Without doubt we all want the best for our children and our grandchildren. We want them to grow up to be happy, fulfilled individuals who have a good job, a happy marriage, and of course, lots of children themselves.
It is also important to consider what kind of effect our children will have on their local and global community. No longer are we raising kids in a goldfish bowl where what they say and do has a limited effect. Now, wireless technology means the internet and social media websites allow us to reach beyond our physical boundaries, and speak to almost anyone, anywhere in the world.
In our technologically driven world if our children are to be valued members of their society, then I believe education is the key.
Education is the key to a promising future
Education is an important tool we can use to give a child the basics they will need to get a good job. He or she will need to be able to read, write and do Math. Once these are mastered, the child can go on to further studies and develop a career in whatever field they like.
When a child can read well, he or she can research and study all the sciences. They can investigate history, politics and learn about the environment. They can learn about nutrition and cook healthy meals or they can learn how to care for their pet properly. The internet can now provide us with anything we want to know about any subject in the world.
However, there is more to education that just these basics. A well educated person is one who has the fundamental values they need to belong and support their community, and can use these skills to help others. These values are a moral compass that help us make the right decisions for ourselves, and the wider community.
The importance of empathy
Empathy is a person’s ability to understand how someone else might be feeling particularly if they are upset or anxious. If we see someone fall in the street, we immediately know they are feeling pain and perhaps embarrassment. If we know someone didn’t get the job they were so desperately after, then we feel their disappointment and worry. Even if we didn’t cause another person’s worries, we can still feel their pain.
If children learn to be empathetic, they will take more care when dealing with another person. If they grow and become the boss or the manager, and they have to make hard decisions which affect another’s life, they will act on these decisions with gentleness and kindness.
If a child learns empathy they might share their lunch with another child who doesn’t have any. They may stop and make sure an animal has water, too.
The importance of generosity
Being generous involves giving selflessly. This can relate to sharing toys and food for a young child. As the child grows, he or she will learn to share their thoughts, ideas and their time. These things, while not countable, are difficult to put a price on, and they are priceless for someone who needs them.
When we give our time to someone who needs help or needs to talk about a problem we are giving a very precious gift indeed. Our time is all we have to live our life fully. If we can learn to share it, we will make another person’s day better, and improve our own too.
The power of a holistic education
One of the ways you can help your children at school is to give them a lot of books to read. Books tell stories about how other children behaved. They can also take the reader on wonderful adventures, and they will meet all manner of people and creatures. Many books teach values in a subtle way, and can demonstrate to children the long term positive effects of learning and practising them.
We should all lead by example and demonstrate the worth of living a life full of values. There are many more values than these mentioned here which we can teach our children along with the importance of reading, writing, and Maths. The essential thing to remember is that a child who is very bright and has done well at school is a loss to the world if he or she can’t use their intelligence to help others.
A well-rounded education that includes the basics and a set of values is the key to ensuring our children’s promising futures.
About the author – Susan Day
Susan Day is a children’s author and writer. Her blog, Astro’s Adventures Book Club, is full of ideas and tips for grandparents, parents and teachers to support them in helping children become better readers. As well, Susan has created a guide to help grandparents build a more meaningful relationship with their grandchildren through their love and passion for books.
Susan lives in country Australia with four dogs, three boss cats, three rescue guinea pigs, and an errant kangaroo. And, apart from blogging, writing and reading; she loves coffee, painting and learning to box.