It’s shocking to think that we’re already in 2019. It seriously feels like time is going by way too fast, and has no intention of slowing down. Either you adapt to it or get left behind, no way to avoid it. I think we can all agree that 2018 was one of the toughest years for most of us. From government shutdowns to mass shootings, to natural disasters, it was a mess. It just goes to show us that sometimes life is unpredictable, which is why we should all be prepared for the unthinkable.
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As times change, it’s most probable that new generations don’t understand how the world works. As children get older, there are conversations that need to be said, despite their awkwardness. It’s important for children to know that they can talk to their parents about important issues. As parents, one has the opportunity to raise their children how they want to raise them, which is why having difficult conversations can open a new door for them. Here are some conversations you might want to have with your children in 2019.
1. Gender Equality
Children usually internalize messages they hear from parents and teachers, as well as what they see in games, movies, and music. The best way to teach a child about gender equality is getting rid of stereotypes at an early age. According to experts, gender stereotypes play a big role in teaching girls and boys what culture expects from them. Children between ages 6 and 2 learn stereotypes through skills, toys, and skills that are “typically associated” with their gender. Children between the ages of 7 and 10 start to attribute certain qualities to men and women, such as women are emotional and men are aggressive.
Parents can help children learn about gender equality by not using gender as an excuse for behavior, and make sure they are not reinforcing traditional gender roles. Teach them that boys can do the laundry, and girls can play football. Never stereotype a child’s traits such as girls are sweet and calm, and boys are noisy and loud. At the end of the day, Children aren’t born thinking that one gender is more powerful or better than the other. They are born thinking we are all the same and there is no difference between us.
It’s important to understand the benefits of health, not just for the sake of your children, but for yours. One of the biggest challenges a parent has while rising their children is getting them to eat healthy. The first thing to remember is not to stress, where there’s a will there’s a way. The trick is to have a little bit of everything. Meaning, yes, have the good and have the bad. You may not be able to control everything your child eats, especially at school, but you can give them a good healthy foundation.
Make food interesting, the more “fun”, the more likely they are to try it. Say you want them to eat peas. Make them count the peas, sort them by size, play with them before putting them in a pot. It’s important to make food interesting so your child can naturally be curious and enjoy it. Don’t force them to eat something they don’t want, rather encourage them, and eat it with them.
3. Mass Shootings
I know, no one wants to talk about shootings. But unfortunately, mass shootings have become a large problem, especially in 2018. As we see an increase in shootings, we have to remember that not everyone understands why or what is happening. One should keep in mind their children’s maturity level and personalities, as well as their ability to process tragic news. At the end of the day, your child will hear what you say through their emotions and condition, so it’s important to understand their unique personality. Explain to them what to do if they are ever in a situation like that and who to call.
This conversation can also lead to safety and trust. Teach your child about safety basics, and how to deal with strangers. It’s about setting boundaries and having a good support system to help them stay safe. Show empathy, kindness, and respect to teach them how they should be treated. The best way to keep your children safe is by staying involved in their life and model safe behavior. Make them understand the difference between right and wrong.
Nobody like the money talk, it’s annoying, scary, and sometimes irrelevant. But, it’s important, very important. Especially when it comes to teenagers. You might get away with not talking to your toddlers about money because honestly, they won’t understand, but it’s important to give some knowledge about money to your teens.
At the end of the day, they will learn about money from someone, so why not be you? You have the opportunity to be the possible example in their life and the guiding light they can trust. Money isn’t taboo, and your kids don’t need to be sheltered from financial matters. The main key here is to be honest and open. Hiding financial failures due to money isn’t isn’t the best idea. They’ll appreciate your opening and earn valuable lesson about overspending. The main concepts you should talk about to the is budgeting, paying down debt, saving, and give. Give them an idea of what “real world budgeting” looks like.
Honestly, I think this is the toughest one on the list. Especially if you have little ones. Alcohol and drug use is pretty uncommon for pre-teens, but it’s a good age to talk about values when it comes to alcohol and drugs. This before they are “introduced” to peer pressure. Prepping your teenager to deal with this peer pressure can help them avoid unsafe behavior in the future.
Remind them of the consequences, the legal risk of underage drinking and having or buying drugs. Help them understand how becoming addicted to drugs can get them in trouble, not only with the law but the way it affects the abilities to pursue their dreams in the future. Explain why these substances can be harmful to their health and lead to poor judgment that can cause them any potential risk. Trust your gut, remember how times were when you were younger and calmly explain what could happen if they are in that situation.