When you’re raising kids, you have a limited amount of time to impress on them what’s truly important.
That’s why this Ask Reddit thread about what parents should tell their kids is so important.
Check out what these 15 people said about raising kids and what they need to hear from parents.
1. Growing from mistakes
It’s alright to make a mistake, as long as you can admit it and grow from it.
I teach little kids, and I tell them often that they HAVE to make mistakes to learn. I emphasize that the learning happens when we find and fix our mistakes. And when I make a mistake in front of them, I acknowledge it – and they encourage me. “Good job, Mrs. Rhymes, you helped your brain grow!”
I get so much satisfaction out of being the teacher I wish I had had.
2. Two very important things to hear.
“Be kind. You never know what someone might be going through” and “I love you”
3. Prouder and prouder
My dad never really ever said he was proud of me. Don’t get me wrong, I have a great and loving dad and he was always supportive, but he never really said I Love You or I’m Proud of you.
I will always remember when I was 20, I had just graduated and got a decent paying job in my field and I called him to tell him. He ended the conversation with “Well, congrats. I love you son and I’m proud of you for getting this job.” I just remember hanging up the phone and sitting on my bed and crying for a good long while because that was the first time I had ever heard him say those two things.
4. What does love really mean?
My dad once told me “I don’t just love you because you’re my daughter, I love you as a person, and I’d love you if we were strangers who just randomly met, because you’re a good and interesting person all on your own terms. Not everyone gets to feel that way about their kids, but I do, and I’m grateful.”
I cried for the rest of the day. I was just laid flat by that, and it was such an amazing unique thing to hear. I think parents should say that, because it means so much and so few kids get to hear anything like it.
5. Apology accepted
Spouse taught our family there are two responses for an apology “Thank you for your apology.” and “You don’t need to apologize.”
In the first instance it removes the feelings of the offended from needing to feel like granting forgiveness and instead simply acknowledges their apology.
The second is there to provide feedback in case they apologize unnecessarily.
I think it has been valuable in teaching the kiddo when an apology is appropriate. Hopefully they take that lesson when they go out into the world and not be someone who always thinks they did something wrong and is apologizing constantly.
It’s also that you thank them for the apology and then thats it. Not ‘Thank you but next time or Thank you but you made me feel…’. It’s finished.
You are also not there to do detective work trying to decide if they really meant it or not, just say thanks and move on.
6. Secrets aren’t cool
If anyone ever tells them, “This will be our little secret,” especially if it involves physical contact, my child needs to get as far away from that person ASAP, find a trusted adult, and contact me.
My child will know they will not be in trouble for telling and I will always believe them.
7. Looking out for more than #1
Look out for the smaller kids on the playground, kindness is free so make sure to use it.
Part of our routine is asking who he was nice to that day. Now that I’m doing daycare drop off, I ask who he can be nice to and sometimes offer suggestions on nice things to do.
8. Self defense is okay
If someone is harming you, I don’t care what the school says you are free to defend yourself.
I will not ever ground or be upset with you using self defense.
9. The name game
The proper terminology for their genitals.
Other adults aren’t always going to know what your kid means when they say “someone played with my monkey or my tutu,” and predators aren’t going to call them by the proper names either, so it’s another deterrent for abuse to occur.
Vagina, Penis, Vulva, Testicles- these are not dirty words people.
10. When you don’t want to do something
Express that it’s ok to feel uncomfortable and not want to do something.
I saw a post where a mother taught her daughter to say hello but if she didn’t want a hug or a kiss on the cheek she was never forced to do so. If the kid felt comfortable she would do it. Expressing that this is ok seems pretty important IMO.
11. Your opinion is valued
‘I appreciate your input. You won’t always be right and what you say won’t always change my mind but I still value your opinion.’
Communicate with your kid, most of the time you will know better than they will but at least listen to what they have to say. Remember to also keep an open mind and be willing to compromise.
12. There to catch you
You will always be my child, and I’ll always want to take care of you, but you have the right to ask me to let go when you feel the time is right.
If you try to make it on your own but fall, call me anyway.
I want to be there to catch you.
13. This got dark!
“The world is a fu**ed up place.
People are going to hate you for the sake of hating you, and spit on you for what you believe.
What I want you to know is I’ll always support you.
And I’ll never be disappointed in what you do with your life as long as you love it” ~ My dad
14. Surprises over secrets
I tell my daughter “we never keep secrets, only surprises” and also “don’t ever lie to me because I trust you, I swear to always believe you” and finally “Stop means STOP no matter who you are or where you are.”
She’s only four but whatever, she needs to know this from day one!
15. That’s adorbs!
If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie and wipe the seatie.
Okay, that last one was the cutest ever. So I want to hear about the cute things you tell your kids.
Leave those in the comments!