Parents·Posted on Oct 6, 201427 Things Every Parent Should Teach Their ChildYou’re your kids' first teacher. Be their best, too.by Mike SpohrBuzzFeed StaffFacebookPinterestTwitterMailLink 1. To live an active life. Pixar The future of mankind may look like the blobs in Wall-E, but your kids don’t have to. 2. To express their feelings. Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF 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. Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF 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. Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Oxygen 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. Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF 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. Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Fox 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. Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF NBC 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. Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF Pixar/Disney 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. Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF gifbin.com 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. Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF 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. Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF ABC 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. Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF NBC Being pushed around is no way to live a life. 22. Courtesy Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF BBC 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. Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF HBO 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. Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF 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. Tap to play or pause GIF Tap to play or pause GIF 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!