It is easier to be a successful adult if you have mastered an understanding of life as a child. There is nothing worse than wondering once you reach the age of 25 who you really are? Or wasting 10 years in a career only to realize that you don’t even like the career field. Help your child or a child you know avoid those common pitfalls with the steps below.

1. Help them understand the value of a dollar When kids become accustomed to receiving money and/or gifts on a regular basis, they began to think nothing required of them to receive a gift. Help the kids put things into perspective. While paying bills (something you are expected to do) tell them how much things cost. When they understand how much money is required for simple necessities, they will be able to put things into perspective. So the next time they request a new game system, ask them how much does that system cost. Once they answer they will also be able to understand which bill, or how many bills could be paid with that ONE game system. This will help them make wise financial choices as they grow into adulthood.

2. Ensure that they have a relationship with every generation At times kids do not respect their elders, because they cannot put any elders in perspective. Sure, every kid knows an elder, but do they have a relationship with one? Do they respect them? If they believe that the old are just wrinkly people and those younger are equally useless, how will they appreciate that every generation is required to make the world move? Being able to deal with every generation will allow your child to understand them all even as adults and will foster into their success.

3. Take them out of their comfort zone Some kids laugh at the less fortunate or envy the more fortunate. Usually this is because they think they have nothing in common with these people, but they do. In order for a child to understand this, they must frequent space with these people. Let them attend festivals that are culturally all-inclusive, or volunteer time at a homeless shelter. Kids will be less apt to feel uncomfortable around people who are not like them, if they can reminisce on an experience they have had with that same type of person. This will help accept opportunities in the future, that they would normally avoid because it seems different to what they are accustomed to.

4. Help them visualize their future Anyone can be unhappy with their current situation, but hope of something better can instantly change their mood. This is the same with a child. If their day constantly consists of being ridiculed at school, ridiculed at home, or just a simply boring day, help them visualize an ideal future for themselves. After they have dreamed this wonderful future, ask them how they will reach it. Help them do this on a regular basis. Once it becomes an habitual task, help them move a step further by writing these goals and plans down in a journal. They can check back with their goals as often as possible to update or change them and most importantly, they would’ve built up their own hope for their future. Envisioning a hopeful future will help them as an adult follow only the steps that lead to their visualized future.

5. Ensure that the child has a relationship with Both parents Half of everyone’s behavior, thoughts, personality and character comes from two different people. When a child lacks a relationship with one half of who they are, it will leave an invisible void. It will take that much longer, for the child to figure out who they are as a person, when they do not have the key to half of who they are. Personally knowing their parent’s character flaws will ensure that they can master their own.

6. Be the adult, that you envision them to be All people are different, so there is a great chance that your child’s personality isn’t quite the same as yours, however that does not mean that you can’t show them the person they need to be. Do not harp on them to be responsible, if this is something that you cannot do. Do not yell at them for being messy, if you are messy. Do not become upset with them not completing their school assignments, if you cannot complete your work assignments. Use that negative energy to become the adult you want them to be, then lead by example. They will then know how to be a successful adult, because they had a front row seat to watching one.

7. Help them understand balance There are many parts of our individual lives that lead to our ultimate happiness. If too many areas of our lives are low while other areas are high, that is going to affect our moods. Kids need to have an understanding of that. It is hard to be happy about a big promotion, if you find out that your loved ones are terminally ill. Once they grasp this, they can pinpoint their sense of unhappiness as well as others around them.

8. Teach them how to learn through other people’s mistakes This is the only place where the media may play a positive role. Real life (and fake life) all over our internet, television screens, apps, and radio channels can display some drastic human mistakes. The best way to overshadow the negative that your child has experienced, is to ask what he/she believes was done wrong and what could have been done differently. Once they learn how to learn from the mistake of others, they can experience life by making less of their own mistakes (which could be detrimental to their future).

9. Teach them how to reflect on their day The upside to making mistakes is to learn from them. Advise your child to take a few moments at the end of the day to reflect upon it. What were the good things that happened? What things were not so good? How could they have a better day on the next? Reflecting on their day will help them become mindful of their actions. Soon, when your child finds himself/herself in a similar previous position, they will think about the last outcome and how to get their most favorable outcome. After mastering this throughout their childhood, they will almost be able to do this without thinking as adults.

10. Teach them to appreciate differences Every person on earth is different and this is what makes the days so exciting. If everyone acted, looked, responded in the same manner, there would not be much to look forward to. Teach your child to appreciate this. How cool would it be if they had longer/shorter hair? If they were taller/shorter? If they had or didn’t have siblings. Once your child learns to appreciate differences, they will learn how to work with those differences which can help them become successful themselves.

-Know Thyself