'There are three essential skills all parents should teach their children.'

This is Miranda Marcus’ response to the question ‘What essential or practical skills should parents teach their children?‘ on Quora.

Critical thinking

I want them to be able to think logically, to visualise the consequences of their decisions and learn how to adjust their actions to achieve the most optimal results.

I don’t want them to float through a life shaped by external influences accepted as immovable forces, doomed to have their spirit degraded by self-pity and unfulfilled potential. I want them to be self-driven. I want them to see obstacles as opportunities to change, not reasons to give up.

I want them to not only believe they can do anything they want, but to be able to envision all the steps needed to make it happen. I want them to chase their dreams, whatever those might be, with open eyes and careful planning.

Healthy self-esteem

I want my kids to never doubt their own self-worth. Sure I don’t want them to be egoists either, but even that is better than considering suicide because you don’t feel like a worthwhile use of space.

I want my kids to know that their own ideas and feelings are important and to defend those. I want them to be able to recognise emotional, mental, and physical abuse and have the confidence to not accept it.

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I don’t want them to feel undeserving of things they’ve worked to achieve.

A sense of wonder

I want them to be able to truly enjoy those small miracles that happen everyday.

The way the sun slants through the trees, the perfect bend of grass blown by a hot autumn breeze, the tingling feel of a captured bug, the night music of the frogs and the morning music of the birds.

The smell of new paper, the smooth glide of an ink pen, the taste of a freshly brushed mouth, the soft warmth of clothes just out of the dryer, the thrill of a new story.

To find joy in these simple things, perhaps that is the greatest gift of all.

I think if my kids had these three skills I would never have to worry if they knew how to change a tire or fix a drain or balance a check book. Because with critical thinking they could figure out a way, with healthy self-esteem they can avoid poor relationships both personally and professionally, and with a sense of wonder they can always find happiness.

This article was originally posted on Quora and has been republished with full permission. You can find the original article here.

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