The world is a scary place, especially when it comes to raising children and teaching them how to be decent, kindhearted people. You may tell them one thing, but then they go out and see the exact opposite everywhere they go. Here are seven lies the world will try to teach your children unless you show them otherwise:
Lie #1: If it makes you feel good, do it
Many things are acceptable in our world today that would have never been permitted 10 years ago. Now, society turns a blind eye and encourages free-for-all behavior. They'll say, "If it makes you feel good, do it," regardless of the consequences and effects your actions might have on others.
Kids have drugs, alcohol and sex flung at them from everywhere, and many become lifelong victims to addiction. Instill in your children a value system that they can live by. They need some form of stability in their lives amidst an ever-changing environment.
We live in a world driven by technology. Kindergarteners now have cell phones, and Internet access is more available than ever.
The world will tell children that pornography is a natural part of life. Television shows, movies, video games, music, social media and other forms of media will mask the reality of this harmful poison.
Put safeguards in place and develop guidelines to help protect your children from the damaging effects of pornography.
Lie #3: It's all about you
The world preaches that if you want it, then you should have it. If you don't like something then it should be changed so that you do. It's all about you. This attitude of entitlement can worsen as children grow older.
Help your kids understand that life isn't all about having exactly what they want when they want it. Things take time and you can't have certain things without putting in the work to get them.
This falsehood encourages children to take as much as they can and always look for ways to get more. Little focus is placed on giving back and helping others who don't have as much. When was the last time, if ever, you saw a child take only one cookie at a social gathering?
Help your children experience the happiness that comes from serving others. Teach them to consider others' needs in addition to their own.
Lie #5: Family doesn't matter
The family and its core values are under constant attack. The world views family as a personal choice. If you want to be a part of one, fine, but if not, who cares? This kind of lie gives kids the idea that relationships within the family are indispensable; that they can be replaced.
While it's important for children to have good friends, family should always come first. There is no friend, teacher, teammate or babysitter who can love your child like you can.
This is an obvious lie that affects everyone, but can be especially damaging to children. Young girls are under constant pressure to look "sexy" and "thin," while young boys feel they have to be big and muscular.
Kids idolize movie stars, professional athletes and singers whose airbrushed photos are plastered everywhere. Social media only makes the situation worse as kids constantly compare themselves to their friends. Eating disorders and other harmful habits can be avoided if children are taught that they are beautiful the way they are.
Lie #7: You can't be happy unless ...
Abraham Lincoln said, "Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be." The world's view is different. Their perspective is more focused on circumstances.
Society says you can only truly be happy if you have lots of friends, money, fame, or look a certain way. Teach your kids that happiness is a choice - a way of living. Teach them gratitude and let them know that they are in control of their own happiness.
Remember that if you don't teach your children, the world will. Your children look to you for guidance. Love them enough to teach them life's simple truths and show them a different world.
Alex recently graduated with a degree in public relations and is now working as an intern helping to produce content for FamilyShare.com. Apart from writing, he enjoys sports, backpacking and spending time with his amazing family.