If I was going to have kids right now, I would focus on teaching them tough lessons before they run into inconceivable situations when they’re older.
I’d show them what it’s like to take a car to the mechanic for an oil change and explain what happens to the car if you don’t.
On top of that, I’d teach them what it would be like if you suddenly stopped taking care of your car and no longer had it to get around town for work, shopping, or basic errands. I know this might sound scary for a child, but it’s going to be even scarier when they encounter this adversity for real and are suddenly faced with a situation that they cannot control, affect, or recover from. One easy lesson that doesn’t require making them worry about their own survival is basic air conditioner and furnace maintenance. This starts with showing them the importance of being careful with the thermostat, because they could inadvertently turn it up too high or too low for hours on end and risk frying the fan motor, cracking the evaporator coil, or burning up the compressor outside. Once they’re old enough, I’ll teach them how to replace the filters in the air conditioner and furnace. It’s harder to forget this important step of HVAC maintenance if it has been ingrained in you as a regular habit. My college roommates destroyed our home’s air conditioner when I left for a few weeks to visit family. Although it was a rental, we were responsible for replacing the air conditioner filter. I told them to remember while I was gone, and to also never sweep dust into the floor air-returns. I came back and discovered that the a/c was no longer reaching the temperature on the thermostat and had to call the landlord immediately.