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David Barnett

British Council


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What is the most important piece of advice/knowledge that you have to hand down to your children?

Be good? Play fair? Work hard? Use your head? Don't kick the other man while he's down? Help one another? Share? Love? Be honest?

Topics: educacion

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    Feb 19 2012: My most important piece of advice would be "Know yourselves...and nurture who you come to know". This of course, followed by teaching them the skills required to follow that advice.

    The skills they need are first how to be self-reflexive...how to know themselves...and second, how to enact who they are in their interactions with others. This requires teaching them to love, cherish and nurture who they know themselves to be. There are times this is easier said than done, especially when faced with others who don't value their uniqueness and who would expect them to conform to some standard that inhibits their growth and ability to love themselves and nurture their inherent talents and gifts.

    It's often hard to parent kids toward making this choice when we can see that the path of conformity is less painful...and has some very real rewards in the form of acceptance and popularity and social approval. Sometimes conforming to social expectations is an expression of who they are...but other times, it's not. Learning the difference and possessing the skills to navigate these kinds of situations is, in my view, essential to their happiness and well being as individuals.

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