Everyone acknowledges that our job as parents is one of the hardest and challenging endeavors we will ever encounter. Teaching our children those key lessons in life that we feel will help them to become the best possible version of themselves. I am sure all of you (like me) spend time thinking about what you really want to make sure your kids know before they are grown and out of the house.
Of course, we focus quite a bit in our house on teaching Charlie the basic skills a 3 year old needs to master such as talking, getting dressed, basic self-care, cleaning up his toys, etc. But what I am talking about here is more about the major life lessons and truths we want to pass along to them. How are those truths taught? Not by words or instruction but by our own actions and how we choose to live our lives and this is where the real challenge exists.
Recently I have been noticing a lot more about what my children are teaching me daily and I have realized that these two boys are actually teaching me way more about how I want to live life and who I want to be than I may be teaching them. It is quite possible that my 3 year old and 5 month old baby are actually showing me the way – this is humbling beyond belief. My baby Owen smiles almost non-stop; when I go into his nursery every morning he squeals with excitement and gives me a huge gummy grin. Talk about an awesome way to start my day. Owen is the quickest fix for a bad mood I have yet to find and his happiness is contagious. Charlie is loud, I mean really loud with little acknowledgement of other people or the term “inside voice.” But when he is being loud, singing his heart out, playing with toys, he is so happy and excited about life and it’s pretty great. He is determined and sometimes easily frustrated but he keeps at it, keeps trying and sure does recover quickly when he doesn’t get what he wants or can’t master something. He is like one of those birthday candles that keeps lighting up even after you blow it out, over and over again. I hope that these and so many other qualities that are inherent in them as young children will only deepen as they age and that they will not forget who they are at their core as so many of us so when we become adults.
I am sure that my husband would have a different set of life truths to share with the boys and there would be more about business, financial management, and general guy stuff. My truths are more emotional and some may consider many of these pretty basic yet I know quite a few adults (including myself) who often forget these important life lessons. So here is how I will try to Teach my Children Well….. (when in fact it seems that have many of these mastered):
1. Happiness is a choice (and one that requires daily practice)
2. There is no such thing as being too polite; always say please and thank you often
3. If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, then change the way you think about it.
4. You are always free to do something that makes you smile.
5. Stop looking at what you have lost, so that you can see what you have.
6. The more you love your decisions, the less you need others to love them.
7. You will fail sometimes and you won’t always get what you want.
8. It is not who you are that holds you back, it is who you think you are not.
9. Oftentimes it is better to be kind, than to be right.
10. It’s your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.
11. The best way to gain self-confidence is to do what you are afraid to do.
12. Be flexible and keep an open mind
13. Do things for fun and passion
14. Be a part of something you believe in.
15. Take time for those you care about, nurture your relationship and lift others up.
16. Perform random acts of kindness on a regular basis.
17. Respect elders, respect minors, respect everyone.
18. The only thing you can absolutely control is how you react to things that are out of your control
19. Give people you don’t know a fair chance.
20. In life you’ll realize there is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some will test you, some will use you, and some will teach you. But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.