I have been doing a lot of reading on brain development in the early years and I think it is important for parents to play an active role in a child's development. I have collected all sorts of articles on teaching children to talk, read, and truly enjoy learning. With all of this reading, I started to think of all of the things that I would want to teach my son someday...
- A language. Young children have the capability to learn 24 new words each day. I think it is important to expose children to another language. Language is an important skill that will help to develop his eager brain and serve him well someday if he chooses to be a part of the business world.
- To play an instrument. Reading music and developing an appreciation for the arts is great for a developing mind. The brain is a muscle...and in my opinion must be exercised. Numerous studies have shown that children who play an instrument, particularly the piano, score higher on both standard and spatial cognitive development tests alike.
- To ski. I grew up skiing and so did Jeff. It is a sport that we can enjoy as a family and will teach our little man to pick himself up after he falls and try again.
- To cook. OK, this might seem a little "dainty," to some, but cooking is an important life skill to everyone...not just women. By teaching a child to prepare meals for himself, it encourages healthy eating and responsibility for one's own health and well being.
- To mind his own business. My parents taught me the value of a dollar at an early age. I always had a job and learned to value hard work and the rewards that hard work can bring. They also taught me to budget and to mind my own finances. Money is a taboo subject, but it is one that faces every individual every day. I want my son to build a healthy relationship with money and to understand the importance of budgeting/saving.
-To be bold. I would like for my son to be bold - to hold true to his own values and convictions. This is not to say that I expect my son to be a saint. I just want him to stand up for what he believes in, even if the person he is standing up to is me.
This is a pretty "bold" list to make. If I accomplish one thing on this list, I will be happy. I have read that it is unhealthy to set expectations on a child before he/she is even born. I wouldn't say that I am setting expectations, I would just say that I am excited to have my son in my life and want the best of everything for him. If he hates learning a language or playing the piano, that is fine by me. I would just like him to have the opportunity to try new things and to find what truly makes him happy in life.