Now that I am a mother of three, I often reflect on the blessings of my upbringing and some of the values my parents instilled in me and how they come into play in my everyday life as a woman, wife, and mother.
After much reflection, I have distilled down three of the ideals that I believe were so instrumental in my upbringing, and that I constantly try and institute with my children to give them some of life’s great tools that my parents gave me.
The three life skills and ideals that I have found to be essential to me as an adult are: Having an active prayer life, embracing boredom, and developing a love for reading.
1. Having an Active Prayer Life
I will never forget when I was a little girl, my mom pulling my sister and I aside to say the rosary with her. We had to stop everything that we were doing and sit down and pray with her. I never wanted to do this, especially when I was being interrupted during a fun game I was playing, but now as an adult, saying the rosary is a large part of my prayer life.
It was also very moving for me to witness my mom deep in prayer when I was a little girl. I have multiple memories of myself at a young age, searching for my mom in the house, and I would discover her in her room, rosary in hand, praying in solitude.
I could see from an early age, through engaging in prayer as a little girl, and witnessing my mom praying, how essential an active prayer life is.
5 Ways We Encourage Prayer with Our Children:
- Saying a daily morning prayer thanking God for a new day.
- Praying as a family before dinner.
- Reading scripture and discussing.
- Having an active prayer life for our children to witness.
- Going to church on Sunday mornings.
By modeling and practicing a strong prayer life for you children, they will have a comforting, peaceful, and joyful life skill they can lean on their entire lives.
2. Embracing Boredom
In this day in age, there is almost no such thing as boredom. With constant screens everywhere you turn, children are often lacking the gift of boredom.
It takes a bit of patience on our part, but you know one of life’s great gifts?
When kids get bored.
Their imagination’s blossom.
- They may just get some time to think.
- They might turn a cardboard box into a spaceship.
- They may create an impressive drawing.
- They might look their the pictures of a book.
- They may ask to play outside.
- They might spark their curiosity by asking questions.
Whatever it may be, being bored is a beautiful thing.
It allows their imaginations to soar and their creativity to bloom.
2 Ways We Encourage Downtime in our Children’s Schedule:
- Schedule a “quiet time” into your child’s schedule where your child independently plays in their room with no screens.
- Allow an appropriate screen time during the day but plan the rest of the day for play and learning. This doesn’t mean you have to constantly be entertaining your children. If you encourage independent play, your children will follow your lead. Click the link below to read about recommended screen time for specific ages.
Click the link below to check out the article, Encouraging Independent Play in Toddlers, for more information.
By nurturing an environment for your children to learn and grow independently, they will blossom into an innovative and individualistic adult.
3. The Love of Reading
Kids from a young age love to read and one of my favorite things to do is grab a cup of coffee and read to them. It is so relaxing and peaceful for everyone!
I have such beautiful memories of my mom bringing me to our local library as a child. I’ll never forget the joy of picking out new, exciting books and bringing them home to read.
I also developed a love for reading from observing my dad every night in his favorite chair, with a book, and lemonade and popcorn in hand.
Reading can turn into a calming and soothing habit for your kids that will last a lifetime.
5 Ways we are Working on Instilling a Love of Reading with Our Kids:
- Story time before bed.
- Read throughout the day when possible.
- Taking my kids to the library (I love digging through the holiday section. Right now we are loving fun, new Halloween books).
- Checking out books that match their interests.
- Modeling a love for reading by reading myself!
You will never regret modeling and teaching a love of reading for your children. They can carry the love of reading into their own lives through adulthood!
Let’s Wrap Up
I hope these suggested life skills are helpful for you! I find them not only to be enjoyable to pass on but I also love watching my children grasp onto them as well.
What life skills do you instill in your children that you find to be important for them to carry on into adulthood? Write in the comment section below.
While you’re here, check out my post, Fun Seasonal Crafts and Activities to Do With Kids, for fun activities to do with your kiddos!