - if they get the right people to help them.
    Teach them to be charitable on principle, not for recognition, by anonymously giving a relatively significant sum of money to someone in need.
    Teach them to help a smaller child in school at least once every day.
    Explain to them your own shortcomings and how you wish to be yourself.
    Explain to them why you are trying to teach them the things that you do.
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    Nov 17 2011: This is a great topic. Thank you for asking. I believe we need to teach/share these things with kids, and more importantly demonstrate them in our own actions every day.

    1) Respect for all life. We need to help them understand how precious it is, and how nature (ecology) works.
    2) Creativity is not only for fun; it's the basis of critical thinking. Creativity is found in every profession.
    3) It's healthy to challenge ourselves, make mistakes, and show that we can still come out okay in the end.
    4) Respect wisdom, but ask questions to make sure it's real wisdom and not just grown-up arrogance.
    5) There's right. There's wrong. And there's a lot of opinions. It's good to know the difference when it matters.
  • Nov 17 2011: Compassion, Acceptance(lifes not always fair) Tolerance, Follow their passion, and encourage learning from failure...
  • Nov 17 2011: Gardening: building a love of all living things and adding to the diversity of life, understanding death and decay as part of life.
    Bike riding and other exercise: enjoying working our body and the exhilaration of effort and rest.
    Cooking: sharing and preparing food (especially gathered from our garden) - the simple joy of eating when you're hungry.
    Reading: opening the world of our imaginations and our capacity to communicate.
    Music: Making our own and listening to others, learning about harmony and discord.
    Games: understanding our reactions and desires.
    Listening to our children - I often find their perception to be clearer than mine.
  • Nov 16 2011: 1)Model compassion for them daily through you own everyday actions.
    2)Admit your own failings.
    3)Do not moralize.
    4)Do not teach them to fear strangers. Please, please don't tell them someone will steal them if they wander away.
    5)Play, play, play.... with rules for safety, sharing and good boundaries but not for content. Let them work out their feelings through play.
  • Nov 16 2011: 1. Develop the patience to use consensus as a family. Teach them how to use it too. My 6-year-old can solve disagreements using consensus, and he's beginning to teach the basics to our (admittedly precocious) 2.5-year-old. The point is, even small children can practice it.

    2. Volunteer together regularly.

    3. Don't watch television.

    4. Value respect above correctness. Find more points of agreement.

    5. Open their eyes to poverty. Visit food shelves. Travel. Read books like Linda Sue Park's A Long Walk To Water. Keep "Blessing Bags" in the car. Donate to homeless shelters.

    I think the hardest on your list is fostering humbleness. I'm honestly still struggling with how to impart that to my kids, beyond just modeling it...
  • Nov 16 2011: One thing I also learnt from the book, "the gift of imperfection", it is important to make the kid know it is not you I don't like, it is your action and decision I disapprove. The first one make the kid ashamed. The second one make the kid feel guilty. Hope you see the difference. The guilt could be resolved once there is a change in behaviour / action. The feeling of shame has a longer term effect on a kid's self esteem
  • Nov 16 2011: 1. Love Them
    2. Be in the world, the way you want them to become (Children do what we do, not what we say)
    3. Meet them in their world, play with them on their terms
    4. Let them spent time on what has their interest, and use it to build learning
    5. Focus on what works
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    Nov 16 2011: you do have to teach empathy though it doesnt come naturally everyone starts off wanting for themselves and sometimes children dont know that if you hurt someone else it is as bad for that other as it is when the child gets hurt. it doesnt mean do unto others what you would want for yourself it meanas consider others as you consider you might consider it this way.. if the child is buying a present for his friend he doesnt buy what he would like for himself but he considers the other as he would consider himself and since the child would liek something he is interested in he must choose a present which will interest his friend... it teaches to be mindfull of others as youa re mindfull of yourself that not only is there wants for me but that everyone has their own wants...sometimes this is in conflict...mommy wants to sit downand have tea and child wants to play loud games... so you consider the other as yourself..if you were tired wold you like loud games? and if you wanted loud games you can always play outside where you disturb noone..but mommy cant sit outside and have tea... anyway i explain this as i think you genuinely did not understand the golden rule. i dont have any rules but its always coming up ..
  • Nov 16 2011: Like it or not lads, our kids are learning from us all the time. Kids learn the most from what parents do than from any other source
  • Nov 16 2011: 1. Free Time
    2. Play
    3. Problem Solving
    4. Independence
    5. Empathy
  • Nov 16 2011: My kids need to learn to "P" (they love to say it too)
    Perspectives(s) (as in there are others)
  • Nov 16 2011: To build confidence and because it is the truth, I teach my boys that they are loved, they are the focus and that they matter.
    I listen to them what they say and answer all their questions, truthfully- although that may require explanations based on what they already know.

    I also tell them about the world and show it to my best ability. It is important for each human to understand that they do not live in isolation and that people live very differently than we do. This may involve travel, using the internet to research. meeting people from other places..

