There are things I need to teach you children, things I need you to know. I will love you through the easy days, but even more when the tough times show.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about things I hope to teach my children. It’s our job as parents to provide our children with a solid foundation so they grow into independent, capable adults. I know there are some lessons and many mistakes they’ll have to make on their own, like we all did because what do our parents know? (teenage mindset, ha!)
- There’s a place for kindness. Be polite, mind your manners. Smile at strangers. Hold the door open. But don’t let anyone mistake your kindness for weakness. We will teach you to stand up and speak up for yourselves and others. We will teach you how to protect yourselves if the need arises – physically, mentally, financially.
- Don’t do fad diets. You’ll know you’ve hit rock bottom if your diet consists only of liquids for a few days. It’s all a joke. Eat your veggies, but enjoy your food. Eat a bowl of pasta and go back for seconds Find an activity that keeps you active so that you’re healthy, but food is meant to be enjoyed. And remember, ice cream may not cure a broken heart but it helps numb the pain.
- Don’t ever feel stuck – in a job, a major, a relationship, whatever. You’re strong and independent. You can walk away and start over, and we will help you.
- With that being said, pick something you’re interested in or good at and make a life out of it. There are people who will tell you that you can be anything you want to be. It may sound wonderful to think that big, but it’s overwhelming. There will be too many options. Focus on your likes and your talents and you’ll find the right path. If at some point you find it’s no longer fulfilling, refer to #3.
- Change is good, when it’s for the right reasons. You’ll be changing your entire life. As you figure out who you are, you’ll be adjusting and growing and evolving. Make the changes you want to make, but only ever change for you. Too often people get into a relationship and their partner wants them to change. This is not to say that a partner can’t help us realize an aspect of yourself that may need work. BUT the change has to be for you, not them.
- Confidence will take you places. People are mean. You will likely face adversity throughout your life. At times, people may say or do some really nasty things about you and to you. This says far more about them than it does about you. You keep on being you. Hold your head high and show them the bully never wins.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It shows great strength when you can admit you can’t do everything alone. And you’ll be surprised how many people will be willing to help.
- Don’t do drugs. This one seems obvious, but seriously. I’ll kick you. Addiction is considered a disease, but unless someone physically restrains you and forces you to do drugs and gets you hooked, it’s a choice (at least at the beginning). And it’s one that will haunt you forever.
- Independence. We will teach you to cook, clean, take out the trash, mow the lawn, shovel the driveway, do laundry, dust, mop and vacuum. We will teach you to change a tire and drive a manual car (daddy will have to teach you and I’ll learn with you). Daddy will teach you to always face the exit. These are skills you will need all throughout your life and then you won’t ever be dependent upon someone else for your survival.
- Happiness. It’s not a destination or even a journey. Happiness is a choice. You wake up everyday with a choice, to be happy or to be something else. Choose happiness. Life is too short for anything else.
There’s so much more I could say, but this is a start. We cannot wait to see the great people you become, but don’t rush it.