Parenting is a journey filled with joys, challenges, and countless opportunities for growth. As parents, one of our most important roles is to guide and teach our children as they navigate the complexities of life.

While academic success and extracurricular achievements are undoubtedly valuable, there are certain fundamental lessons that every child should learn (that most adults were never taught) to thrive in the world. These lessons go beyond the classroom and the sports field, shaping their character, values, and outlook on life.

Let us explain to you 11 essential concepts that you should teach your kids, from empathy and resilience to financial literacy and gratitude.

Instilling these concepts lessons early on, can empower your kids to become compassionate, resilient, and responsible individuals who are equipped to face life’s challenges with confidence and grace.

1. Teach mental models

bored kids

Mental models are tools for your mind. Let’s delve into each of these concepts:


Inversion is a powerful problem-solving technique that involves flipping the problem upside down and considering it from a different perspective. Instead of focusing solely on how to achieve a desired outcome, inversion encourages individuals to identify and eliminate obstacles or barriers that may prevent them from reaching their goals.

Asking questions such as “What could go wrong?” or “What actions should I avoid?”, so individuals can anticipate potential pitfalls and develop proactive strategies to mitigate risks and increase the likelihood of success.

Inversion encourages critical thinking, creativity, and flexibility, enabling individuals to approach challenges with a broader mindset and uncover innovative solutions that may have been overlooked otherwise.


Incentives play a crucial role in shaping human behavior and motivating individuals to take specific actions or make certain decisions. Whether they are positive or negative, explicit or implicit, incentives influence our choices and behaviors in profound ways.

As parents, it’s important to teach children about the power of incentives and how they can be used to achieve desired outcomes. By understanding the concept of incentives, children can learn to evaluate the consequences of their actions, weigh the costs and benefits, and make informed decisions that align with their goals and values.

Teaching children to recognize and respond to incentives empowers them to navigate complex social and economic situations with confidence and integrity.

First Principles

First principles thinking is a problem-solving approach that involves breaking down complex problems into their fundamental truths or foundational elements and then building solutions from the ground up.

Instead of relying on analogies or past experiences, first principles thinking encourages individuals to question assumptions, challenge conventional wisdom, and approach problems with fresh eyes.

Understanding the underlying principles governing a situation, so individuals can identify new opportunities, generate innovative ideas, and develop more effective solutions.

Teaching children to embrace first principles thinking fosters creativity, curiosity, and independent thinking, equipping them with the skills they need to tackle challenges and adapt to change in an ever-evolving world.

Feynman Technique

The Feynman Technique is a learning strategy named after the physicist Richard Feynman, who famously believed that if you couldn’t explain a concept simply, you didn’t truly understand it. The technique involves four steps Choose a concept, Teach it to a child, Identify Gaps in your Understanding, and Review and Simplify.

Simply, teaching a concept to someone else, individuals are forced to confront their own gaps in understanding and clarify their thoughts in simple terms.

This process not only reinforces learning but also helps individuals identify areas where they need to deepen their understanding or seek additional information.

When incorporating the Feynman Technique into their learning process, children can develop a deeper understanding of complex concepts, improve their communication skills, and cultivate a lifelong love of learning.

The more tools you have, the more problems you solve.

2. Teach emotional intelligence


Love is a profound and fundamental emotion that transcends boundaries and shapes our connections with others.

Teaching children about love goes beyond mere affection; it involves nurturing empathy, kindness, and understanding towards themselves and others. When demonstrating unconditional love and acceptance, parents lay the foundation for healthy relationships and emotional well-being.


Children learn to express love through acts of kindness, gratitude, and compassion, fostering a sense of belonging and connection within their families and communities.

Teaching children about love empowers them to cultivate meaningful relationships based on trust, respect, and mutual support, ultimately enriching their lives and the lives of those around them.


Sympathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, especially during times of difficulty or hardship.

Teaching children about sympathy involves fostering empathy and compassion towards those who are experiencing pain, suffering, or adversity.

Encouraging children to recognize and validate the emotions of others, parents can help them develop a deeper understanding of human emotions and experiences. Through acts of kindness, support, and empathy, children learn to offer comfort and solace to those in need, fostering a sense of empathy and connection within their communities.

Teaching children about sympathy instills values of kindness, compassion, and social responsibility, empowering them to make a positive difference in the lives of others.


