I was on the phone the other day with someone, and we started talking about my kids. I told the person their ages (14 and 12) and immediately they said how fun of an age that is. The funny thing is this guy doesn’t even have kids, so his perspective is one of an uncle, brother, or his own experience growing up. It got me thinking about how much fun every different stage has been in the boys’ lives and how different each stage is.
My oldest is starting high school this fall which brings a whole new set of challenges for him. His world is about to change, and I need to make sure I am preparing him for it. That is a job I take very seriously as a father. He is about to step into a season of his life where he will be making more decisions on his own and these decisions can affect him in the short and long term. Time is precious and the clock is ticking, so I need to make sure to teach him well at an early age. Here are three important things to teach your kids before they start high school.
How to Manage Their Time
I have owned my own business for 17 years and for 8 of those I was also a minor league coach for the San Francisco Giants. Tack on doing my best to be a good husband and father and you become very good at being efficient. Time management is a huge thing to teach your kids at a young age. Here are some things they will most likely deal with in high school- increased homework, more competitive sports schedules, having a job, and possibly dating for the first time. Factor in getting 8 to 10 hours of sleep and your teenager has a lot on their plate. Teaching them about how their priorities need to come first is a great first step in helping them understand how to manage their time.
How to Manage Their Money
When your kids are in grade school most of their money comes in the form of gifts or doing chores around the house. They usually spend it on stuff like toys and candy and they don’t have a lot of fiscal things to consider. However, once your kids get their first job, they will have more money than ever before. They may even start paying some of their own bills like gas or car insurance. Sit down with them and show them how a budget works. By this point in their lives, they should already have a saving account, so talk to them about setting money aside and prioritizing their expenses. When you do this, you will be setting them up for financial success in the future.
“Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.”Proverbs 21:5, NLT
Academics Ahead of Athletics
The saying we had drilled into our minds in high school was No Pass-No Play. If your grades weren’t good enough, you sat on the sideline until they got better, and it was for a minimum of a week. This was not a decision made by a parent or coach. It was a state rule. Athletes can’t slack on grades and expect to still play. Also, the chance for them to play a collegiate sport (around 10% of all high school athletes play in college) is slim. That is not to discourage anyone, but to encourage them to bust their butt on and off the field. Their education will take them further than their athletic ability. Have them prioritize this at a young age and you will set them up for academic success in high school.
Here are three more things to teach your kids before high school starts:
- How to write a professional letter.
- How to do their own laundry.
- How to cook some basic meals.
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