Someone says children are more similar to their generation than their parents. In fact, the world and the society are determined to mold children and young people to turn them into “serial” adults, in the image and likeness of the rest, in a process by which are deprived of much of their individuality, condemning them to the existential void.
There is no doubt that we all reflect the era in which we’re destined to live and the society in which we grew up. But parents can also do their part. Values and attitudes learned at home persist in one form or another, and become treasures of great value to guide children towards a fuller life. Parents have the mission to counter the alienating effect of society by teaching their children a set of values that will help them to preserve their identities.
The counter-lessons I would like parents to teach their children
1. To be different. In a society that enhances standardization, I wish the parents teach their children the incredible value of the difference. Explaining that to be different is not necessary to get a tattoo, dye their hair with a particular color or get a piercing, but stand out for their ideas, attitudes and opinions. Parents should not impose their views, but encourage their children to seek information and to think for themselves, they should urge them not to follow the ideological trend of the moment, but form their own ideas, even if different from those of the mass.
2. To respect others. In a society marching with great strides towards dehumanization, I wish that parents would be able to teach their children that are not the center of the universe and that nothing happens if they share the world with other 7.3 billion people who have their own rights. If children learn from an early age that their decisions, attitudes and behaviors can kill the hopes and dreams of others, will become more sensitive adults. Therefore, I wish the parents teach to their children to treat others as they would like to be treated themselves. That would be enough for the world of tomorrow to be a little better.
3. To be passionate. In a society where more and more people are living with their heads stuck on digital screens and spend endless hours in virtual worlds, I wish the parents teach their children that the world can be perceived by touching and smelling it, and is within reach of their hands. I wish parents feed the innate curiosity of children until it becomes a real passion. No matter what, botany or astrology, it is simply enough they get excited and vibrate for something that enriches their lives, and that not only is limited to work or do and desire the same as the others. It would be an extraordinary gift.
4. To fight for what they want. In a society that continually creates fictitious needs through more aggressive marketing, I hope that parents teach their children to determine their own needs, to know what their dreams are and, above all, to strive to achieve them. I wish parents give them the tools to not give up, teaching them that every mistake is a learning process and that missteps actually lead them to their goals. Parents should teach their children to pursue their dreams, not to have them stolen from people who are too comfortable in their comfort zone and do not want others to grow. Only this way, at the end of their life, they may be satisfied.
5. To assume their responsibilities. In a society where the responsibility is diluted by level and all avoid it like a plague, because it is easier to blame others than do an examination of conscience, I would like the parents to teach their children to take control of their lives and assume the responsibility for their actions. I would like they teach them that very often, to get something, they have to make sacrifices. They should also teach them not to blame fate, luck or the others for their mistakes and to apologize when they are wrong.
6. To not judge the others. In a society where everything is perfectly labeled and cataloged, where the confrontation becomes a double-edged sword, it is difficult not to make value judgments. However, I would like parents to teach their children not to judge the others, not believe to be superior, and above all, not to humiliate or make fun of others. No one can truly understand another person until he has not walked in his shoes for a long time. Teaching children acceptance and understanding will teach them to be humble, but also it will prepare them to defend their rights and not to allow others to violate them.
7. To take risks. In a society that has given us the wrong idea that we can have everything we want, without compromise and with a minimal effort, I wish parents teach their children that every decision always involves a risk, because in one way or another, for each path that we choose there’s always another to be abandoned. Parents should teach their children to accept that there is a risk of losing, so they will stop being afraid of failure and be able to face new challenges with an open mind.
8. To be flexible. In a rigid society like ours, in the political, religious and at the thinking level, a scourge that constantly provokes new conflicts, I wish parents teach their children to be flexible, to understand that everything is in constant motion and stillness it’s just an illusion. Teaching them to consider life as something in constant motion also encourage them to accept uncertainty, opens up to the events and prepare to meet them. In this way children will also learn to set priorities and will know when the time comes to change their goals and move their efforts toward another direction.
9. To give without asking anything in return. In a society where most people think that one hand washes the other and both wash the face, I would like parents to teach their children to give without expecting anything in return, for the simple pleasure of being generous. This is not to turn them into servile people, but teach them the incredible value of generosity and stimulate the desire to share. It also means to teach them their value as people, because they don’t let others buy them, bribe and they do not try to take advantage of others.
10. To accept that life is not fair. In a society that often rewards those who least deserve it and that promotes the naive positivism, I wish parents to teach their children the value of realism, teaching them to stand up again every time they fall. Educating to resilience means teaching that life is not always fair, but it is worth of living, because setbacks can turn us stronger. In this way they will learn not to complain every time a problem arises but to put themselves at work to find a solution.