Politeness is a fundamental aspect of social etiquette that involves showing respect, consideration, and courtesy towards others. Teaching children about politeness goes beyond mere manners; it involves instilling values of respect, empathy, and gratitude towards others.

By modeling polite behavior and encouraging children to use polite language and gestures, parents help them navigate social interactions with confidence and grace.

Politeness fosters positive relationships, fosters a sense of belonging, and promotes mutual respect and understanding within communities.

Teaching children about politeness empowers them to navigate diverse social settings with confidence and respect, ultimately contributing to a more harmonious and inclusive society.


Compassion is the ability to recognize and alleviate the suffering of others, accompanied by a desire to help and support them. Teaching children about compassion involves nurturing empathy, kindness, and altruism towards those who are less fortunate or in need.

By encouraging children to empathize with others and take positive action to alleviate their suffering, parents help them develop a sense of social responsibility and empathy.

Through acts of kindness, generosity, and empathy, children learn to make a positive impact on the lives of others, fostering a sense of connection and solidarity within their communities.

Teaching children about compassion empowers them to become caring, compassionate individuals who contribute to the well-being of others and make the world a better place.

Empathy helps you think from the other perspective, giving you a better understanding of life.

3. How to make a decision

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Incentives play a crucial role in shaping human behavior and driving decision-making processes. Whether they are intrinsic or extrinsic, incentives influence our choices and actions in profound ways.

When understanding the concept of incentives, individuals can make informed decisions that align with their goals, values, and priorities.

However, it’s important to recognize that incentives can sometimes lead to unintended consequences or undesirable outcomes. For example, excessive reliance on monetary rewards may undermine intrinsic motivation or lead to unethical behavior. Therefore, it’s essential to carefully evaluate the incentives at play and consider their potential impact on individual and collective well-being.

Pros and Cons

Understanding the pros and cons of a decision or course of action is essential for making informed choices and weighing the potential benefits and drawbacks. By conducting a thorough analysis of the advantages and disadvantages associated with different options, individuals can make decisions that align with their goals, values, and priorities.

However, it’s important to recognize that decision-making is often complex and multifaceted, and there may be trade-offs or uncertainties to consider.

Therefore, it’s essential to approach decision-making with humility, open-mindedness, and a willingness to adapt and learn from experience.

Goals and Values

Goals and values serve as guiding principles that shape our priorities, aspirations, and behavior. By clarifying our goals and values, we can establish a sense of purpose and direction in our lives and make decisions that align with our long-term objectives.

Whether they are personal, professional, or societal, goals and values provide a framework for decision-making and prioritization.

However, it’s important to ensure that our goals and values are aligned with our authentic selves and reflect our true desires and aspirations. By regularly reassessing our goals and values and making adjustments as needed, we can stay true to ourselves and lead fulfilling and meaningful lives.

Game Theory (40% knowledge is enough for action)

Game theory is a mathematical framework that is essential to teach your kids for analyzing strategic interactions between rational decision-makers. One of the key insights of game theory is that in many situations, individuals can make decisions based on partial or incomplete information and still achieve favorable outcomes.

This concept is often summarized as “40% knowledge is enough for action,” meaning that individuals can make decisions based on limited information and adapt their strategies as new information becomes available.

However, it’s important to recognize that decision-making under uncertainty involves risks and uncertainties, and there may be unintended consequences or unforeseen outcomes.

Therefore, while partial knowledge may be sufficient to take action, it’s essential to approach decision-making with caution, humility, and a willingness to learn and adjust course as needed.

4. Teach how to write

Writing is not just a means of communication; it is a powerful tool for clarifying thoughts, sparking creativity, and shaping the world around us. When we put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, we engage in a process of discovery and exploration, uncovering new insights and perspectives along the way.

Writing forces us to organize our thoughts coherently, articulate our ideas clearly, and refine our arguments persuasively.

Whether we’re composing essays, stories, or even simple emails, the act of writing helps us make sense of the world and our place within it.

Moreover, the path to becoming a proficient writer is paved with two essential practices reading and writing. Reading exposes us to a diverse range of styles, voices, and genres, expanding our vocabulary, sharpening our grammar, and deepening our understanding of storytelling techniques.

