This list isn’t exhaustive by any means but there is no doubt that the items on this list will make a world of difference in the men and women that we are raising in our homes. I would even go so far as to say that it will make a world of difference to the parents who make an effort teach their kids these skills and foster a love and appreciation for them.
Let’s get started.
1. A LOVE OF READING
by Paul Curtman, author.
If I could read the thoughts of other people and know what they were thinking, I would be the most powerful person in the world. When I was in the Marines, I was constantly reminded that knowledge is power and I was encouraged to always be reading books from the Commandant’s reading list.
When you read a book, you are literally reading the thoughts of other people. Learning information that other people already know and having insights into their mind so you can see how they think is incredibly powerful. You can become a better leader on the battlefield just by reading what Frederick the Great had to say in his own writings about strategy and leadership. You can understand more about people skills by reading the “mind” of great social observers like Dale Carnegie who wrote and lectured extensively on the subject. If you want to know what George W. Bush or Barack Obama know about politics and leading the country, you can read their books and learn valuable information that you might be able to use to run for office or help someone else campaign.
I have books that contain the speeches of great men like Ronald Reagan and I’ve learned a lot about his style of public speaking as well as how he approached everything from addressing the death of an American soldier with gratitude and humility to handling the cold war with Russia with strength and resolve. I’ve been able to see into the minds of great men by reading their thoughts in the books they wrote.
Books on philosophy can shed insight on people who study reason.
Autobiographies illustrate how people overcame obstacles to achieve some of the greatest things in history and along the way teach important lessons of character and discipline.
We need to teach our kids a love of reading and encourage them to take notes and underline and highlight passages that speak to them. They need to know it’s okay to start and stop, or not finish altogether if they don’t want to. It’s also okay to skim and skip chapters. The point is to be reading so they can learn to think better and grow from reading the thoughts of great thinkers. When they do, they’ll develop a deeper awareness and start to notice things and opportunities that others don’t see and they’ll be smarter and on a much better path to a life well lived.
It’s been said that children need to be hooked on reading by their late teens or early twenties if they are going to develop a life long habit. Build a starter list of books for them to read – books that will help them take ownership of themselves and develop an appreciation for different types of knowledge.
U.S. Senator Ben Sasse put together a list that involves some categories that you can look at as a guide and can change however you want.
- Greek Roots
- The American Idea
- American Fiction
By Kate Bauer, business owner.
The entrepreneur mindset is everything socialism is not. It is the ability to think for yourself, serve others, work hard for reward, and compete and strive for true freedom of self ownership. It is encouraging and uplifting to a child to hear that their God given gifts and talents can be transformed into a lucrative business. It starts small with the traditional, American, lemonade stand. The excitement of serving others and making a profit. Young children love the idea (which is naturally entrepreneurial in nature) of working towards a goal, earning some money for that special toy or Summer camp, and the excitement of someone noticing them, and giving them an ounce of their time and attention. It’s confidence boosting. There are so many rewards socially and mentally that a child can gain from the encouragement of setting up their simple lemonade stand – which leads to the idea of having your children and teens earn their own money. It gives them a sense of independence and ownership. It gives them an opportunity to work hard and learn from management and failure. It gives you as parents an opportunity to teach them about saving and simple money management. When my children set up their lemonade stands, we always teach them about the lessons of small business. They need to earn enough to cover their costs for their past, present and future overhead – and most importantly, their contribution to Uncle Sam.
Although not everyone can be self employed, small business is what makes America so successful. As a parent, I would encourage your children to explore their natural given talents, responsibly follow their dream, but then also not be afraid of trade programs and junior college, as it is important to be well versed in business management. Currently in this country we have the opportunity to care for ourselves and lead our own lives, but our rights are slowly being plucked away. If the entrepreneurial spirit dies, and small business dies, the America as we have known it our entire lives will no longer exist. We need to protect our freedoms and teach our children to care for themselves and for their country. In this America anything is possible but that is simply not the case in other parts of the world. Our children need to know this.
by Ryan Clearwater, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
This might sound like a shock to just say it for what it is like this but here’s the point – A child who knows violence is a child who can stop violence.
We hear and see it in the news, social media, and movies we consume. A kid gets beat up over lunch money. A young boy stands up for someone weaker than him, but without any skills of his own, gets hurt. Sometimes, these consequences can turn deadly and sometimes the attacker is not another child.
We have to take responsibility for our children’s safety seriously. What this means is teaching them how to defend themselves. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) is a key component to helping our children protect themselves and others. It also helps regulate emotions, provide mental clarity, and boost physical confidence. BJJ balances the aspect of violence with peace; creating an atmosphere of a polite society until harm is being done. It is this balance that makes violence a crucial part of any child’s upbringing.
A child who has the head knowledge that he is trained and capable of being violent will have a much higher level of confidence in his own ability to handle situations that he might otherwise retreat from or comply with.
I recently listened to a discussion about a police department on the east coast that had a bad reputation with the public. The general public had a bad relationship with the police officers and saw them as bullies. I am all for the police using their firearms ANY time they feel they need to but one observer noted that while responding to calls, no matter how routine – think cat stuck in a tree situation, officers almost always emerged from their vehicles with their hands already on their guns ready to draw. The problem was quickly ascertained that the police felt like the only options they had if anything went sideways was to immediately reach for their firearms – thus the reason for constantly keeping their hands on their holstered guns while engaging the public almost all the time. The department leadership decided to enroll the entire department in physical hand to hand combat training and after several months, police began to take their hands off their guns when interacting with the public and soon, the public began to see their officers as partners in the community.
Learning how to be physically violent both gave the police officers a higher degree of confidence and improved their relationships with those around them because the officers knew they were trained and capable to handle themselves
Knowing when to be violent and how to be violent is an attribute of of both physical and mental maturity. Training in the martial arts, boxing, wrestling or mixed martial arts not only helps a child develop physically and mentally, but also develop a sense of timing, decisions making and the immediate realization that there are consequences to our actions – all of which are necessary attributes of strong leaders throughout history and necessary for the development of strong leaders we need.