    I teach them to question. I question things they absorb from the community in order to encourage them to be more skeptical and not readily accepting of beliefs.
  • Nov 16 2011: Things we have found to affect how they view their world:
    - Travel the world. Learn how to buy a loaf of bread with hand gestures if you don't know the local language. Our 2 sons have been far and near, and love the lead up to a big trip. Started them at ~ 8 months old (trips to Switzerland). Spent 2 weeks in Turkey this summer. They love each trip more than the last.
    - Music. Listen, play and write. My 10 year old has been playing violin for 5 years, my 11 yo, recently started drums. Next week we'll hear Musical Box recreate the entire Genesis album "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway". Last month it was the entire Bach solo violin works. In Dec, it's the Rite of Spring and Tchaikovsky violin concerto.
    - Read. Anything and everything. Helps you hear in another's voice. Often takes you to unexpected places.
    - Make stuff. Cook, build electronics projects (and take things apart, too!), build a tree house. Re-use stuff.
    - Share in their excitement and sense of accomplishment, and help/understand when they get frustrated. Also, share our own accomplishments and (as important) our own mistakes.
    - Help others. And keep all these other things in mind, so we can build bridges and empathize with people that we share our world with.
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    Nov 16 2011: 1) Choose your own adventure.
    2) Treat others fairly and hopefully they'll do the same.
    3) When you truly love someone, let them know. They'll return the favor.
    4) Never stop CREATING!
    5) You can do anything you believe you can do. Don't let anyone change your mind for you.
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    Nov 16 2011: Teach - You can and should be happy in life.
    Teach - By example, first and last, democracy.
    With this understood by teacher and child each will learn and develop well.
  • Nov 16 2011: - love (includes understanding for people who r different)
    - sense for the wonder of the world, that the world is enchanted
    - confidence yet humility
    - self-discipline, no idleness, doin ur best
    - civil courage

    one of the most important things when raising a child is taking them seriously, in every way. never ever laugh at them.

    oh, and humor. yea, i think u can indeed teach humor:)
  • Nov 16 2011: 1. Catch some eggs butterfly, frog, etc.. And grow them into beautiful animals and set them free together.
    2. Built something meaningfull a three house a bird house something you both can go back to, and feel good about.
    3. Teach him about something you like and know well, or go explore together.
    4. Just show that you love him by taking time for him.
    5. Go fishing, walking, etc together and teach about nature or everything around.
  • Nov 16 2011: Keep asking questions
    You are capable of anything
    You're great!
    Don't worry about the others - just be YOUR best
  • Nov 16 2011: Adding to previous posts...
    - Before you do something to/for others... just stop and ask yourself if you would like to be the receptor of a similar action-behavior. If the answer is YES, go on.
    - Nobody in the world knows EVERYTHING. Perhaps your teacher knows a lot about letters, and the carpenter knows a lot about wood, and the cook about food, and the doctor about illnesses... but no one knows it all. Neither do I, neither do you. So we ALL make mistakes and we all sould listen to others to learn more and more everyday...
  • Nov 16 2011: Food. Teach your kid to make food. My mother always let me help bake cookies. The smell, the understanding of the oven, everything.

    And when you are done, it taste so delicious and so have the chance to share. Share the food that you've made. It shows that you have skills and want to give and share. Essential for humans since our origin.

    It is three of the four things that we get dopamine from. Event, understanding and food. The last being sex but in the end your kid might be able to make food with someone new they like.

    Oh and one thing. Don't expect to eat the cookies the first time. As everything, life is about failing and understanding our flaws.
  • Nov 16 2011: I have two children, 15 and 6 and there a lot of important things to impart...however, at the age of six, I think it's the spirit that needs to be nurtured more than anything...I feel like it's so important to preserve their sense of wonder and curiosity.

    *Teach them that their imaginations are valuable and honored parts of themselves.
    *Teach them that, though 'life' may not be fair, they should be with others.
    *Teach them that the way things *are* doesn't have to define how they *can* or *will* be
    *Teach them how easy it is to be kind to others...a simple smile works wonders!
    * Teach them to say I love you and to give hugs to those they love...the world can use a lot more love and a lot more hugging...
    *Teach them that they are our Teachers, too.
  • Nov 16 2011: 1. Watch my actions and interactions (do I kill or move the spider?, do I say and do things that children will interpret as kind, caring, and humble? always?). Just the act of watching myself increases my ability to reflect my sentiments (wanting to contribute to a kinder, more caring world) and allows me to be the example I would like for children to follow.
    2. As much as possible, I make an opportunity to explore (with the kids) other cultures, climates, resource management of available resources (e.g. National Geographic photos and stories, a globe, wall map). Purpose is to show each individual is unique and interesting. I make it a point to highlight the intelligence it takes to build a life with minimal resources - how honoring nature is a beautiful thing (we read how reeds can be used for a variety of things by different cultures throughout the ages and proceeded to duplicate methods to make reed boats, twine, tools). We participate in local kestrel nest watching. This helps in developing respect, interest, humility.
    3. Point out distinctions between just and injust situations (use current or past global events as examples). I let the children know I am a stand for justice and do this by taking action (writing letters, signing petitions, voting, etc.)
    4. I sign up and participate (and involve the kids) in community volunteer programs (docent at local State Park, participate in beach and watershed clean-ups, donate clothes and toys to homeless, etc.).
    5. From a very young age, I taught my kids how to care for one another (is your friend hungry, thirsty, homesick, shy, bored? If so, how to care for the need). I included simple first aid (ice for a bruise, clean water for a scrape, telling an adult). This helps, of course, in building a caring individual. Most significant result I noticed was shift in the children from being bullyish and-or indifferent to being more inclusive and responsible - and an increase in sense of connection and ownership.
  • Nov 16 2011: You'd be amazed at what kids have already picked up in this department--kindness, caring and humility--even before they reach age 6. As Yoon Hyuk said in a previous comment, they learn by watching the generosities of those who care for them and others. If you are sensitive enough to ask the question you are probably already doing it. Keep up the good work. Be active with them, travel with them, read together, provide a diversity of people interactions. Don't forget fun, play and laughter! Provide a good foundation at this young age as it will be the basis of their adult thought processes, values and priorities--really.
    Signed: Mother of Two Adults who, I humbly and proudly say, annually vote me as the Best Mom of the Year!
  • Nov 16 2011: Not sure about 5 things, but the number ONE thing you should teach a 6 year old is to GROW. . . . Growing your own food develops an interest in nature, nutrition and cooking. It is SUBVERSIVE, as one Ted lecturer has said. One gains POWER from nurturing yourself instead of the military industrial complex, Big AG and corporate profits. Growing your own food is thrifty, healthy exercise and FREEDOM. It teaches conservation and a respect for our planet. When my grandson wants an apple INSTEAD of candy, I know I have succeeded and he is only TWO.
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    Nov 16 2011: Teach them how to make a nutritious meal/snack that fits your healthy eating philosophy. Learning about healthy foods starts very early. Learning how to prepare their own healthy snacks gives them both a sense of independence and fosters a good relationship with food.
  • Nov 16 2011: I raised my kids with two philosophies:
    1) The world is full of assholes, so don't let anyone put you down, and
    2) The important thing is to prepare yourself and to know what you want -- the Great Conveyor Belt in the Sky will bring you what you need, but you have to be ready to take it.