Immersing ourselves in the works of others, we can gain valuable insights into the craft of writing and cultivate our own unique voice and perspective.

However, reading alone is not enough. To truly hone our writing skills, we must also write—a lot. Just as athletes improve through practice and repetition, writers refine their craft through regular writing sessions.

Whether it’s journaling, blogging, or working on a novel, the act of writing regularly helps us develop our writing muscles, build confidence, and experiment with different styles and genres.

pen is mightier than the sword

In the words of Edward Bulwer-Lytton, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” This age-old adage underscores the transformative power of words and the profound impact that well-crafted writing can have on individuals, communities, and societies.

From inspiring revolutions to sparking social change, writers throughout history have wielded their pens as weapons of persuasion, enlightenment, and empowerment.

In today’s digital age, where information is disseminated at lightning speed and communication knows no bounds, the importance of writing has never been greater.

Whether we’re crafting persuasive arguments, telling compelling stories, or sharing our thoughts with the world, writing allows us to connect with others, bridge divides, and shape the narrative of our lives.

So let us embrace the pen as our sword, wielded not for destruction but for creation; not for division but for unity. Let us teach our kids to write boldly, write passionately, and write with purpose, knowing that our words have the power to inspire, to educate, and to change the world.

5. How to argue


To argue effectively, all you need is a combination of basic logic, a clear understanding of your beliefs backed by thorough research, the ability to set aside emotions that might cloud judgment, and an open mind to consider other perspectives.

First and foremost, basic logic serves as the foundation of any compelling argument. This involves constructing a coherent and rational line of reasoning, supported by evidence and sound principles of deduction.

Teach your kids to follow logical principles such as premise-conclusion relationships and avoiding fallacies, you can strengthen the validity of your argument and persuade others more effectively.

Furthermore, it’s essential to have a solid grasp of your own beliefs and values, as well as the evidence and research that support them. This requires thorough preparation and a willingness to engage in critical thinking and analysis.

Teach the kids that conducting research and gathering relevant information, can bolster the credibility of their argument and anticipate potential counterarguments.

Equally important is the ability to approach arguments with a clear and rational mindset, free from the influence of emotions that might cloud judgment. Emotions such as anger, frustration, or defensiveness can hinder your ability to think logically and objectively, leading to flawed reasoning and ineffective communication.

When maintaining emotional composure and focusing on facts and evidence, you can present your argument more convincingly and increase your chances of persuading others.

Lastly, an open mind is crucial for engaging in constructive dialogue and considering alternative perspectives. Being open to new ideas and viewpoints allows you to expand your understanding, challenge your assumptions, and refine your arguments.

Through actively listening to opposing viewpoints and seeking common ground, you can foster meaningful discussions and bridge the gap between differing opinions.

In conclusion, effective argumentation requires a combination of basic logic, a thorough understanding of one’s beliefs and research, the ability to set aside emotions, and an open mind to consider other perspectives.

By mastering these elements, you can construct compelling arguments, engage in productive dialogue, and ultimately, persuade others to see your point of view.

6. Teach money basics

kids travel

To argue effectively, one must understand and utilize key concepts such as leverage, incentives, trade-offs, and supply and demand. These elements form the basis of persuasive arguments and enable individuals to construct logical, compelling cases.


Leverage refers to the strategic advantage or influence that one party possesses in a given situation. In argumentation, leverage can be used to strengthen one’s position and sway the opinions of others.

Whether it’s access to valuable information, authority on a subject, or the ability to offer desirable outcomes, leverage empowers individuals to negotiate more favorable terms and achieve their objectives.

Through identifying and leveraging their strengths effectively, individuals can build stronger arguments and increase their chances of success.


Incentives are the driving forces behind human behavior, influencing individuals to take specific actions or make certain decisions. Understanding incentives is crucial for constructing persuasive arguments that resonate with the interests and motivations of your audience.

When appealing to the self-interest or values of others, individuals can create compelling reasons for them to support their position or take desired actions.

Whether it’s offering rewards, appealing to altruism, or highlighting potential benefits, aligning incentives with the goals of your audience can increase the effectiveness of your argument.


Trade-offs are the sacrifices or compromises that individuals must make when faced with competing options or priorities. In argumentation, acknowledging and addressing trade-offs is essential for presenting a realistic and balanced perspective.

