Parenthood is rather a minefield. Between the difficulties of living up to your own expectations on how you parent, you have the judgement on social media and other platforms where people can see how you handle certain situations and form opinion from afar. The rules of parenthood have also changed, with it becoming more difficult to impart wisdom and discipline on children for fear of causing offence or hurting feelings.

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Fortunately, as a parent, you’ll learn very early on not to pay too much attention to what other people think. What you should pay attention to, is what you teach your children while they are young. The way we treat our children and how we speak to them at a young age is what shapes their whole future. Their convictions and beliefs come from their parents, so it makes sense that you would look upon the blank canvas that is your child and teach them thing like respectful behaviour, kindness, tenacity and generosity. The only lessons children need are those in love, even in a world full of hate.

The qualities you nurture in your children will shape the adult they become. So, if you were to teach your child that anger and revenge were the way to behave, or to ignore those needier than themselves, you’d be shaping a selfish adult. Happy people who understand various ways to give to charity are those who are to be looked up to. It makes sense that imparting a sense of generosity in our children as well as a selflessness can shape their giving behaviour later on. Generosity isn’t always about the physical aspects of giving, either. Generosity of spirit that extends to kindness and fairness is another trait that you want to instil in your child.

Patience and trust are two of the most fundamental qualities that children have to have fostered from a very early age. Trust in their parents to care for them and be there for them without breaking promises. Patience and grace to understand when other children aren’t being so kind, and yet treating them with patience and kindness regardless. These qualities aren’t ones that are natural; humans are naturally a selfish species. However, children are able to be moulded and nurtured in such a way that means that they grow with their qualities. You, as their loving parent, needs to be able to teach them the very behaviours you would want to see in a respectful, mature adult who can make good decisions.

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Children are easily influenced. They are little sponges of information that pick up every piece of negative and positive affirmations they hear in their little lives. They respond to violence and negativity with violence and pain. They respond to nurturing love with kindness and feeling. Children will emulate you and the way you behave, so really, the qualities you want to impart to them should initially be practised by you so that they could see how things should be.