15 things your kids will thank you for when they're older

You might be in the line of fire now, but they'll thank you later on. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK
You might be in the line of fire now, but they'll thank you later on. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK 

Our parents; we're sure they'd be well within their rights to say 'I told you so!' and snicker watching us have our turn with the trials and tribulations of being a parent. And we're sure many do.

Mostly though, we're blessed with their presence and we finally get all those things they went through with us, from endless monologues about hair to slammed doors, irrational tantrums and toileting accidents.

Here are 15 things your kids will thank you for when they're older. Be aware there is a potentially big spoiler within, so make sure younger kids who can read aren't around.

1. Giving birth to them

Whether they've brought a child into the world or not, they'll have some idea of what's at stake and how profound an experience it was to bring them into the world.

2. Giving tough love when they most needed it

Sometimes they need a big hug and other times they need to wake up to themselves. You're the one who decides when to give tough love and you're fair about it. They may not see it now, but they will.

3. Teaching the importance of a thank you note

Through having your own kids and a number of life years under your belt, you know the astonishing power of a thank you note. From handwritten notes, to doing something kind in return, being on the receiving end is one of life's delights. You may need to grit your teeth when they are reluctant, but they will see the value in it one day.

4. Putting up with hours of inane conversations

We get it, you're under the pump. A whole garbled mind full of Transformers, hairstyles, NERF gun modifications... basically kids talking AT you rather than with you. When you think back to your childhood and teenage obsessions, it's not hard to cringe a little when you realise you did the exact same thing to your parents and then realise how lovingly they handled it. Yours will love you just as much for it when they're older.

5. Keeping up the Santa/Easter Bunny/Tooth Fairy charade

So your 8 year old is beginning to ask questions about the legitimacy of Santa. The fact you retain your poker face, embellish a little story here and there will get you props when they're adults. You can go on pretending as long as you like - 30 years olds love pressies from Santa!

6. Checking they have their seatbelt on before every car ride

Keeping them safe has always been your number one priority and they'll understand this gesture of love once they're older.

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7. Letting them have the occasional faux sick day

Because let's face it, if they are generally great about going to school, faking a sickie is a mental health day. Go and have a treat at a cafe and laugh at stuff. They will remember it.

8. Introducing them to all your music from past decades

Only listening to kiddie music isn't a true music education. Break out your favourites and soon they'll be singing along to The Ramones, The Stones, Bowie, Duran Duran, Tina Turner, oh you name it, just put it ON. They'll carry those musical memories for life and will have an impressive repertoire of musical knowledge.

9. Teaching them to be the 'bigger person'

Knowing when to walk away from conflict is a great skill to have. When there's nothing to be gained from a disagreement but ongoing pain and destruction, walking away or extending an olive branch are great tools to use.

It can apply to many of life's situations. Teaching them not to get embroiled in the agendas and motivations of others, as well as to recognise when their own are misguided, will stand them in good stead.

10. Encouraging manners

Manners are the oil of society and they won't have an easy time of things if they haven't mastered the art of pleases and thank yous. You might feel like you're losing the battle when you remind them for the fiftieth time that day to say please or close their mouths while they eat, but the fact they'll be thanking you for it in 20 years is a sure sign it paid off.

11. Reassuring them it won't always be like this

When they're growing up, everything feels big. It is after all, the first time they are going through many of these emotional life experiences. You have some years on you now and know that things go up and down and all around in life. Reminding them it will get better, that it's not the end of the world, goes a long way to helping them towards a healthy mindset when things go awry.

12. Reminding them to go out and get the things they want in life

Barely anything of true value in life comes easily and they are learning that to get those things, they have to chase them. Self-motivation doesn't come naturally to everyone, but we as parents can go a long way in teaching our kids to seek what they desire in life; by encouraging them and enabling them to try things.

13. Teaching the art of nourishing themselves

With this one, you can lead by example. When they ask why you are going out by yourself or with friends without them, just tell the the truth. That to be a well-rounded person, everyone needs to do things for themselves.

It might be that weekly yoga class or coffee and cake with a friend. It can be anything at all and one critical part of nourishing one's self is demanding the time to do it. Their resilience relies to some extent on personal fulfillment and teaching them early that it is very important, is a gift.

14. Drinking lots of water and applying sunscreen

Yes, it's an obvious one. One they'll love you for when their gorgeous skin is glowing back at them from the mirror.

15. Banning sugar from hot beverages

With so much sugar being added to foods and drinks these days, the last thing they need is a spoonful or two of refined sugar in a tea, coffee or hot chocolate. Unnecessary calories, tooth decay and sugar highs and subsequent lows are not worth it. Plus, it tastes much better without it, when that's what you're used to.

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