Through weighing the costs and benefits of different courses of action, individuals can make informed decisions and anticipate potential challenges or consequences.

Acknowledging trade-offs also demonstrates credibility and honesty, as it shows a willingness to confront the complexities of the issue at hand. By presenting trade-offs in a transparent and thoughtful manner, individuals can build trust with their audience and strengthen the persuasiveness of their argument.

Supply and Demand

Supply and demand are fundamental economic principles that govern the allocation of resources and the pricing of goods and services. In argumentation, understanding supply and demand dynamics can help individuals anticipate and address the needs and preferences of their audience.

So, if you teach your kids how to offer solutions or proposals that address existing demand or create new demand, individuals can increase the relevance and impact of their argument. Similarly, by highlighting scarcity or urgency, individuals can create a sense of value and importance around their position.

By aligning their argument with the principles of supply and demand, individuals can increase its persuasiveness and appeal to their audience’s interests and priorities.So, leveraging key concepts such as leverage, incentives, trade-offs, and supply and demand is essential for constructing persuasive arguments and influencing the opinions and actions of others.

Understanding these elements and incorporating them into their argumentation strategies, so individuals can increase their effectiveness as communicators and achieve their objectives more successfully.

Instil a message of prosperity, not scarcity. A good relationship with money is created in your childhood.

7. Teach philosophical razors

In constructing persuasive arguments, it’s essential to understand and apply critical thinking principles such as Grice’s razor, Hume’s razor, Popper’s razor, and Occam’s razor.

These philosophical razors serve as heuristic devices for evaluating the validity and simplicity of arguments, helping individuals to hone their reasoning skills and construct more compelling cases.

Grice’s Razor

Grice’s razor, named after philosopher H.P. Grice, posits that one should not multiply explanations beyond necessity. In other words, when evaluating competing hypotheses or explanations, the simplest one that adequately explains the observed facts is usually the correct one.

Grice’s razor encourages individuals to prioritize parsimony and simplicity in their reasoning, avoiding unnecessary complexity or speculation. Adhering to this principle, can help individuals develop clearer and more concise arguments, increasing their persuasiveness and effectiveness.

Hume’s Razor

Hume’s razor, attributed to the philosopher David Hume, asserts that when evaluating competing explanations for a phenomenon, one should prefer the explanation that is based on the fewest assumptions or premises.

Similar to Occam’s razor, Hume’s razor emphasizes the importance of simplicity and economy in reasoning, prioritizing explanations that rely on the least number of unsupported assumptions or conjectures.

When properly applying Hume’s razor, individuals can avoid unwarranted speculation and focus on the most plausible and well-supported explanations, enhancing the rigor and credibility of their arguments.

Popper’s Razor

Popper’s razor, proposed by the philosopher Karl Popper, asserts that scientific hypotheses should be falsifiable—that is, they should make specific predictions that can be empirically tested and potentially disproven.

Popper’s razor emphasizes the importance of empirical evidence and falsifiability in scientific reasoning, distinguishing between hypotheses that can be subjected to rigorous testing and those that are unfalsifiable or untestable.

So by you adhering to Popper’s razor, individuals can ensure that their arguments are grounded in empirical evidence and subject to critical scrutiny, fostering a culture of scientific rigor and progress.

Occam’s Razor

Occam’s razor, named after the philosopher William of Ockham, is perhaps the most well-known of the philosophical razors. It states that when faced with competing explanations for a phenomenon, the simplest one is usually the correct one. Occam’s razor emphasizes the principle of parsimony, favoring explanations that require the fewest assumptions or entities.

Moreover, applying Occam’s razor, individuals can streamline their reasoning, avoiding unnecessary complexity or speculation and focusing on the most straightforward and elegant explanations. This principle helps to enhance the clarity, coherence, and persuasiveness of arguments, making them more accessible and compelling to others.

8. Teach philosophical values

When constructing persuasive arguments, it’s crucial to incorporate elements of logic, ethics, and history to bolster the credibility and persuasiveness of one’s position. These foundational pillars provide a framework for reasoned debate, ethical consideration, and contextual understanding, allowing individuals to craft more compelling and well-rounded arguments.


Logic forms the cornerstone of effective argumentation, providing a systematic framework for reasoning and inference. By employing logical principles such as deduction, induction, and abduction, individuals can construct coherent and persuasive arguments that are grounded in sound reasoning.