    I also did not hide from them things that they knew existed, but that grownups were trying to hide - the perversions of some people, death and illness, hypocrisy and cruelty. I thought it would be cruel to raise them without knowledge of the Dark Side -- otherwise, how would they know how to deal with it when they grew up.

    They grew up well.
    • Nov 16 2011: Yes! I don't believe in censorship . . . education is power. How can you prepare your children from the boogeymen of our society, if they do not KNOW that the boogeymen exist?
  • Nov 16 2011: Teach them to learn something new every day, to dance and sing - regardless of what others think, to laugh when something is funny and to cry when it's too sad to ignore. Teach them that they have your permission to make mistakes in life but not to make the same mistakes twice. Teach them that school is something they should relish, reading is fun and adventurous. Teach them to love and be loved, to trust and be trustworthy. Teach them that they will live and die by their integrity. Most of all. show them you love them unconditionally always and in all ways.
  • Nov 16 2011: 1. Mistakes you have made.
    2. People you admire.
    3. Why you admire them.
    4. No one is created equal.
    5. You must help others.

    (Your own successes are automatically instilled. Don't worry about teaching them.)
  • Nov 16 2011: Model the behavior. Be kind, caring and humble. Beyond that expose them to as many different things as possible. Get them curious about the world they live in.
  • Nov 16 2011: To be tolerant, to share, to be patient and kind, to question things and to love.
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    Nov 16 2011: 1. Love and Respect
    2. Integrity and Morality
    3. Choices have consequences
    4. Think positive +
    5. Have an Imagination and think for yourself
  • Nov 15 2011: 1.Love
    3. Innocence
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    Nov 15 2011: 1) ask , ask, ask. AND ask
    2) love and respect
    3) Be yourself
    4) believe your self
    5) Think positive +
  • Nov 14 2011: 1 anime
    2 Role playing games
    3 Real time strategy games
    i counldnt think of any others sorry
    you may be thinking why these
    well, anime can help kids to develop their imaginations
    role playing games are most often massive multiplayer meaning kids can train their social skills
    real time strategy teaches well strategy and how to make the best decision quickly
    at least thats the way it worked with my kids when i tried it my 7 year old started to play world of warcraft (a massive multiplayer role playing game he fould out in the first week that half his school mates now he hangs out with a group of 1st and 2nd graders only plays WOW 2 hours a week at most
    my 10 year old started watching anime e.g. naruto and naruto shippuden when she was about 5 or 6 now she draws her own pictures and uploads onto the deviant art website but she draws so well people dont beleive shes that young they assume at least 15
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    Nov 13 2011: Treat others how you would want to be treated if you were in their place with their limitations, and their identify. Worship compassion. Worship people who are warm, kind, compassionate, altruistic, selfless, and intelligent.
  • Nov 13 2011: i am not yet a father but i have a fair idea of ideals that should be inculcated in all of my kids and children in general. firstly i will teach my kids to know, acknowledge, accept and appreciate the supreme being; God in their lives.. secondly i will teach them to believe in themselves and know that they can do whatever they put their mind to.
    thirdly i will teach them to respect and love their fellow human beings.
    then again i will point it out to them that the world is an interconnection of things/stuff so as much as they must believe in themselves, they shld as well appreciate the individual strenghts of their fellows and when necessary form partnerships to achieve a positive common goal. lastly, i will teach my 6 year old son/daughter to be humane and considerate when dealing with other people but to as well be firm and stand always for what is right.
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    Nov 13 2011: "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated"~Mahatma Gandhi
    Humane education for our companion animals is a lesson we need to share with our children.
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    Nov 13 2011: On a lighter note: My almost-six grandson (who lives in Kawasaki, Japan) recently asked my son how to write the kanji (Chinese character) for "booger". My son dutifully looked it up for Alex. (Apparently professional Japanese-English translators do not come across this kanji very frequently in technical documents or legal work.... ).

    Alex is now very happy since he's (probably) the only one of his confreres who can write the word "booger" in Japanese. Being a father sometimes involves a bit of flexibility .
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    Nov 13 2011: One think I find important and that I haven't seen mentioned in this thread so far is teaching your child to "eat the marshmallow later" (

    Teaching him about delaying gratification is in my opinion one of the most important lessons as it will influence how successful he will be later in life and by this I am not only refering to success in a field of work. By setting the right priorities from an early age, for example doing your homework and only afterwards playing football, your child will be more capable to take on complex and demanding tasks later on.
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      Nov 13 2011: Yes Sabin, delay of gratification is absolutely crucial but I fear that those who cannot exercise it are not just undisciplined but rather have suffered depravation that makes future delay of gratification seem unwise.
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    Nov 13 2011: 1. MANNERS COUNT. (Good manners opens doors, shows respect and consideration for others, and sets up a framework in a child's mind where they can begin to recognize gratitude, which leads to an appreciation of what you have, which leads to happiness...etc.)
    2. ONE DOES THE RIGHT THING BECAUSE IT IS THE RIGHT THING, not for a reward, not because it will advance you somehow, and often in spite of the fact that it is the harder course of action. Doing the right thing IS the reward, not the means to the reward.
    3. STAND UP. Don't ignore injustice, don't tolerate intolerance or cruelty.
    4. STAND UP FOR YOURSELF. You count. You're rights are not more important than others, but they are not less important either.
    5. GOOD JUDGEMENT AND PATIENCE. Learn how to pick and choose your times for battles, so that they are effective. Learn how to temper anger with compassion.
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    Nov 12 2011: Personal integrity, confidence, acceptance, and competence: By living the life we would like children to lead; and by accepting that they will learn by trial and error.

