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useful stuff to teach your kids

(55 Posts)
weejie Thu 02-Jun-11 23:46:31

I've been thinking about that post over the weekend where the not yet mum was going on about all the things she would do with her kids, ie they would speak a foreign language, play an instrument, eat their veg etc

well, I've been pondering. Lets face it, we are all on here, pretty engaged, care about our kids, trying to do out best.

Of course they'll be fine at school etc. But will they be dweebs or popular?

lets face it, which is going to seriously improve their quality of life - grade 2 in violin or being cool?

with that in mind, here is my list of things that I will do with my daughter to make her cool and popular in school and in later life

- be able to street dance. Imagine busting out those moves at the disco
- be able to ride a bike, swim, ride a horse, ski
-be able to do that lovely dive into the pool that looks so elegant
- ride a skateboard
- have long hair, at least until she is 12
- only play an instrument if it is any use in forming a band. Tuba out, guitar in
- have a sense of style (not fashion) and know what suits her
- know her on mind and have confidence in her own opinion
- a good knowledge of decent music. Am working on led zep, wu tang clan and minimal techno at the mo
- not to be scared of stuff such as insects, dogs, being high up

what have I missed?

(please, no one add, be able to put your posts on the right place in mumsnet...)

BooyHoo Thu 02-Jun-11 23:48:47

so you are teaching her that to be happy in life she has to be popular?

how about just teaching her to love herself for being exactly as she is and accepting others for being who tehy are.

cory Thu 02-Jun-11 23:50:05

I'll repeat what I said on the other thread- the big problem is that your dd will be a person in her own right and may have quite definite ideas on what kind of person she wants to be. This can be very very painful [sob].

emmanana Thu 02-Jun-11 23:50:07

Make a perfect Ice cold Strawberry Daquiri....

weejie Thu 02-Jun-11 23:50:35

no, i'm teaching her to do things that will lead to popularity rather than dweebdom.

my tongue is also firmly in my cheeck

bubblecoral Thu 02-Jun-11 23:51:28

You have missed teaching them that they are worthy people whether they are popular or not, and that fitting in with the crowd is not the most important thing in life.

cory Thu 02-Jun-11 23:52:11

Looking back on my own life I wonder if I really would have been happier if I had been cool and popular at school. I would have had fewer dreams, less of a drive to do something to achieve my own things...no, given that adult life lasts so much longer, I think it's better as it is.

weejie Thu 02-Jun-11 23:52:31

oh yes. mix great cocktails, although that will come later.

if I'm thinking long term I could add

- be able to play poker
- be able to play pool
- be an advanced driver

actually, lets just keep this form birth to 12, after that my influence my wain somewhat

weejie Thu 02-Jun-11 23:53:58

bubblecoral that was covered under the 'know her own mind' clause

MichaelaS Thu 02-Jun-11 23:56:38

why not teach her to sleep with all the popular football / rugby guys and give great head?

honestly.

i've done geeky, i've done uber cool and geeky is much more fun. embrace your inner physicist. enjoy star trek. take up knitting. heck, even play hockey competitively and learn to street dance IF that's what you're into. If not, you're teaching her to live a lie in order to buy friends who won't be her friends when they find out what she's really like. Unless you want her heading for anorexia, early suicide attempts or being the local bike I suggest you encourage her to take pride in who she is rather than in who people wish she was.

bubblecoral Fri 03-Jun-11 00:00:49

And I cross posted with your tounge in cheek comment.

i find it a little bit distasteful tbh, not sure why, probably just me being prissy!

I was one of the cool group at school, and I honestly think the 'square' girls were probably happier than me. It's hard work keeping your place in the cool group! Those girls are always a bit bitchy and love a good slagging off/shit stirring session, girls are better off out of it.

But, to go with the spirit of your post, I would say teach her how to dye her hair properly without getting dye on hands and her forehead, and how to self tan without getting streaks.

BooyHoo Fri 03-Jun-11 00:02:19

my 5 year old ds has his heart set on going to dance class. i am desperately trying to find one that will take him at 5. am i doing it because it will make him cool (most likely it wont when all his friends are playing football)? no i am doing it because it is something HE really wants to do. i dont care if he is 'cool' or not. i care that he is happy.

handsomeharry Fri 03-Jun-11 00:43:25

YABU.

Words fail me.

SarahStratton Fri 03-Jun-11 00:52:39

Spots, blackheads, eyebrows, exercise.