Logic helps to ensure that arguments are internally consistent, free from fallacies, and supported by evidence and valid inference. By applying logical rigor to their arguments, individuals can enhance their persuasiveness and credibility, fostering constructive dialogue and intellectual engagement.


Ethics play a vital role in shaping the moral dimensions of arguments and guiding ethical decision-making. By considering the ethical implications of their arguments, individuals can ensure that their positions are consistent with moral principles and values. Ethical considerations help to foster empathy, fairness, and respect for diverse perspectives, promoting constructive dialogue and ethical conduct.

Integrating ethical principles such as justice, integrity, and compassion into their arguments, so individuals can enhance the moral integrity and persuasiveness of their positions, fostering trust and credibility among their audience.



History provides valuable context and perspective for understanding contemporary issues and debates. By drawing on historical precedents and examples, individuals can enrich their arguments with insights from the past, illuminating patterns, trends, and lessons learned over time. Historical knowledge helps to contextualize current events, highlighting continuities, discontinuities, and underlying causes that shape contemporary issues.

Through incorporating historical analysis into their arguments, individuals can deepen their understanding, anticipate potential consequences, and make more informed and nuanced judgments.

History also serves as a source of inspiration and guidance, offering examples of triumphs, struggles, and resilience that can inform and inspire contemporary efforts for social change and progress.

Strong values will lead to purpose and emotional intelligence.

9. Teach cognitive biases

How to Keep the Kids Safe and Comfortable While on a Holiday


cloud your judgement and slow down thinking. Learning about cognitive biases such as anchoring, self-serving bias, availability heuristic, and the halo effect can enhance one’s critical thinking skills and help navigate decision-making processes more effectively. These biases, which are common patterns of thinking that can lead to errors in judgment, influence our perceptions, beliefs, and behavior in subtle yet significant ways.

When understanding and recognizing these biases, individuals can mitigate their impact and make more informed and rational decisions.


Anchoring bias occurs when individuals rely too heavily on initial information or “anchors” when making judgments or decisions. Once an anchor is established, subsequent judgments tend to be biased toward the initial reference point, even if it is irrelevant or arbitrary. For example, when negotiating a price, the first offer presented often serves as an anchor that influences subsequent counteroffers.

By being aware of anchoring bias, individuals can consciously seek out additional information, consider alternative perspectives, and avoid being unduly influenced by initial reference points.

Self-serving Bias

Self-serving bias refers to the tendency for individuals to attribute positive outcomes to their own abilities or efforts while attributing negative outcomes to external factors beyond their control.

This bias allows individuals to protect their self-esteem and maintain a positive self-image by selectively interpreting information in a way that enhances their self-worth. For example, a student may attribute a good grade to their intelligence or hard work but blame a poor grade on an unfair test or a difficult teacher.

By recognizing self-serving bias, individuals can strive for greater self-awareness, take responsibility for their actions, and adopt a more balanced and objective perspective on their achievements and failures.

Availability Heuristic

The availability heuristic is a mental shortcut that involves estimating the likelihood of an event based on how easily it comes to mind. Events that are more vivid, recent, or emotionally salient tend to be more readily available in memory and therefore perceived as more probable.

For example, people may overestimate the risk of shark attacks after hearing about a recent incident, even though the actual likelihood of being attacked by a shark is extremely low.

Understanding the availability heuristic, individuals can critically evaluate information, seek out diverse sources of evidence, and avoid making decisions based solely on anecdotal or sensationalized information.

Halo Effect

The halo effect is a cognitive bias that involves forming a positive impression of a person, brand, or product based on a single favorable attribute or characteristic.

For example, individuals may assume that someone who is physically attractive is also intelligent or kind, despite lacking evidence to support these assumptions.

The halo effect can lead to biased judgments and decisions, as it overlooks other relevant factors and reduces the complexity of social interactions.

Recognizing the halo effect, can individuals make strive to evaluate people and situations more holistically, considering multiple dimensions and avoiding the pitfalls of snap judgments based on superficial attributes.

10. How to find good information

Living in an age of abundant information indeed presents both opportunities and challenges. With an overwhelming amount of data available at our fingertips, knowing how to find good, relevant information is essential for making informed decisions and navigating a complex world.

