... Not that I'm thinking of having a kid any time soon (calm down mum!), but when I do have one there are some things I want him or her to know:
- Please and thank you
It’s a simple concept, saying please when you want something and thank you when you get it, but a lot of people nowadays don't use it. it's a nice way to showing someone you appreciate what they're doing for you, so why not say it to the person who serves you at the coffee shop or the person who just rung up your order at the service station?
I always try to use 'please' and 'thank you' as often as I can, and any child of mine will, too. Time and time again I've heard that children pick up most of their behaviour from their parents and mine are going to be very polite (at least in public). I'm always amazed by the children who are aware of when to use 'please' and 'thank you', but they don't. I get the impression that they have been told to say those words, but they never hear their parents or other adult role models say them.
- There’s a time and place for cussing
I’m not naive enough to think that my child will never swear, but they will know to do it at an appropriate time and place. My seven year old might want to drop the f-bomb after losing a sporting event but other parents might not have taught their kids about bad words, best to save that kind of language to the privacy of the home, or at least the car ride on the way back.
This isn't to say that I'll only teach my children 'bad' words, but I'm not going to forbid them from ever saying the words. Like I said, there's a time and a place for that kind of behaviour.
- It’s okay to suck at some things
Any child of mine is likely to have a predisposition for anything nerdy, whether it is reading, writing, mathematics, or quoting obscure and classic TV series. But that's just my opinion; my kid could suck at maths! My children could be horrible spellers who want nothing to do with books and think twitter uses too many words. Or they could be really rubbish at sports and never make it onto the team. But no matter which activities my kids excel at or which ones they can't grasp I will let them know I love them, and that it's okay to be bad at things. See, I love singing but I can't do it very well. In fact, the word 'tone deaf' has been thrown around more than once. But do I care? Nope. Knowing that I can't sing gives me a lot of freedom. If I was a very good singer every time I open my mouth to sing a little ditty I’d be worrying how well I’m doing. Now I can sing till my heart's content without worrying about how good I am.
- Always cross at the designated area
It just makes sense.
- I will love them no matter what.
Again, to me this just makes sense, but I want any and all future progeny will never have any doubt in their mind that I love them. Sure, they might do things that piss me off like stay out past curfew, throw their food on the floor, or scream until they can’t breathe because they can’t have a toy, but that won’t stop me from loving them. I’ll also want them to know that if they do mess up they can always come to me. If they go to a party and get drunk when I have specifically told them they are not to drink at all I want them to know that I won’t hate them for it. In this scenario I’d like them to call me rather than try to find their own way home. I’ll let them know that they can count on me even if they do get into a bit of strife.
I will love my kids no matter who they are; if they’re gay, if they’re straight, if they’re bi, if they’re a nerd fighter, if they’re a jock, if they’re a poet, if they’re a painter, if they has Asperger’s, if they have Down’s Syndrome, if they can’t spell for shit and can barely count how many fingers they have, if they want to spend all day staring at spiders... no matter what. I’ll love them, and I want them to know.