Skip To Content

    27 Things Every Parent Should Teach Their Child

    You’re your kids' first teacher. Be their best, too.

    1. To live an active life.


    The future of mankind may look like the blobs in Wall-E, but your kids don’t have to.

    2. To express their feelings.

    Paramount Pictures

    Your kids ability to say “I love you,” or to calmly express their unhappiness, will be key to their having healthy relationships in the future.

    3. The importance of always using sunscreen.

    Universal Pictures

    Skin cancer is no joke, but people who regularly use sunscreen will be more likely to avoid it, not to mention look younger than their years.

    4. How to drive safely.

    Warner Bros.

    Kids learn their future driving habits by watching you, so put away your phone and cut out the road rage.

    5. To care for their teeth.

    20th Century Fox

    Kids with good dental hygiene will save lots of money on dental bills down the road.

    6. To avoid unnecessary drama.


    Everyone knows that one person who makes a big freaking deal out of everything. Don’t let your kid be that person.

    7. To be civic minded.

    Paramount Pictures

    Teach your kids to rock the vote.

    8. To love to read.

    TriStar Pictures

    Instill a lifelong love affair with the written word.

    9. How to unplug from time to time.

    Flickr: elsombrerodepensar / Via Creative Commons

    Our kids have no idea what life was like before everyone had a smart phone and Facebook account, but you do. Show them.

    10. To accept disappointment and move on.


    No parent likes to see their kid suffer a disappointment, but you don’t want yours to lose weeks (or even months) wallowing every time one happens.

    11. How to cook.


    Your kids don’t need to be pint-sized Wolfgang Pucks, but knowing basic skills in the kitchen will serve them well once they’re on their own.

    12. Secret family recipes.

    Flickr: airship / Via Creative Commons

    Show your kids how to make grandma’s famous dishes, and they’ll more than likely be making them long after you’re gone.

    13. Internet safety.


    It’s a good idea to teach your kids they should turn down that friend request from CreepyGuy19.

    14. To care for the earth.

    Flickr: healthebay / Via Creative Commons

    It’ll be their home long after you’re gone.

    15. How to sew a button, fix a rip, or iron a shirt.

    Life is good when popping a button isn’t a total catastrophe.

    16. The value of hard work.

    Flickr: normalityrelief / Via Creative Commons

    It doesn’t matter if it’s in school or anywhere else. Working hard pays a lot more dividends than sitting on your butt.

    17. To do things even when they’re afraid.

    Universal Pictures

    You want your kids to figure out how important this is long before you did.

    18. What it was like when you were a kid.

    Flickr: jenniferboyer / Via Creative Commons

    Telling stories from your childhood is not only a great way to bond with your kids, but it helps them to understand their place in the world.

    19. To be themselves.


    You want your kids to know they should never let societal expectations change who they are.

    20. How to balance a check book.

    Flickr: adamthelibrarian / Via Creative Commons

    Okay, so your kids might not need to literally know how to balance a checkbook, but teaching them how to handle their finances is important.

    21. To stand up for themselves.


    Being pushed around is no way to live a life.

    22. Courtesy


    Teaching kids to be courteous will keep them from growing up to be like “Grumpy Dave” in accounting.

    23. To develop contacts and network.

    Photo by Floor van de Velde via Josephine Dorado / Via Flickr: funksoup

    This is crucial to getting ahead, but many young people have no idea how to do it.

    24. Not to hold grudges.


    Grudges only create negative feelings as long as they’re held onto. Let go of yours, and your kids will do the same one day.

    25. To understand that others have it worse than they do.

    Flickr: yourdon / Via Creative Commons

    It’ll help your kids keep their struggles in perspective.

    26. To do all things in moderation.

    Columbia Pictures

    Knowing when to say when at a party, or to turn off the Xbox and go outside, is invaluable.

    27. To love themselves.

    Screen Gems

    If you can teach your kids to see themselves as you see them, you’ll have done one heck of a job.

    Want more great parenting tips? Sign up for the weekly BuzzFeed Parents newsletter!