life lessons for kids

25 Essential Life Lessons for Kids

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Every parent wants their child to grow up to be a successful, happy adult. As parents, we intentionally try to teach useful life lessons for kids in our families. These life lessons can carry your child, not just through childhood, but through their entire lives. I’d like to share my favorite essential life lessons for kids to learn! These lessons will help them navigate through life’s challenges and set them up for success!

You deserve love and Respect

One of the most important things every person (whether 9 or 90) needs to know is that they deserve love and respect. No matter what anyone says or does, you are worthy of being treated with kindness and respect. I want my kids to know that they deserve to be treated well.

Tips for teaching this life lesson for kids:

Love and respect your kids! They will learn from your example. From you, they will know how best to love and respect themselves and others. Remind them often that it doesn’t matter who they are or what they’ve done, they deserve to be treated well. That they are loved.

Challenges make you stronger

Challenges make you stronger. Whenever you face a difficult situation, it is an opportunity to grow and learn. I want my kids to know that they shouldn’t be afraid of challenges! Even the hard challenges will help you grow.

Tips for teaching this life lesson for kids:

Help your kids identify their strengths and weaknesses. Encourage them to step out of their comfort zones and try new things. When they face difficulties, be there to support them and help them find solutions.

You are in control of your own happiness

No one else can control your happiness but you! You are the only one who can decide how you want to feel. I tell my kids all the time that if you want to be happy, make the choice to be happy!

Tips for teaching this life lesson for kids:

Help your kids understand their emotions. Teach them how to identify and manage their feelings. Encourage them to make choices that will lead to happiness!

No one is perfect

It might seem like other’s are perfect, but we all make mistakes. It’s a part of life! What’s important is that we learn from our mistakes and try not to make them again. I want my kids to know that if they mess up, they shouldn’t be themselves up about it – just pick yourself up and move on. Remember, challenges make you stronger!

Tips for teaching this life lesson for kids:

Help your kids to see mistakes as learning opportunities. Encourage them to be open about their mistakes and to talk about what they learned from them. Talk about your own mistakes. My kids always love to hear about the times when I have messed up or failed.

Finally, don’t be so hard on your kids when they do make a mistake. One time when my son was a toddler, he was so excited to help me make breakfast that he dropped an egg. I felt frustrated and was close to reprimanding him when I remembered that just the week before I had accidentally dropped an entire carton of eggs and broke every single one. Everyone makes mistakes and no one is perfect. Help your kids to see that.

Hard work is the magic of success

If you want to be successful in life, you need to put in the hard work! There is no magic formula for success. It takes dedication, determination, and perseverance. I want my kids to know that if you are willing to put in the effort, you can achieve anything you set your mind to!

Tips for teaching this life lesson for kids:

Help your kids set realistic goals. Encourage them to develop a strong work ethic. Teach them the value of hard work and perseverance. Work with your kids as often as possible. Help them with their chores. Let them help you with yours. Tell them about your goals and tell them about the times you’ve achieved your goals.

life lessons for kids

You are responsible for your own actions

No one else is responsible for your actions but you! You are in control of your own life and you need to make choices that are best for you! It’s so easy to let our kids think that they are being acted upon. That nothing is their fault. I want my kids to know that they make their own choices.

Tips for teaching this life lesson for kids:

Help your kids understand the consequences of their actions. Don’t let them use others as a scapegoat for poor choices. Encourage them to make choices that are best for themselves and others. Teach them to be responsible for their own happiness!

You are not alone

No matter what you’re going through in life, you are not alone. There is always someone who cares about you and is willing to help. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help! No one is truly alone.

Tips for teaching this life lesson for kids:

Help your kids identify their support system. This could be friends, family, teachers, and co-workers. Encourage them to reach out for help when they need it. Teach them that it’s okay to ask for help!

You are capable of great things

Never doubt yourself! You are capable of great things! Whatever you set your mind to, you can achieve it! Just believe in yourself and have faith. This was a message that my own mother drilled into me from a young age and it has served me so many times.

Tips for teaching this life lesson for kids:

Help your kids develop a positive growth mindset. Encourage them to think positively about themselves and their abilities. They were not just born with a limited set of abilities. They can learn and grow and become better at anything they are willing to work towards. Teach them to believe in themselves and their capabilities!

You won’t always get what you want

Life isn’t always fair. Sometimes you won’t get what you want, no matter how hard you try. But that doesn’t mean you should give up! Keep trying and working. Even if you don’t get exactly what you want, your efforts will lead you to something wonderful.

Tips for teaching this life lesson for kids:

Help your kids to accept that life isn’t always fair. Encourage them to persevere through difficult times. Find ways to demonstrate to your kids that equal is not always fair and fair is not always equal.

Not everything is about you

Remember that other people have feelings too! Just because something doesn’t affect you, doesn’t mean it’s not important to someone else. Be considerate of others and think about how your actions will affect them. I want my kids to understand that sometimes things are bigger than yourself. That people are often not thinking about you as much as you imagine they are.

Tips for teaching this life lesson for kids:

Help your kids to develop empathy. Encourage them to think about how their actions will affect others. Teach them to be considerate of others! Give them (and yourself) opportunities to help those around you. Volunteer as a family. Reach out to those in need.

Your thoughts matter

What you think matters! Your thoughts influence your actions and your emotions. You can change the world if you can change your thoughts.

Tips for teaching this life lesson for kids:

Help your kids to identify their negative thought patterns. Encourage them to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Teach them how their thoughts influence their emotions and actions! Show them how to use affirmations in a positive way.