I have 4 older kids (teens) One of them plays the guitar and skates... two of them are 'geeks' but in the 'cool set' at school. (one now at Uni studying medicine so not done her any harm!) one has autism and learning difficulties.

The most important thing they can learn is that they are valuable in their own right. Just as the person they are.. if they are whacky and wild and original.. fine. If they are quiet and geeky... fine. If they are incredibly different to everyone... fine. You don't have to..and can't 'train' them to be popular etc but you can instil in them a clear sense of self. And that is what matters.....

( ps my wild child, skater boy, singer, guitarist kid is now the one giving me the most stress as he has to enter the adult world in a few weeks.... and he isn't ready!)

MillyR Fri 03-Jun-11 01:07:10

Street dancing has been the line dancing of this decade.

Why don't you teach her to dance properly, rather than following some silly fad?

Other than that, your list sounds peculiar. I think what kids should learn is how to relate to other people, how to develop their imagination and how to have a good, enjoyable and comical time. These things form what is known as a personality.

Your list makes the child sound like the hybrid spawn of Johnny Boden and a Miss World contestant.

nomedoit Fri 03-Jun-11 01:11:39

Err, how about "helping someone" and "not being a shallow, stuck-up princess". Are you for real?

BertieBotts Fri 03-Jun-11 01:11:39

Oooh bubble I wish someone had taught me that grin

AgentZigzag Fri 03-Jun-11 01:16:38

I know you've said it's tongue in cheek OP, but the posters saying 'teach them to love themselves and be happy with who they are' is a bit of a crock of shite.

I'm not saying it's not a good thing to try and teach a child self esteem/confidence, and it's all very well saying it in an abstract/parental way, but when you're in the playground with other children acting the way they normally do, it's not very helpful IMO.

To me it's on par with a DC being routinely bullied and the parent saying 'just ignore them' 'walk away' 'two wrongs don't make a fucking right'.

Cool does matter, and if you think it doesn't you were either extremely lucky when you were younger not to experience it, or you've forgotten.

Got to laugh at you thinking you influence will start to diminish at 12 OP, surely you must have little DC grin

BooyHoo Fri 03-Jun-11 01:18:29

agent it isn't a crock of shite at all. are you saying that we shouldn't teach our dcs to love and accept themselves?

Onceamai Fri 03-Jun-11 01:19:11

My mum taught me all of that. She was a consummate party girl, dancer, model and beauty queen. She taught me very well and I can do it all - the only problem was/is I was a bit of a nerd, never as beautiful or socially accomplished as her and never quite measured up in her eyes. My dd is a bit of a nerd, every bit as beautiful as my mother, not quite so alpha or so sociable and I'm doing my very best to let her be her own person. I just try to tell her she's brilliant rather than a plain jane failure. I do my best but as as far as my mother's concerned it still isn't good enough.

AgentZigzag Fri 03-Jun-11 01:27:33

No BooyHoo, I said you should teach them self esteem and confidence in themselves, but this does need to be balanced with the reality of the playground and peer groups.

You can say to your DC that what their friends say to them/think about them doesn't matter (I do to mine) but it actually does matter - to the child.

It shouldn't, and in the adult world we can rationalise that feeling, but to some children it matters a lot, and I don't think it's helpful to brush those fears off as though they're insignificant.

Like it, don't like it, it doesn't change what it feels like to be in that situation.

But balance between the two is the key, in my mind anyway.

thumbwitch Fri 03-Jun-11 01:32:25

ok, I know you said it was tongue in cheek - but who knows what the next generation will find "cool" (and it certainly won't be that word!!)

all you can really do is to teach your child:
to be confident in their own choices and take no particular notice of the "popular" crowd
to be kind and courteous to everyone
to take advantage of any opportunity presented to them to learn new things
to swim (this is a critical lifeskill IMO)
to find happiness within rather than relying on dubious and often transient friends to provide it

There are probably others. But that'll do for starters.

BooyHoo Fri 03-Jun-11 01:32:26

of course that stuff matters to a child. nobody is saying that we should tell dcs to ignore teh negative stuff taht is said to tehm by otehr dcs. that stuff and the child's feelings about it need to be acknowledged and talked through. but telling them to grow tehir hair long and play guitar isn't going to create a protective barrier around them. if you (i mean in general, not you personally) think that 'making' your child teh cool kid is going to protect them then taht is really naive. far better to instill in them a sense of pride in who they are, a love for who tehy are and respect for others being who tehy are.

Goodynuff Fri 03-Jun-11 01:37:48

I teach them to put others at ease, to express themselves clearly, and to trust their own instincts. They've done ok so far.

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