13 Life Lessons I’m Going to Teach My Children Before They Turn 13

Life lessons for children means so much to me. I remember my parents always said “being a parent is THE HARDEST job in life”! I never understood what they meant until I became a mom myself! Oh Boy!!! They were RIGHT!!!

The reason that parenting is the hardest job you will ever have is that you have the responsibility to raise “good humans”! Raising good humans is not just feeding your kids, bathing them or even playing with them! Raising good humans means you must be the best possible role model for your children, so they learn as they grow by example!

Anything you want them to be, you must be yourself! If you want them to be truthful, you cannot be dishonest yourself; if you want them to have self-confidence, you need to show them what a confident person is; if you want them to have manners, you have to have manners yourself! The bottom line is “You”, as parents, will always be your children’s mirror.

Matt and I are not perfect parents by any means, but we both agree on many values that we would like to pass to our children. Therefore, we try our best to be a good example for them.

13 Life Lessons for Children

I listed my top 13 important lessons for children that I HOPE we can teach our little Valentina and Alina before they turn 13 (teenagers):

1- Honesty Is Key. I know…it sounds so obvious, but if you don’t want your kids to lie to you, don’t lie to them, and don’t let them hear you telling lies. Always reward the truth! it is important to thank your child for their honesty and let your child know that you are proud of them for telling the truth! NEVER, EVER call your child a liar! That can be very damaging and has a long-lasting effect in their life!

2- Master Your Self Confidence. I honestly believe self-confidence can take you anywhere you want to be in life! Confidence is believing in yourself, feeling comfortable in your skin and knowing you have worth. I think confidence is attractive and brings success to your life! Giving a child self-confidence is one of the best lessons we can teach them when they are young.

If we believe in our children, they believe in themselves. When children feel confident about themselves and their abilities, they have higher self-esteem. Teaching your child self-confidence also helps them make better decisions in their relationships in the future. Self-confidence is NOT about how you look, it is mostly how you feel about yourself and believing in your capabilities!

13 life lessons for children: master your self confidence

3- Dream Big! Children dream big! They never think small because they do not have the limitations that hold adults back! When I hear our little Valentina’s big dreams, it makes me laugh inside sometimes (I never laugh at her dreams out loud….!). I always tell her that she can achieve all her life dreams if she works hard for it!

There is a big difference between being just a “Dreamer”, and someone who “works hard” toward reaching her/him dreams! That is what I am hoping to teach our little girls!

4- Be Financially Responsible! Kids want EVERYTHING they see!!!! At least this is the case with our little Valentina! Hahaha! As a parent it is SO difficult to say “NO”! You love to buy them anything that makes them happy! But that is WRONG! You must control your emotions and be able to say NO sometimes! It is very important to maintain good balance. 

If you buy everything that your children ask for, you will not help their future! First, they think everything in life is “given” and they will not try to earn anything on their own. Secondly, they will never understand the “value” of things! Therefore, when they grow up, they think the world owes them everything. The worst part is NOTHING will make them happy in life!

13 life lessons for children: be kind to others

5- Don’t Forget to Say These 4 Simple Words: “Please”, “Thank You”, “Hello” and “Goodbye”! It blows my mind when I see some people do not bother to say hello when they walk-into a place or say goodbye when they walk-out!

It bothers me even more when people do not “remember” to say “Please” when they are asking for something or say “Thank You” when they receive something! These are, very basic, but very important words to remember to say!

6- Treat Everyone with Equal Respect! It does not matter where someone is from, what they look like, or what they do for a living! Love and accept them for who they are and treat them all equally with respect! This is important now more than ever. For some amazing resources on teaching your kids about respect, check out this post, and follow The Conscious Kid on Instagram!

13 life lessons for children: honesty is key

7- It Is Okay to Be Wrong! Being wrong is the only way we can find out what is right, and therefore become smarter. If we “convince” ourselves that we already know everything, we will never learn and grow.

8- Be Kind to Others! What truly matters is how you treat people, including yourself. You can never go wrong with being kind and loving to others. I also want to teach my kids to never let anyone take advantage of their kindness!

13 life lessons for children: treat everyone with respect

9- It Is Important to Respect Your Parents and Elders! From a very young age my sister and I were taught that we had to respect our parents as well as our elders! I expect the same from my children! If your children do not respect you while they are young, they never will! Teach them respect and boundaries while they are young!

10- Lend A Helping Hand to Others! Not only do I want my children to learn that they need to share their money with less fortunate people, but I also want them to learn that they should share their time with others as well! If lending a helping hand is all it takes to brighten up a friend or a neighbor’s day, then do it!

The best way to teach them is to be a good role model for your children! When you cut back from your valuable time and help others, it teaches them values such as compassion and empathy. It also teaches them it is okay to put the needs of others first, even before their own sometimes! I definitely think this is one of the best life lessons for children.

13 life lessons for children: Make friends and remain social!

11- Education is Important! We all know with the fast-growing digital world, many people (including young teens) are making six or seven figure incomes online! But I strongly believe that people who choose to continue education by going to college, undergrad or grad school, will carry themselves differently in life!

As I am writing this, I am not even sure if ten or fifteen years from now colleges or universities will exist! But I truly hope this opportunity will still be available for our children! Education helps our children “question” and gives them an analytical mind.  Additionally, it helps them to reject superstitions.

12- Make friends and remain social! I love to teach them the value of “good friendship” and the benefits that healthy friendships will earn them. Let them understand that friendships positively affect their lives in a significant way.

I have so many amazing friends.  My life would not be the same without them! Two of them (Elnaz and Azi), are truly friends that I cannot go through life without! They have always been there for me on the best and worst days of my life! Good friends are a treasure! When you find them, do not let them go.

13 life lessons for children: Take good care of your body!

13- Take good care of your body! Keep your body healthy and strong. Your body is so good to you. Think of all the amazing things it allows you to do! So be kind to your body! While is perfectly okay to have “cheat days” and enjoy some pizza, ice cream and desserts, it is important to keep up good healthy eating habits and exercise! Staying fit will always make you feel better about yourself and it’s why it’s in my list of life lessons for children! If you want to know about how I stayed as fit and healthy as I could during my pregnancies, check out my post on it here!

As I mentioned above, we are our children’s mirror! Always ask yourself, did I say “Thank You” to the checkout clerk at the grocery store? Did I use a “friendly tone” when I addressed our waiter? Do I speak respectfully to our neighbors, friends, etc…?! Because our children only learn by “watching and observing” and NOT just by what they are being told to do!

I think the real test of parenting is not what your children achieve, but who they become and how they treat others! That’s what I want to instill in my kids and what I want to achieve with these life lessons for children. As my mom always says,

“When you raise good children, they become good adults, and one day they pass that to the next generation of their own children!”


Sherry, xoxo


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