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What to Teach Your Child Before 12

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One of the most important developmental stages of children is the transition from preteen to teen, but man is it hard on moms. We watch our big kids become little adults who have to take on heavy topics, do hard math, and face peer pressure and fickle friendships. Then, top it off with the fact that they often don’t want our help as much as they used to. But these years are golden because we can help our children build the moral warehouse they’ll need as they face life’s challenges and dilemmas.

Yep. Math tests and friendships come and go, but in these years, when our kids are old enough to understand and young enough to actually want to listen, we have an opportunity to teach them lessons that will stay with them for years to come. So don’t miss out on this opportunity to teach them these things before they turn 12.

Teach them to make wise choices.

Teaching them this will save them a lot of pain from making bad choices. And kids who ask this one question will make the best choices.

Teach them to discern right from wrong.

There are three levels of filters we can teach kids to use to determine right from wrong—here they are.

Teach them a life perspective.

What do you believe? What do you want to teach your children about having a worldview? They’ll hear other views, so be sure to share yours.

Teach them contentment.

Out of contentment comes joy. Without contentment, kids will never feel like they have what they want. When your kids start to complain about what they don’t have, try shifting their focus to gratitude.

Teach them to love others.

Your kids are old enough to learn that love is a choice, not a feeling. Loving someone often means delaying or deferring your own needs.

Teach them to have patience.

Patience will help your child buy the time he or she needs to make good choices. Patience is the foundation of delayed gratification, and it’s also the foundation for accepting others as they are. These ideas will help you teach your child how to be patient. 

Teach them responsibility.

In a nutshell, responsibility is the ability to respond correctly. Responsibility should grow with maturity, but you should see evident signs of it in your child before age 12. You can help your child become more responsible by giving him or her more independence in these five areas. 

Teach them how to forgive.

An inability to forgive can sow seeds of bitterness in your children. Take a look at these ways to teach forgiveness to your children. Remind them they can start practicing forgiveness today.

What are you trying to teach your kids before age 12? 


What’s the best year for being a kid?

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