    Children learn "the BIG stuff" by watching what we do, not so much by what we teach.

    Another way to say that is: Children learn more by how we teach, than by what we teach.

    If you have not done so already, I highly recommend reading Jean Liedloff's little book, "The Continuum Concept."

    [Don't worry if the introduction doesn't make much sense ... she wrote it for people who had read an earlier edition of the book.]
  • Nov 12 2011: 6years old you say, let me think. If you aware of that your 6y.o. kiddo will (very soon) cross the line of the particular imaginative operations phase is now and starts to use and progress abstraction abilities, step by step able to see the relations, causal dependences and proccess all around for now maybe gonna be best if just prepare yourself better for the moment once will happen "Dady, why is that and that is that?". It is also moment when kiddo is after primary education made by you and closest people to kiddo at home and start to testing what learned at home. Kids learned themselves by seeing and following.
    remember about instrumental education.

    and prepare yourself for better toys hehehe


    cool, first post posted
  • Nov 12 2011: Hi Mr. Carl,
    This is such a deep question. It depends on the kind of parent, one chooses to be.
    It is an excellent question! It is to bad, there are so many different answers.
    In my very humble opinion
    1. SHOW your child acceptance. ( to all humans)
    2. TEACH your child to accept reality. ( for life as it is)
    3. DO NOT hurt your child, with your fist or your believes.
    4. TEACH your child to stick up, for their own soul.
    5. TEACH your child, " hug a day!"
    (oh and # 6,) Teach them to never trust a stranger or a politician or a coach, or a guy from a church, (with a robe on)

    Or a really nice teacher or a, or a, or a, or a!! You do the best you can do Does that make sense? :)
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    Nov 12 2011: 1. Join a wildlife rescue service for animals hurt- kids relate to animals, and this cultivates systems thinking early on.
    2. Make/ build something in the PHYSICAL world together- even better if you can ritualise it, like every year, make the family Christmas bon-bons, or decorate Easter Eggs
    3. Show the values you want to instil by doing it- when I raised money for homeless people by sleeping on the street in the pouring rain in mid-winter, my kids became sensitised
    4. Take them on a roadtrip and tell stories of when you were a little girl or boy. My kids really loved it.
    5. Get out family photo albums of when you were little- tell them how they are connected to all the other people in the photographs. This begins to teach community connectedness and belonging
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    Nov 11 2011: HI everyone
    I am Armine from Yerevan.
    I am a new member here, As I am a teacher I can teach and shear so many things with 6 and above years old kids
    1 Healthy style of life / wake early, have exercises, wash teeth and so on
    2 Teach thinking
    3 Dancing
    4 Drawing
    5 and so many interesting and useful tools in internet
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    Nov 11 2011: My son is 7 months so a bit early for him, but I would like to think that by personally displaying those attributes you have mention then he too will learn these.
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    Nov 10 2011: 1. Dream big.
    2. Try first, feel it, and then think about it.
    3. Don't be afraid to be different.
    4. See the positive side of things rather than negative.
    5. Have friends not only in your school/kindergarten but also outside it.
  • Dec 8 2011: 1) You can do everything you want
    2) Failure is not the end
    3) Practice more if you are not able to do something
    4) Looking for the reason of everything,and accept nothing without any logical reason
    5) Love the world that you live in.
  • Dec 5 2011: 1. Distrust authority.
    2. 'Nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution.'
    3. Humans are animals.
    4. There are no gods.
    5. Deceit and self-deception are human universals.
  • Dec 5 2011: You must learn to share.
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    Dec 4 2011: I think with the kids of today the most important thing is to give them a chance to learn on their own. There is no teaching skills that is better than learning from experience. A TV salesperson will never use the television to its full potential or capacity as compared to the person who buys it. Kids need the freedom to play with things, figure it out and you will see how exceptional those kids will develop human skills. Humans have evolved and technology is trippling the pace of our mind's progress in thinking and doing thing, similarly kids born in this information age should not be narrowed down but what we think they should learn rather they should discover the world around them.
  • Dec 4 2011: I don't have children but I think that some of the most important lessons I learned from my parents are:
    1) To question everything. Your kid might already do this and I think however annoying it is as a parent, keep encouraging it. I believe it builds confidence and more creativity. I was encouraged to do this by teaches throughout my education.
    2) My mum has always drilled in that respect is the most important thing you can give a person. There are varying views of respect, but it's the pretty cliche treat others as you wish to be treated.
    3) I was lucky enough to go to a school with the philosophy of human-centred education and a teacher once gave me advice that has always stuck with me.. Sometimes people need to feel upset. We try and find the fastest solutions for everything but sometimes it is important to sit with emotions and it's equally important to let others do the same. Listening is a great skill, as is just being there next to someone. Teach your child that it is just a good to have someone listen and not bombard you with suggestions but to just acknowledge that sometimes things are hard, but they always get better in time.
  • Dec 4 2011: 1) Girls DO NOT have cooties! (well, the ones you meet in certain bars do...)
    2) Don't bully that kid just because he/she is different, and/or everybody else is doing it
    3) It's ok to like something even though everyone else doesn't, that's what makes you who you are
    4) A little kindness and compassion can go a long way...
    5) The value of hard work. The feeling of finally buying that bicycle or Game Boy with all the allowance you saved.(although money isn't everything)
  • Dec 4 2011: The Ability Center, It is working well. Check it out!
  • Dec 4 2011: speak slowly, tales, smile, eating well, selfsecurity
  • Dec 3 2011: To show them how the world is amazing and beautiful with nature and peace ,that makes the kids to think that they have to behave like they are trying to protect these beauties,wonders and documentaries or a trip through the forest or to a natural wonder.
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    Dec 3 2011: Patience, joy, skepticism, empathy, curiosity.

