Parenting is an all-encompassing job. The responsibility of raising a child is not about simply giving a child life, it's about giving your offspring the tools and life skills to succeed in the world—and there are a whole lot of those.
A new poll of 2,000 parents reveals what parents think are the most crucial life lessons they hope to teach their children. The survey, commissioned by Chessington World of Adventures, focused solely on British parents; however, I think that the findings align closely to how most American parents probably feel, as well.
The list includes 59 skills covering everything from showing compassion to appreciating wildlife and animals. The top three: to always say "please" and "thank you," respect your elders, and show good table manners.
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As I read through the list, I realized how my own parents taught me so many of these lessons just by leading by example. A few tid-bits of wisdom popped into my head, too—my mom has reinforced the importance of kindness (number 7 on the list) to me by always saying, "you catch more bees with honey than you do with vinegar." (Maybe a little corny, but she's right!)
Many of the lessons that made the list are valuable foundations for positive interactions and relationships, and others are beneficial for potential scenarios (knowing how to change a flat tire or build a fire). However, a few made the list that I'm not convinced are mandatory. It's hard to believe that learning to cartwheel (number 57) or opening a champagne bottle (number 59) are make-or-break life lessons. On my own list, I might include "be creative" and "how to set and follow through with goals."
One other finding: 76 percent of parents reported that raising their kids to be "good people" is essential. (Good news, right?!) You can check out the full list here.
What would you add to the list? Let us know!
Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn
Manners & Responsibility: Teaching Table Manners
Image: Girl with mother via Shutterstock