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15 Life Lessons Your Child Should Know By Age 15

Leena Ghosh Leena Ghosh 10 Mins Read

Leena Ghosh Leena Ghosh


Written For ParentCircle Website new design update

There are some things your children should know before they head out into the world to chart their own path. Prepare them now, so you don't regret it later.

15 Life Lessons Your Child Should Know By Age 15

Reminiscing over a warm cup of tea, my friend Pranchi told me one of her greatest wishes. "One day, I saw this post on my social media feed. It said, 'If you could say one thing to your 15-year-old self, what would you say?' And I just wanted to time travel and say so many things! My parents, like most Indian parents, believed that a good academic record is the secret to success for a great life. I didn't know any better, so conversations about life that happened outside studies, never took place. So, I dealt with everything the best way I thought at that time. But my struggles, and the complexes I developed, in the aftermath of those little incidents, had a long-lasting impact on the person that I became. And I vowed to talk to my child about some truths of life and how to deal with them, before I send her out into the world."

Sounds familiar? How many of us would like to do the same thing? Alas, time travel is not possible yet. But what we can do is prepare the next generation and make them aware of some of life's lessons, they'll never find in study books.

Why learning these life lessons is important for your teen?

Teenage is a period of turmoil for most children. Your child isn't little but is still not prepared to shoulder the various responsibilities of being an adult. He has opinions, ideas and judgements but what he doesn't have, still, is a fully developed prefrontal cortex that hinders in his ability to make rational decisions. The life lessons you teach them now won't only help them in this crucial stage but also shape them as responsible and resilient adults, later on.

Important things all kids should know by age 15

As parents, we would all love our children to be always happy, healthy and content. But the reality is setbacks, disappointments and losses are as important as achievements and recognitions for an enriching life. Following are some important life truth you should talk about with your child:

1. You will feel lonely sometimes

There comes a point in our lives when we all feel misunderstood and alone. But your teen, who is going through physical, emotional and psychological changes at this stage, feels it more acutely. Add to that the peer pressure she faces at school and on social media. Her feeling misunderstood and alone is something that'll happen and should not be ignored.

What to tell your child

Tell her that there will be times, when she'll feel miserable and alone. It could be because of a situation at work or home or just life throwing a curveball. These feelings are valid and justified but it's important to remember that even this shall pass. She should take it as another experience, learn from it and move on.

2. It's important to do what's right than what's popular

In the age of social media and viral trends, it's easy to get lost in a popularity contest just to look cool in front of friends. While somethings are harmless fun, some can be dangerous to self and others.

What to tell your child

Tell him to listen to his gut before he commits to anything or anyone. While a hashtag can be fun, if it hurts him or any other person, it's wrong. And while he might not look cool by backing out, it will serve him well in the long run and that is worth waiting for.

3. You will fail sometimes

Learning how to deal with failure is as important as preparing for success. It's important for children to learn how to cope with disappointments and not wallow in self-doubt and misery because of it.

What to tell your child

When your team loses, it hurts. When you lose, it hurts even more. But what's important to understand in all of this is that this does not mean the end of the world, or the opportunities it offers you. Reflect and think back to what you could have done differently and apply that learning when another opportunity arises. Each setback is just another step towards your goal.

4. You need good friends more than popularity

This is a tough one because which teen doesn't want to be popular? As a parent, it's your job to help them understand what true friendship is and how to recognise it.

What to tell your child

A true friend will call out your faults to your face one moment and then help you tide over a tough situation the next second. When a person cares for you, she is honest with you. Having a few good friends who'll stand by you through thick and thin is always better than having a hundred who are there just for the good times.

5. You can carry off any look with confidence

As children approach their teens, they become acutely aware of how they look and what their friends think of them. It's also because of the hormonal and physical changes they go through during the teen years. This is a time when you have to instil a sense of confidence in them.