    PATIENCE because it allows us to learn, achieve goals, and success.

    JOY because it makes not only ourselves but those around us happy, which allows more creative and productive thinking.

    SKEPTICISM to keep us self-protected from the power personal behavior traits of those who may not have our best interests at heart and skepticism lets us discover what is misleading and wrong.

    EMPATHY because it is the heart of or evolutionary selves and makes the world a healthier place. Empathy predates our species, we are born with it and is the source of what all religions are trying to do for us.

    CURIOSITY is its own kind of empathy because it helps us pay attention to even those matters that initially might leave us bored. It develops discovery and new knowledge for ourselves and the world.
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    Dec 3 2011: Equitation is similar to the Art of living its basic rules help us day by day to gain balance physically and metally also help us build our strenght and caracter.
    the Horses allow humans to enter them selfs and feel ..we exercise intuition and sencibility ..
    Intuition and sencibility are key talents for a successful life.
  • Dec 3 2011: 1. Respect for others/ empathy
    2. Confidence in yourself
    3. Try! even if you are wrong sometimes
    4. Patience
    5. Creativity
  • Dec 3 2011: - playing music together - helps increase focus, skill, responsibility and team-play - to be aware of what others are playing and being a part of that
    - let them help you with everything they might want to (cooking, washing, cleaning, gardening!) - if they are allowed to, children really like being of help, doing something useful, of value Together With their favourite grown-ups!
    - bedtime stories are great, developing the imagination (as opposed to tv) and it's valuable time spent together.
    - playing games which connect dances and poems.
    - BE a kind, caring and humble human being.

    Children will always BE as you ARE, not as you tell them to be. Be the example, because whether you know it or not, you already are. And don't forget to be loving and caring with yourself, because that will be successfully copied by your children as well. :)
  • Dec 2 2011: Hi! Im a mother of a beautiful daughter, now 18, and a teacher of 180 infants, each year, for over 12 years now. I work with the children in each class in the school and each child is at our school for three years, so I get to know them for three years, rather than just one year and then they go to someone else's class. My job description is different from that of a normal class teacher in that my objectives are to encourage independence and interdependence, philosophy, creativity and metacognition. How I do this is up to me. So i ask the children and then see what they do. I do not 'teach' as such. I question and support and am suitably amazed. Avoid boredom - not be being super frenzied, pacey, noisy, not with lots of electric gadgets. A huge pile of wire, lots of buttons, boxes one day, lengths of guttering and tennis balls another. And enough time to investigate freely with no rush and scurry to get on with the next thing. 20minutes is nothing - a whole morning is more appropriate. And crucially other children to share and collaborate with. If there is enough to do, they get on without falling out. the activities are a vehicle for the social behaviours. Watching how you deal with issues is the key - like everything else they'll copy you. Again, with behaviour/moral issues, ask them, well what do you think we could do? or, out of all the different ways we could deal with this, which do you think would be the most suitable? You are modelling reason and consideration, respect and understanding.
  • Dec 2 2011: i guess that i would rather teach/share with a two year old than a six year old. a six year old is already an "old soul".
  • Dec 2 2011: Motivate him to enter school and have a good education
  • Dec 2 2011: #1 - Respect the relatives
    #2 - Good feelings
    #3- No racism
    #4 - How to save the poor people
    #5- Follow the previous elements every day
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    Dec 2 2011: Not to trust and believe everything.
    To think objectively
    don't talk to strangers
    Do not buy objects carelessly.

    do not force a kid to answer questions kids do not understand. They will just be confused and say yes or no depending on what the parent expects. This also depends on the parent if they are authoritative, or authoritarian. I

    Don't tell a kid that he is special, unique or super genius. They will eventually find out that this is a cliche phrase and it means nothing, but It also can make a kid overly egocentric and believe he can get by in life easily.

    When i was little my parents stated I was a super genius, and i was full of myself. It was only when i grew older that i realized how dumb that phrase is. There are many types of intelligence.

    Though its alright to encourage kids today with phrases such as "you are smart." or "keep up the good work."
  • Dec 2 2011: Teaching your child to appreciate good questions rather than provide answers all the time, in doing so helping them to think about thinking.
    I and my 7 year old recently discussed whether it was better to inhale or exhale, I thought she might not get the questions, I was rewarded with a silence after after which she laughed wryly...... she said Dad thats a dumb question we need to breath, I felt privileged.
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    Dec 1 2011: I've been thinking about my own childhood and how my life is because of it, and although I am no parent I have thought about what I would say to myself. Something no-one told me when I was that age, in fact if anything they told me to do the exact opposite. I would say 'don't be afraid to be wrong.'

    We spend our lives being told not to fail, and yet failure is a much a part of life as life itself. Morihei Ueshiba once said 'failure is the key to success. Each mistake teaches us something' which is completely true. The great artists, scientists, philosophers that we all look up to didn't get it right first time. As George Bernard Shaw, indisputably one of Ireland's most celebrated writers, once said, 'when I was a young man I observed that nine out of ten things I did were failures. I didn't want to be a failure, so I did ten times more work.' And yet if a child fails or gets an answer wrong, they get told off and get a big red cross next to their answer.
  • Dec 1 2011: I mean I preffer don´t belong any idological club or party , above all, if there is taxes, is de only way to keep your idependentism. To keep liberty os ideology and action is your goal!
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    Nov 30 2011: Another contribution for your beautiful topic,

    Inner Peace. This is something you teach by sharing, by being a living example of. I think it is the most important gift you can give your children, and the most solid foundation for their life onward and beyond their years spent in your care.
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      Dec 3 2011: I think a child posses that treasure you are talking about ..Inner peace is something adults strugle to find.
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        Dec 4 2011: Hi,I am glad you read my comment above. And hope you will read this.

