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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

The job of a parent isn’t just to raise children — it is to raise future adults. The early years of childhood are the most formative, and the life lessons kids learn before the age of 10 are the ones most likely to stick with them throughout their lives. Check out these six important life lessons that you should teach your kids before they turn 10.

Honesty is always the best policy and teaching a child the value of honesty has to start early.

Life Isn’t Fair
This is a tough one, but kids need to learn it: Life isn’t fair. It’s important to teach your kids that no, they won’t get to do everything they want to do, and no, they might not make the basketball team, the cheerleading squad, or get the best grade in class. That’s okay, though. Kids need to learn and understand that life isn’t fair and some people get better breaks than others.

You Are Not the Center of the Universe
This is another important lesson that even many adults need to learn. Instilling in your child the truth that the world doesn’t revolve around them will make life better for everyone. Have you ever dealt with a twentysomething adult who expects to be catered to? It’s not fun.

If You Can’t Say Something Nice…
It’s an old saying that many people learn from their mothers: If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. It means that if your words are not encouraging or helpful, it’s probably best to just keep your mouth shut.

Do Unto Others
Yep, it’s The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. This means treat other people in the way you want to be treated — not the way you are being treated. If you want to be treated with kindness and respect, treat others that way — no matter how they are treating you.

Manners Are Important
Be a stickler for manners with your kids. Insist on hearing those precious words — please, thank you, I’m sorry, excuse me — from them. Expect your kids to always use their best manners and always say thank you.

Don’t Judge
Kids need to learn early on that they are not the judge and jury for others. Teach them that it is never okay to be judgmental. If they see someone who is dressed poorly or is being bullied, encourage them to show compassion and stick up for others. One way to help them learn this is to take your kids shopping for clothing they like at websites such as www.reemclothing.com, but keep your opinions to yourself. If your daughter wants to wear purple high tops with green tights and a pink shirt, who cares? If your son wants to wear a Spider-Man shirt with camo pants, let him.

Teaching values and important life lessons starts early with kids. Start in the cradle and be consistent by modeling these life lessons yourself. Talk with your kids and look for teachable moments. The life lessons you teach them while they are young will stick with them and serve them throughout their lives.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want to have wise kids.