Always be honest

The truth always comes out in the end, so it’s better to be honest from the start. Lying will only make things worse! Not to mention that being dishonest makes you feel icky. Be truthful and have integrity.

Tips for teaching this life lesson for kids:

Help your kids to understand the importance of honesty. Encourage them to be truthful in all situations. Teach them about the consequences of lying! Be truthful with them and others.

Treat others the way you’d like to be treated

Treat others how you want to be treated! It’s simple, but it’s something we all need to remember. Be kind, compassionate, and understanding.

Tips for teaching this life lesson for kids:

Help your kids to develop empathy. Encourage them to think about how their actions will affect others. Help them realize that what they put out into the world will come back to them at some point.

Not everything will be fun

In life, there will be times when you have to do things that you don’t want to do. It’s not always going to be fun and games! But it’s important to do your best and power through.

Tips for teaching this life lesson for kids:

Help your kids to develop a strong work ethic. Encourage them to persevere through difficult tasks. Do things together that are not fun, but are worthwhile.

Manners matter

Remember to say please and thank you! Manners matter, no matter what situation you’re in. Be polite and show respect to others.

Tips for teaching this life lesson for kids:

Help your kids to develop good manners. Encourage them to use please and thank you in all situations. Teach them the importance of being polite and respectful! Start from a young age if you can.

Learning is lifelong

You never stop learning! There’s always something new to learn, no matter how old you are. Embrace learning and never stop growing!

Tips for teaching this life lesson for kids:

Help your kids to develop a love for learning. Encourage them to ask questions and seek out new information. Teach them that learning is a lifelong process! Embrace situations in your family life that will help everyone to learn new things continually.

Show gratitude

Always be thankful for what you have! Be grateful for the good things in your life, no matter how small. Showing gratitude will make you a happier person!

Tips for teaching this life lesson for kids:

Help your kids to develop an attitude of gratitude. Encourage them to think about all the things they’re thankful for. Teach them how showing gratitude can make them happier! Help them to start a gratitude journal.

Need more ideas for teaching gratitude? Read: Free Printable Kids Gratitude Tree or teach them to write in a gratitude journal.

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Help others

One of the best things you can do in life is to help others. Not only does it make them happy, but it will make you happy too! So don’t be afraid to lend a helping hand!

Tips for teaching this life lesson for kids:

Help your kids to develop a sense of compassion. Encourage them to think about how they can help others. Do random acts of kindness as a family. Reach out to those who are in need. Lift neighbors and friends with your efforts. Include your children as you do this.

Not everyone will like you

You can’t please everyone, so don’t try! Just be yourself and accept that not everyone will like you. It’s okay!

Tips for teaching this life lesson for kids:

Help your kids to develop a strong sense of self-confidence. Encourage them to be true to themselves. Teach them that it’s okay if not everyone likes them! Tell them about the times that you’ve interacted with someone who didn’t like you and how you handled it.

You’ll never regret kindness

Kindness is always the right choice. You’ll never regret being kind to others, even if they don’t return the favor. So choose kindness whenever you can!

Tips for teaching this life lesson for kids:

Help your kids to develop a strong sense of empathy. Encourage them to think about how their actions will affect others. Teach them that kindness is always the right choice! Be kind to them. Model kindness to your kids. Be kind to them. Be kind to those around you, even people who can do nothing for you.

Choose your friends wisely

Not everyone is worth being friends with! Choose your friends wisely, and surround yourself with people who make you happy. Life is too short to waste on bad relationships!

Tips for teaching: Help your kids to develop a strong sense of self-confidence. Encourage them to be true to themselves. Teach them the importance of choosing their friends wisely! Make your home a haven for good friends.

Take care of your body

Your body is precious! Take care of it and treat it with respect. Eat healthy foods, exercise, and get enough sleep. Your body will thank you!

Tips for teaching this life lesson for kids:

Help your kids to develop good habits. Encourage them to eat healthy foods, exercise, and get enough sleep. Teach them the importance of taking care of their bodies by doing it yourself. Go on walks as a family. Cook healthy foods. Talk about the amazing things your body can do!

life lessons for kids

Make time for yourself

You need time to recharge, so make sure to schedule some “me” time into your busy life. Relax, do something you enjoy, and just take a break from the hustle and bustle!

Tips for teaching this life lesson for kids:

Help your kids to develop good habits. Encourage them to take breaks and relax. Teach them the importance of taking care of themselves by doing those things for yourself. Give your child downtime to relax and be alone if they want.

Manage your time well

Time management is a important skill to have in life. Learn how to prioritize, set goals, and stick to a schedule. It will make your life much easier!

Tips for teaching this life lesson for kids:

Help your kids to develop good habits. Encourage them to set goals and stick to a schedule. Be on time when you go places as a family. Express how happy it makes you when everyone is trying to be on time. Teach them the importance of managing their time well!

Manage your money well

Money management is a important skill to have in life. Learn how to save, budget, and invest your money. It will make your life much easier!

Tips for teaching this life lesson for kids:

Help your kids to develop good habits. Encourage them to save, budget, and invest their money. Teach them the importance of managing their money well. Give them opportunities to spend (and mis-spend) money. Talk them through money choices. Teach them how to manage their finances from a young age.

These are just a few of the essential life lessons that kids need to learn! As you’ve probably noticed, your child is more likely to learn something when you do it first. They are watching all you do. These essential life lessons for kids are best learned from parents who do them first.

life lessons for kids

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