        I came back into this talk and added this,

        Inner Peace. This is something you teach by sharing, by being a living example of. I think it is the most important gift you can give your children, and the most solid foundation for their life onward and beyond their years spent in your care.which is the same as my Nov 17 comment here - in very different words.

        I came back because I love children so much that I can't stay away from Carl's question :-)

        I wrote in another comment thread; As you observe a human baby develop from birth, you will be able to appreciate the absolutely marvelous pure intelligent being who is observing, processing, assimilating and responding to and from its environment. And you can observe how grown ups ruin this brand new being by controlling, managing and micromanaging all his/her options and experiences, "often by rote". Quickly we lose our inherent abilities and get injected by self sabotaging fears and limitations as we go through family, society and school. I love how Alison Gopnik put it; Babies/children are “flying butterflies” and we the grown ups are inching-narrow tracked-caterpillars.

        Clearly we are in agreement in thinking " a child possesses that treasure ( I am ) talking about ..Inner peace is something adults struggle to find" - WHICH IS WHY the adult must find THEIR OWN inner peace and maintain it in themselves, during --rearing-- the life of their child.

        Parenting is not a rehearsal :-) :-) it is the "main act". :-) :-) lol. :-) :-)
  • Nov 29 2011: I remember seeing this ad for the first time well before i had children. Now as a father of two girls, ages 3 and 5, I think about it from time to time. Here is where I land... if I can teach them to have self confidence, care about the feelings of their friends, and always telll the truth, then they will be better prepared to face whatever negative influence they might encounter in this world.
  • Nov 29 2011: i can only tongue out boy!
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    Nov 26 2011: Among ourselves we are becoming more eloquent, try to put feeling on words, or drawings, training always loving ways to talk, to explain angry moments and let them go, we all do it here, is for everyone... We train breathing while overwhelmed.It really works wonders., to talk low and culddle a lot :-D. NO rewardings here, no stickers, no bon bons but observing beuatiful results making them feel good about their choices even being so much different then mine. A trainning for all of us but so much fun to exchange, also a good challenge to fit all in :D. And having fun. When things are bad we sit and talk about the positive aspects of it and my daughter is becoming an expert in it:D, i LOVE to sse it... such a great thing to carry with you thru life, this was most part of the time wht made me go on, always noticing that no matter what we are here to learn and improve ourselves and the world. The rest are details...
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    Nov 26 2011: Here at home we have some little things that i hope will help them...
    # times a year my kids choose form their toys the ones they are not playing with to give to other kids, as well as clothes, my 6/7 year old loves doing it, and my almost three year old is following her...
    I am vegetarian and also stress the respect we have to have to all we have to it and makes us alive, 7 months ago my daughter decided by herself to be also a vegetarian after going to a supermkt and sundenly became aware of the thousands of chickens dead there, with bones and blood exposed and she asked: Do we all even eat all of it mommy?
    We have a THANK YOU MOMENT AT NIGHT, before we go to sleep we say out loud thank for our daily things and add the other new things that have happend to us, we thank nature for food, our loved ones, we wish good with a luminous heart to all the world and people who need and we make also the light of happiness :D and send to the world, :D is lovely and cute and gives them a sense of responsibility for everything but not on a heavy way.
    My daughter is from very early age a Nature Saviour, kkkkkkk, she loves to save, and heal animals and we will soon adopt this ways here at home to start taking care offiicialy of wounded animals.
    This year i am starting to give clothes to a shelter and food and she comes with me so that she knows who are receiving them and in which conditions they are living and see they are exactly like any other being but in need of help, she is excited about it. My 3 year old year old help me to put the clothes away. We talk about waste, and reciclying and do some reciclying arts and crafts every now and then...We aslo travel and go camping. We make lots of walk in nature, nothing is more effective to teach us balance, humility and and the cicles of life as being a good and restoring force...We love doing all this and frankly i cannot see myself without it. I moved to a country once, most part of the year without nature around, it was terrible!
  • Nov 26 2011: 1. Teach to respect others irrespective of sexuality.
    2. Teach to say 'sorry' without hesitation
    3. self depencence
    4. Value of money
  • Nov 26 2011: I've always thought that the most important thing to teach children is the importance of dreaming big. By letting them believe that it is possible to achieve the impossible, you're allowing them to open a door to their imagination they never knew was even there. Any thoughts?
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    Nov 25 2011: As a sole carer, I am dedicated to my son, 15 yrs and daughter, 12 yrs.

    During dinner together, we often reflect on the three good things that happened that day for each of us
    Don't do for your kids what they can do for themselves which teaches them independence
    That no matter how small a family unit, we are a team and that's how we operate
    Do unto others
    Every action has a reaction
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    Nov 24 2011: Question things and laugh at the answer. people will all seem good.
    Answer things with action. People will all seem trustworthy.
    PLay many games. People will know their skill.
    Live one life. people get alot more work done.
    No one ever comes back so be resolute
    Make new memories so be alive.
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      Nov 23 2011: Thanks Pierre for your honesty. I will always try my best. This conversation has introduced so many wonderful new ideas for me to share with my kids ... so for that I am grateful. I kind of see it like what to eat for dinner. There are so many creative ideas to cooking food and it is a joyous part of my day. But if you get stuck in a set of favourites you never try other ideas. We have a business in Brisbane called Food Connect that connects farmers to consumers. It was introduced to me and we now base our meals around what is delivered in the box each week. My kids are eating so many new veges - Sorrel, Bok Choy, Yam, Taro. It's wonderful. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I hear your message :)
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    V Raj

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    Nov 23 2011: There's nothing that U can Teach a Kid - no matter what the AGE..

