The most important lessons to teach children

Last year, we went to Greece on holiday in a place called Nikita. Apart from Covid, there were fires across Greece. Prior to the trip, we pondered whether to cancel. There were so many risks of something going wrong, but the kids were adamant so off we went.  

There were very strict Covid rules in place in Greece which basically meant that we couldn’t drive around and were stuck in the hotel. And so, we swam and ate and swam and played volleyball on the charming beach of our hotel on the mediteranean. The four of us, even though we are rubbish at volleyball won quite a few games thanks to a French family that were really rubbish and later, a family from nothern Macedonia that were quite delightful but totally untalented in volleyball. Between winning volleyball matches that would embarrass any true volleballer and watching the incredible news of the Taliban take-over of Afghanistan, a video popped up in my feed of a guy explaining what he reckons is the most important thing to teach kids.


“Piss off!” he said dryly. The interviewer looked on wide eyed not quite believing his ears. “Many problems are because of not knowing when or how to tell people to piss off. If you teach your kids this, you would have done then a huge favour!” He grabbed a trolley and started to walk off. The interviewer looked like he was about to burst out laughing. I laughed and to my husbands’s horror sat the kids down and showed them the video. Like that man, I wholeheartedly believe that teaching kids about effecting their boundaries is a game changer.  It is the difference between putting up with an abusive spouse, staying on in a toxic work environment, tolerating poisonous people and just living a crappy life in the name of pleasing people. That and the following are important lessons that all kids deserve to be taught.

  1. 1.      Many things that we worry about don’t always happen. Often, it is better to just do things instead of spending all your time worrying.

  2. Never waste your time trying to prove to anyone that you are a good person. Just be good and kind. It is good for the soul.
  3. Be wary of people who are quick to tear others down. Remember that nothing will stop them from doing the same to you. Run and don’t look back.  If you can for some reason not get away, then do not engage them. They will poison your life.  
  4. 1.      Whatever it is you are looking to achieve, it is not worth making someone else feel worthless. It is too high a price to pay to reach your goals.

  5.           Know what is important to you. Do not let others define it for you. If you do not know who you are or what is important for you, someone will come along who will try to mould you into their own demented version.

  6.          Most people only do stuff that they think they can get away with. Remember this, especially when dealing with difficult people. The prospect of no consequences can turn regular nasty people into monsters.

  7.          If you have no way to hold a nasty person to account, then you must walk away. Whatever you are hoping to achieve is not worth the harm they will do to you.

  8.     Be your own best advocate. Just because something is important to you doesn’t mean that it is important to anyone else. Don’t wait for someone to speak for you.

  9. 1.      Always ask yourself what the real price of your decisions are. If you are not sure, ask yourself whether you can live with the consequences. It will give you clarity.

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