My mother taught me all of these things, and I’m lucky to have her.
How to be human. How to laugh, cry, yell and hug.
- That good things take time.
- How to chin up and soldier on when they have to; how to fight when there’s a battle worth picking; and that its okay and important to cry and mourn the pain of a broken heart.
- That when someone challenges their intelligence or abilities, that sometimes the best thing to do is stay politically correct and bite their tongue.
- And when that conversation is done, tell themself that they aren’t incapable or unintelligent and if it’s right, to do exactly what that person said they were incapable of; only, do it better.
- Tell them that you believe in them, and that they can do it, and blow everyone else, and their rotten expectations out of the water.
- And when it’s over, teach them how to be the bigger person, and a gracious winner, and that they should forgive the person who wronged them, and even appreciate them for inspiring the self righteous determination that fueled their growth.
- And when they’re stressed, listen to them. Sometimes all they need is an ear and a hug.
- Don’t fight all their battles…but it’s okay to help them fight a few.
- Tell them that you can’t protect them from everything the world will throw at them, but that you’ll do your best.
Help them learn how to breathe like a butterfly, and how to turn their worry into action.
- Help them understand, and truly believe, that counting calories isn’t the way to be healthy, and to feel good about themselves.
- And that beauty doesn’t come at a size 4, 6, or even 8; let alone in five pound increments.
- Teach them that true beauty is molded by their attitude and their energy, and that when they smile, it can light up a room more than any outfit.
- That there can be beauty in modesty, and that sometimes, less is more.
- Remind them that it’s okay to eat the extra cookie if they want it, especially after a bad day.
- And if the extra cookies add up, and they want to lose weight, to do it: but to do it for themselves, and no one else.
Teach your child how to be graceful, say please and thank you, and to apologize when they truly do something wrong, even if it was unintentional.
- And if they do apologize, teach them that “sorry” only works if they truly know why they’re apologizing, and if they mean it.
- Teach them the importance of a thank you note.
- Teach your child that it’s never okay to think they’re better or smarter than anyone else.
- Teach them to never stop asking questions, and that the only way to do something is to do it right, with good intentions, and without cheating.
- Teach them that if they love to do something, but are terrible at it, that’s okay: to just have fun and enjoy it.
Teach them to appreciate their life – it’s the only one they’ve got.
- Remind them that it’s okay to stop and smell the roses, and if they try to grow up too fast, they’ll wish they hadn’t.
- And if life gets in the way, and they need to grow up faster than they should have to, be there for them; empathize; and tell them that you’re sorry that was the hand they were dealt.
- Teach them that they’ll never know unless they try, and showing up is half the battle.
- Teach them that at the end of the day, all they can do is be the best that they can be.
- That success takes real work, and that it wouldn’t be called work if it was easy.
- That they can do anything they set their mind to; but also that there are only so many minutes in the day, and nothing is worth killing themselves to complete.
- Teach them to always wear a helmet when they ride their bike, even if they think it makes them less “cool” or look silly.
Teach them to just be smart.
- Teach them the importance of common sense, and that if something doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t.
- Know that no matter how hard you try to teach them to be smart and make good decisions, that everyone does stupid things sometimes; and so when they do something stupid, teach them the importance of damage control, and to never make the same mistake twice.
- Teach them the importance of trust, and that if you lose someone’s trust, that it’s one of the hardest things in life to get back.
- Teach them that it’s never okay to lie, but that it’s also important to know when to avoid being blunt.
- Teach them to listen&mdashtruly listen, and when someone is speaking to them, to not cut them off or walk away, and that they should never hang up on someone they’re talking to on the phone.
- Teach them that if they don’t vote, they can’t complain about politics.
- To treat others with respect and kindness;
- Teach your child that sometimes experience is more valuable than straight A’s, but that if they’re smarter than a D or an F that they bring home, that they need to live up to their potential.
- And if a C is the best they can do, then that’s okay: all that matters is that they tried their best; no one can be good at everything.
Teach them how to communicate,
- and to not bottle up things that are bothering them, and that not telling someone something important is the same as lying to them.
- Teach them how to hold their tongue when it matters, and if it doesn’t matter, teach them the value of being tactful.
- Teach them how to stand up for themselves, and to do what’s right.
- That no one deserves to be made fun of; and to always stand up for their morals.
- Teach them that they aren’t immortal, and to treat their body with care and respect: it’s the only one they’ve got.
- Teach them to choose their friends wisely, and that sometimes, a bridge burned isn’t always worth rebuilding. Not everyone deserves to be in their life.
- That drugs don’t make anyone a better person; and they have a beautiful mind without changing it; that it’s always worth waking up tomorrow.
- That it’s okay to be anti-social on a Friday night, and stay home with a book or a movie.
- Teach them that when they drive, any text can wait, and that the two minutes saved by speeding isn’t worth the chance of an accident.
Teach your child that you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family.
- Teach them dignity and strength of character.
- That it’s okay to be scared sometimes, and that no one has a magic eight ball to predict the future;
- That sometimes, all you can do is go a day at a time;
- That the best way to lead is by example, and with empathy and conviction.