Here are some key considerations when evaluating information

Primary Source

A primary source is an original document or firsthand account that provides direct evidence or information about a topic. Examples of primary sources include research studies, official documents, eyewitness testimonies, and original works of literature or art.

When seeking information, it’s important to prioritize primary sources whenever possible, as they offer the most direct and credible evidence on a given subject.

When consulting primary sources, individuals can access raw data and firsthand accounts that have not been filtered or interpreted by secondary sources, providing a more accurate and unbiased understanding of the topic at hand.

Where is the Information From?

When evaluating information, it’s essential to consider the source and credibility of the information. Reliable sources typically have a reputation for accuracy, objectivity, and expertise in their respective fields.

Examples of credible sources include reputable news organizations, academic journals, government agencies, and peer-reviewed publications. By verifying the credibility of the source, individuals can assess the reliability and trustworthiness of the information provided.

Additionally, it’s important to consider the context in which the information was produced and whether it aligns with other reputable sources and expert opinions on the topic.

Emotion or Bias

Information that is written with emotion or bias can skew perceptions and distort the accuracy of the information presented. Emotionally charged language, sensationalized headlines, and biased rhetoric can manipulate readers’ emotions and influence their beliefs and attitudes. When evaluating information, it’s important to critically assess whether the content is presented in a balanced and objective manner or if it is driven by personal or ideological biases.

Identifying emotional language, logical fallacies, and biased arguments, individuals will discern between fact and opinion and make more informed and rational judgments.

Moreover, seeking out diverse perspectives and alternative viewpoints can help mitigate the influence of bias and foster a more nuanced understanding of complex issues.

11. Spark curiosity


Active learning is a dynamic approach to education that engages students in the learning process through hands-on activities, discussions, and problem-solving tasks.

Encouraging curiosity and fostering a deeper understanding of the material, active learning can promote adaptability and enhances problem-solving skills.

Here’s how active learning contributes to curiosity, adaptability, and problem-solving


Active learning encourages students to ask “why” and explore the underlying principles and concepts behind the material they are studying. Instead of passively receiving information, students are actively involved in the learning process, which sparks curiosity and encourages them to seek deeper insights and understanding.

Questioning and probing the material, students will develop a more profound appreciation for the subject matter and become motivated to explore new ideas and perspectives.

What do you think?

Active learning promotes critical thinking and encourages students to express their thoughts, ideas, and opinions on the material they are studying. Through discussions, debates, and collaborative activities, students have the opportunity to share their perspectives, challenge assumptions, and engage with diverse viewpoints.

This exchange of ideas stimulates curiosity and encourages students to consider alternative approaches and solutions to problems.

By actively participating in the learning process, students develop a greater sense of ownership and agency over their education, which enhances their adaptability and problem-solving skills.

What is your prediction?

Active learning often involves problem-solving activities and real-world applications that require students to make predictions and test hypotheses.

Engaging in hands-on tasks, simulations, and experiments, students will learn to apply their knowledge in practical contexts and develop the skills needed to solve complex problems.

Making predictions and testing hypotheses fosters curiosity and encourages students to explore different possibilities and outcomes. Through trial and error, students learn to adapt their strategies and approaches based on feedback and experience, enhancing their problem-solving skills and resilience in the face of challenges.

In conclusion, active learning creates an environment that nurtures curiosity, adaptability, and problem-solving skills.

By encouraging students to ask “why,” express their thoughts, and make predictions, active learning empowers students to take ownership of their learning and develop the critical thinking skills needed to succeed in an ever-changing world.

Through hands-on activities and real-world applications, students become active participants in their education, gaining the confidence and skills needed to tackle complex problems and navigate uncertain situations with creativity and resilience.


As parents, our greatest legacy lies in the values and principles we instill in our children. Teach your kids essential life lessons such as empathy, resilience, and financial literacy, will empower them to navigate the complexities of the world with concepts of confidence and integrity.

While the journey of parenting is filled with ups and downs, the rewards of seeing our children grow into compassionate, resilient, and responsible individuals far outweigh the challenges.

As we continue to guide and support them on their journey, let us remember that the lessons we impart today will shape the adults they become tomorrow.

So let’s seize every opportunity to teach, inspire, and empower our kids, knowing that the lessons we teach them today will leave a lasting impact on their lives and the world around them.