What to tell your child

Your clothes don't define who you are, neither does social media or what your friends think is cool. You can look great in anything as long as you are comfortable and wear it with a confident smile. It's your inner confidence that makes you glow and nothing else matters.

6. You are unique

You know that your child is unique, but he may not feel that and get lost in the crowd. Talk to him about what makes him unique.

What to tell your child

Just like your fingerprints, there is only one of you in the world. While it's okay to blend in with the crowd sometimes, know when it's important to chart your own path no matter what who follows you.

7. Being in love with yourself is more important than looking for love

15 Life Lessons Your Child Should Know By Age 15

Attractions and crushes are a normal part of a teenager's life. Your acceptance of that fact and your guidance will go a long way in the kind of relationships she develops later on.

What to tell your child

Invest in someone who treats you better that you'd treat yourself. Before finding love and happiness with someone else, it's important to be happy and in love with who you are.

8. You have every right to say 'No'

We spend a lot of our time teaching our children to be agreeable. But, it's as important to tell them when to say 'No' and that they have every right to say it if anything or anyone makes them feel uncomfortable.

What to tell your child

The word 'No' might not be the most popular word but, at times, it's the most important one. Trust your instincts and exercise your right to refuse, whenever you feel that something's wrong.

9. You don't need anyone's permission to cry

We tell our children to toughen up and, at times, it's important. But if they start bottling up their feelings it's detrimental to their emotional and mental health. Tell them that it's alright to let go, now and then.

What to tell your child

People deal with different situations differently. If 'crying it out' helps, there's absolutely no shame in it. Crying is a natural, human thing to do.

10. You need to learn to laugh at yourself

A sense of humor is a greatly appreciated value. Teach your child to look at the funnier side of things.

What to tell your child

Learn to laugh at yourself. That way, no one gets to laugh at you. But, know the difference between wit and self-depreciation.

11. You need to know the difference between need and want

This is a lesson you need to teach your child early on. This will help lessen some of the arguments in the future.

What to tell your child

Before buying something, ask yourself three questions. "Do you need it?", "Do you want it?", "Can you afford it?" If you need something but can't afford it, ask for help. But, if you want something but can't afford it, wait and work for it till you can.

12. Social media can be a friend and a foe

Too much of anything can be a bad thing. You need to educate your child about the pros and cons of social media early on.

What to tell your child

You are the master of technology and it should only bring you joy and knowledge. Once you let it take over you, you give it power you can't control. Always approach with caution.

13. Your parents are not your friends nor are they your enemy

Arguments with your children is a natural progression of them growing up. Tell them you will always love and support them do the right thing. That also gives you the right to question them, if the need arises.

What to tell your child

We love you unconditionally. But we will also question you when you are headed towards the wrong path. There is always room for open discussions but there are limits to your actions.

14. You may have more questions than answers at times

Life can be a complicated thing and sometimes there are no answers. Encourage your children to reflect and question.

What to tell your child

It's okay to have doubts and we are there to help you in any way I can. But, at times, when the answer is not forthcoming you just have to look for it harder and think outside the box.

15. Learn to think for yourself

The world we live in today is loud and opinionated. Teach your child to always question the information he receives and make his opinions based on fact and common sense.

What to tell your child

As you grow older, you'll be surrounded by opinions, judgements and active campaigns. Not all that you see and hear is true. Trust your instincts, do your research and make your opinions based on hard facts.

As the world keeps changing and evolving, there are many things we will learn as parents and individuals. Prepare your child for the school of life and help her make her own place in this world by relying on her strength, confidence and common sense.

Also read:

10 life skills your child should acquire by high school

10 basic life skills your preschooler should know

About the author:

Written by Leena Ghosh on February 7, 2021.

The author is a journalist, writer, editor and the mother of a spirited young girl. In between juggling the roles of being a full-time cheerleader for her daughter, a thorough professional and a part time chef, she dreams of finishing the first page of her unwritten book.

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