Just read a great article about how parenting can help prepare children for school–I would take it a step farther and say that parenting prepares children for life. Unless your children are going to live like a recluse or maintain an anti-social lifestyle, teaching children to interact with others, be respectful of others, and empathetic (empathy is one of the most important traits that I want to instill in my boys) are important tools for a meaningful existence. This article from Australia was focused on school, but I really wished they focused on the broader picture, http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/lifestyle/a/-/health/12652204/good-parenting-helps-prepare-children/
My boys and I talk about everything. Simple things that seem so obvious to me. For example, if you have been invited to a party, you should not talk about the invitation or party at school in front of others who may not have been invited. It would hurt their feelings. About how to be inclusive and not exclusive. Treating everyone nicely. How to mediate, how to stand up for yourself AND others. Often we will read articles, books, or see something on TV and discuss the human reactions. I want my boys to be caring, kind, generous, and grateful.
I would love to see more articles about topics like this with concrete ideas for parents.
I love the idea of discussing “life scenarios” with kids–what would you do? Why? How would that make you feel? How would that make someone else feel? Why? Ethical solutions, empathy, and living as if you are not the only person in the world is one of the best gifts we can give our children.