    U can try and instil the values but teaching them NAH... Cause as an ADULT we all have a Mind that's been CONDITIONED.. whereas a child's mind is FRESH.. UNCONDITIONED.. without any Guilt or Remorse, without any prejudices.. The best is to Love Them.. Encourage Them to QUESTION, Be Honest with Them..

    Most importantly there's nothing Wrong in being WRONG!
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    Nov 22 2011: Inner Peace.
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    Nov 18 2011: Yes Erin, you are absolutely right. And I agree that kids enjoy the joy of others and are open about their emotions. I too being the father of a 6 year old want to commit myself that I should not kill those joys and emotions in my kid and the kids around him. Hence, I prefer teaching them what they do the best at this age without being biased and adulterated in their thoughts. Only attempt to let them learn to be healthy... physically, mentally and emotionally...
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    Nov 18 2011: 1. Lead by example. (this is a harder one to do some days)
    2. Take them to an orphanage or a hospital, read to the kids there, donate toys, explain why so.
    3. Give them a project (with an underlying message) encourage them, discuss it.
    4. Watch kids tedX talks and talk to them about it.
    5. Encourage, Encourage :) When they do something positive without you telling them to do so, praise them. Kids amaze us with their own intuition sometimes. :)

    We are trying to do this in varying ways, it is hard, especially the leading by example part :) They take their cue from us!
  • Nov 18 2011: One thing I would teach my 6 year old would be memory songs. Some songs would teach my child how to survive in large scale disasters. These songs would include, what to do in floods, lightening storms, fires, and even a nuclear attack. Other songs would include how to heal certain wounds, songs to help navigate one's local geographic region, and anything that could be useful though the child's lifetime. Songs seem to be stored in the mind forever. This is why I feel such songs should be sung to have the child prepared for a life threatening situation, even when they are 30 years older when such a situation should arise.
  • Nov 17 2011: Academically? Reading/ writing. Cooking/ cleaning, swimming (of course sailing), Chess, and the value of time and its relation to money.

    Emotionally? The meaning of love and that it is defined by what you give another and not by what your receive from another.

    To do what you say because they know you love and trust them and they love and trust you. NOT because some fat guy being pulled by deer the sixe of a collie and caring a load of toys around the world in a single night, will not “bring them anything” if they are not “good”.

    Boundaries. They must be well defined, and the must be allowed to run right up to them with out being chastised. That is what boundaries are set for. There should always be a clear and rational reason for why they can’t do something or have to do something. Later in life when you find you have to establish new ones, it will be natural for them to accept them almost as a gift.

    Consequences. Stepping over the boundaries should be met with previously established consequences. Straying from them, being easy will result in an expansion of the boundaries and actually potentially some anxiety and self doubt later in life. Don’t tell them 10 times that something is going to happen if they don’t stop. If you want them to grow up understanding that they can not buy a $250,000 home on a $40,000 a year salary, They are going to need to understand consequences. (This is why Chess is a very good game.)

