What to teach a child

3 skills humanist parents should teach their child.

I am a humanist parent. But I’m not raising my child to be a Humanist. His philosophic orientation is for him to decide.  My job is to prepare him for life, and to make that decision for himself.  Here are the skills I think parents should be teaching their children.

Teach child to think critically
Teach child to be ethical
Teach child to be responsible

If a child can think critically, he/she/ze can weigh evidence and figure out what is true, sort of true, sort of not true and totally false for themselves.  Critical thinking provides the foundation for freedom of thought and without freedom of thought, we aren’t free.

I also want my child to have a strong moral compass. It isn’t enough to be logical and rational and able to decide what is true and false. That knowledge has to be put to good use. And to determine what is good and bad requires a moral code of some sort. I am teaching my son the importance of compassion because, to me, as a Humanist, this is the foundation of all moral reasoning.

Finally, I am trying to teach him to be responsible. I say trying, because he’s 8. Regardless, he has responsibilities in the house. He is responsible for his actions and he is expected to act in a way that causes as little harm to others as possible and when he errs, to apologize and make an effort to fix things.  He does this, very well. My goal is to help him understand that we are all interrelated and we are all morally obligated to make sure our impact on others is good and not bad and to do that, we have to consciously choose our actions, as much as we are capable of doing that. Again, he’s 8 and even if he wasn't we all have our moments (just ask my husband when I am cranky from lack of food).

If my son grows up to be a compassionate critical thinker who is a responsible person. I will have done my job.  What do you think are the most important skills we should be teaching our children?

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