    Relationships. The most profound relationship in your life is the one you have with your significant other. There is only one place a child can learn this. That is by watching the two people she/ he trust most in this world interact. From this example she will learn what is acceptable treatment from a spouse and what is expected of them when they are older. If you want to know what it looks like to love and be loved, this is the most effective platform to show it to the young mind.
  • Nov 17 2011: The importance of... Making Time, Self Belief, Searching for Heroes & Positive Role Models, Respect for self, others & planet and a lifelong 'Learning Attitude'.
  • Nov 17 2011: Top things to share with a 6 year old:
    1) give your attention... undivided.... listen... what you can learn may surprise you!
    2) play games... teach them to both win and lose, gracefully.
    3) demonstrate giving to others... include them in service activities, talk about opportunities to help others
    4) expose them to animals... I think dogs provide the best example of unconditional love around. Connection to animals helps a child learn empathy and compassion.
    5) be a good example... and apologize when you've not been your best.
    6) hug and squeeze them a lot.
  • Nov 17 2011: Rules for my 6 year old boy that has become a student this year.
    1. Teacher is not a auntie, she will assess you
    2. Don't perform any funny things (thinking, talking about funny things allowed, but don't DO this)
    3. Talk/answer the questions even you are sad
    4. Don't lie, it is not funny
    5. If you have a problem, resolve it in this sequence: FIRST conversate/negotiate; NEXT ask teacher for help; OK THEN solve the problem with your friend as usual based on the current situation.
    It is only about behaviour, because learning is based on school program and smart books reading every evening.
  • Nov 17 2011: it's interesting that many here have commented with a list of philosophical principles, not actions.
    I don't think 6 year olds are ready for these concepts!
    They purely learn by example.
    So my top things to teach/share are:
    be together without distractions (eg: media, my own adult agenda, worries, etc) as often as possible
    Follow their interests as we are playful together. Seek out opportunities to extend/explore whatever takes their fancy, and have fun with it!
    Empower them to find solutions to setbacks (don't take over the game)
    Listen, understand and respond to their needs - find a creative solution when they meet a boundary and be an enabler not an enforcer
    Follow your own interests as passionately as you watch them follow theirs
    In this way kids will learn
    The main job in 'teaching' is to teach yourself. Being a parent my son has taught me so much about myself. If I am the best me I can be then he can be free to be himself.
    See Naomi Aldort "Raising our children, raising ourselves".
  • Nov 17 2011: 1. Unconditional Self Love
    2. We are always learning and growing
    3. Peoples actions are determined by beliefs. I tell my 5 year old girl this every day so she knows it is never her actions that makes another person sad, mad or glad, it is their own beliefs which do this.
    4. Complete self respect which will transpose into respect for others regardless of age, race, species or creed
    5. Life is the most imporant thing to strive for and the true purpose of our goals is to motivate us, not to prove our SELF WORTH.
    6. Lastly that they don't have to live up to anybody's expectations. There value on this planet will always be 100% regardless of what they do or say.
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    Nov 17 2011: I will tell him or her how love I loved them ?
  • Nov 17 2011: Modeling; "The Golden Rule"
    Love for God and reliance on our Creator
    Striving for excellence
    Service to mankind
    Being happy
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    Nov 16 2011: There's always the obvious first and foremost in my book ... "be true to yourself" ... but for most folks that's easier said than done. The one that most parents will have an easier time actually getting to is to teach their children to experience wonder, by experiencing it themselves in the presence of your children, e.g.: notice the flight of a bee or butterfly from flower to flower and wonder at their beauty, the incredibility of flight, the realization that this is the act from which the sweetness of honey flows ... the simpler the better IMO.
  • Nov 16 2011: What would happen if your goals changed from helping kids to become kind, caring and humble to helping kids become successful parents? No matter how nice or wonderful or even rich a kid becomes as an adult, if it is not passed on, it is lost.
  • Nov 16 2011: Healthy eating and lfe style
    Self confidence
    Helping them to explore their own hobbies, talents, rooms for improvement in different areas
    Expose them to different religious faiths, letting them to find what they believe in life ( kindness, appreciation, compassion, forgiveness, honesty (to one self and others), integrity, respecting boundaries
    Time to their own solitude
    Opposite thinking ( eg. Loneliness does existed, what is it telling you? Would that be your call to need a new challenge or friend....2. Sadness, signal to pamper yourself , go to grief, cry, let it out with people you trusted, talk to people who are caring, trustworthy
    Love is not unconditional because we do want to berespected and cherished. When treated badly, we have to set the healthy boundary to protect ourself first before caring other people if that cause us pain, hurtled,and harmful to us
    All emotions are there and there are note right or wrong. How you act on themare your responsbility
    Writing your thoughts, idea, events on a dairy, teach them to express the emotions and communciate them non violently to themselves and others
    Be their own best friend
    W....ooww oop more than 6 already
  • Nov 16 2011: as a working mother of 4 (16, 14, 11 and 7) I try to teach with example. Every day I work in myself, trying to be a better person. I think my kids are quite aware of this constantly effort
  • Nov 16 2011: So much posted already that is so right. My son is 7 and some of the different things that I have done include;
    Backpacking with my son in the mountains. At 5 he was able to travel over 10 mountainous kilometres a day carrying his small backpack (though walking to the playground across the street is often an epic). He has learned an appreciation of nature that is amazing. These travels are an incredible challenge that he has proven to himself he can accomplish - giving him confidence and proven excellent quality family time - not distractions, no TV, no video games.
    As a mother who has fought cancer and lost a child to it, I have also spoken up at city council meetings when our pesticide bylaws were being debated. My son has also survived my disease and is an only child because of it. He came with me. He has learned how to stand up and fight for what you believe in. He has learned about local government. He has learned about public speaking and he has learned about how laws are passed. He participated in the celebration when the bylaw passed and believes that it was because of him that people can no longer put poisons on their lawns or playgrounds (still need to work out some of the learning details).
    For each birthday for the last few years he has asked for money as a gift from friends. He buys himself a small gift and gives the rest to the SPCA (where out two cats came from).
    He has also been playing the violin for three years and is more fluent reading music than I (not that difficult).
  • Nov 16 2011: My only goal is to raise an optimist, everything else in secondary. Having a good sense of humour is of great importance, oh- and reading.
  • Nov 16 2011: #1 don't be a jerk
  • Nov 16 2011: There should be more, though, beyond the five.
    1. Remember that people lie surprisingly often.
    2. You do NOT need to call them on it. (usually)
    3. Don't waste money, time, property, friendships, etc.
    4. Be flexible, change directions, but only when necessary.
    5. Manners are important, especially when rare.
  • Nov 16 2011: Teach them to believe in themselves and live their dreams.
    Teach them to live with love and not in fear
    Teach them to live a more conscious way of being
  • Nov 16 2011: - Everyone is different and there is no right or wrong.

    - Focus on making yourself better and don't criticize others (goes with point 2 above).

    - Help anyone who needs your help.

    - Doing the right thing is often scary and takes a lot of courage

    - My son reads kids' thank you notes to my non-profit, so he can see that lots of other kids do not have school supplies or books to read.

    - If you have a choice between being considerate and not, be considerate. Same goes for sharing and being nice

    He is 5 now, hopefully some of this will stick!
  • Nov 16 2011: Show them how to dance listen to music and laughand love until they ache
    Also Advise them never too eat there boogies
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    Nov 16 2011: there are things you should share with a 6-year old:
    1-personal secrets
    2-life' mysteries
    3-love and care
    4-sense of high self-esteem
    when you share she/he will learn
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    Nov 16 2011: Thank you everyone for your incredible answers. I am more than humbled by the answers here.
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    Nov 14 2011: Teaching a 6 year old is difficult task really ( learnt it from experience of being father of kid of similar age ). My knowledge is very limited compared to their wonderful power of curiosity.
    Can share only following thoughts
    1) Stay curious & ask , ask, ask.......
    2) Be kind
    3) Be yourself
    4) Enjoy whatever you like without doing any harm to others or self
    5) Think positive
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    Nov 14 2011: Hello Carl, what a great question!

    As a parent, I want the best for my kids. As it is well known, they do not come with a user guide, so each parent has to learn on the fly, and draw resources from anywhere available to be up to the task. But what a rewarding task it is.

    Taking from the way the question is framed, I will focus on the things that I shared with my kids when they were 6, and have tried to reinforce ever since (they are 11 and 9 now)

    - be proud of being the one who is different. recognize the feeling of "peer pressure", and resist it.
    - take care of a pet. understand that an animal's basic needs (food, water, shelter, love) are simple, and are the same as our basic needs
    - try to correct a wrong instead of just saying "sorry" and doing nothing
    - minimize the use of the words "MY" and "MINE"
    - save your energy for the important fights
    - ask about the world. ask about yourself. ask about the universe

  • Nov 14 2011: Thank you Mr. Jones. :)