My kids are only 3 and almost 2 but that does not stop me from thinking about their future. I am a firm believer that you should live in the moment and enjoy them today, however, I also think we, as parents, are doing our children a disservice if we do not think about how we want them to be.
For instance, I want my kids to be kind, compassionate, I want them to have a strong personality and high self-confidence. In order for me to help them become and build those things I need to think about how I’m raising them today.
There are several things I want to teach them about life as they get older. I truly feel children that are not taught how to adult by the time they’re 18 are going to have a harder time figuring out what to do. Even today, I see it time and time again, arguments about why schools don’t teach you how to do taxes, how to write a check, or how to sew on a button, I feel those are things parents should be teaching. So, I created a list of things I want to teach my kids about life in an effort to remember as I’m raising them.
Kindness should be your first response.
Day in and day out you will come across something that may upset you or make you angry, stop and reflect on the moment. Do not always greet others with anger but rather breath, be polite, be kind, and work through the situation. You’ll find it will be easier to work through things with people if you remain calm.
You cannot control how others treat you.
You cannot control others. You cannot control what they think and feel about you and you cannot control how they treat you. However, you can control how you react to it. Do not let others be mean and walk over you, if they do then do not let them stick around.
Respect should be given to those around you.
Respect should be given. It does not have to be earned unless it has already been lost.
You should expect respect for yourself.
Expect others to be respectful to you, if they are not, do not let them continue to do so. Do not let others walk over you and be rude. This could be telling them off for doing so or it can simply be kicking them out of your life. You do not have to put up with disrespect.
Do things that scare you.
Do not let your fears keep you from greatness. Continually push your comfort zone.
The right decision isn’t always the most popular one.
You will find that there are times where you’re faced with a tough decision. The decision seems to you to be clear, but then others are trying to sway your decision. Do not let them. Do what YOU KNOW is right, no matter what others think.
Stick to your word.
Stick to your promises and do not promise something if you do not intend to keep it.
It’s not your job to please everyone.
It’s not your job to make everyone else happy. Do what is right for you and your family. Realize not everyone will be happy with your decisions and be okay with that.
Do not take the lazy way out. Work hard and do what is right. Do not quit a job as soon as it gets tough, do not quit a job without a new one in place, do not be afraid to work with your hands, get dirty, and do what’s needed.
You are unique and wonderful the way you are.
You are unique, you are beautiful, you are my baby. Do not ever change for others. Be you and if someone is not okay with who you are then leave them be. You do not need people who are not completely in love with you for who you are.
Be selfless… but not to your own detriment.
Be selfless, help others, donated, volunteer, help out those around you. However, do not do so to your own detriment. Do not let others walk over you and do not starve yourself in order to care for others.
Stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.
Fight and support others who are unable to for themselves. Do what is right and support those around you.
Never stop trying to learn new things.
Education does not end with high school or college, you should continually better yourself, better your education, and learning new things.
Own your mistakes
Do not try to deny your mistakes, own them, and learn from them.
Learn to take a compliment
Realize when you have done a good job and take ownership in it. Be proud in your achievements.
Learn how to say ‘No’ but also truly consider if you can say ‘yes’
Take stock in your life when asked to do or go somewhere, are you truly able to do it without detriment to other tasks, or your own mental health? If you can and truly want to be there for that person then say yes, if doing the task will be harmful to you, your time, or your mental health then say no.
Stick to your aspirations, nothing comes easy, but you can do it with hard work.
Have aspirations. Want to be someone or do something and continue following those goals. But also, do not be afraid to change your goals and aspirations.
Remember to be grateful for everything you have. There is always someone worse off then you.
Choose your friends wisely
Choose friends that love and support you no matter what. Be observant and realize when “friends” may be using you. Choose friends that make good decisions and help you stick to good decisions.
Be a good friend
Be a good friend to those around you. Listen to them, respect them, be kind, and be there for them when they need you.
Budget and save money
Learn how to manage your money well. Do not over spend, stick to a budget, and build a savings for a rainy day. You’ll find the more prepared you are for rainy days the better you are able to handle them as they come.
Learn the pleasure of delayed gratification
Save up for the things you want in life. Take pride in the work it took to save up and buy the new house, new car, new TV, etc. Don’t be afraid to spend money for yourself but do so wisely.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
Mistakes are where you learn and grow. You cannot always avoid them. Be strong and confident and when a mistake happens, learn, grow, and do not make the same mistake again.
Rely on your family
Your family is always here for you, your father and I, your siblings, your grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, they will all come running when you need them. Rely on them when you need to and always be there for them in return.
Do not compare yourself to other people
You are unique and every other person is unique. Someone will always be smarter then you, stronger then you, and more capable at one task or the other. That does not make you any less important or valuable.
Be honest with your spouse and yourself
As you are dating remember to be honest with yourself. Is this person right? If they are not do not string them along. Do not cheat on your significant other. If you feel like cheating, ask yourself why? If the relationship is not right, end it. That being said, if you are married, work day in and day out to make it work. Do not give up unless every avenue has been taken to make it right. Marriage is not to be taken lightly.
Take care of yourself, mind, body and soul
You come first. Your own health, your wellbeing, and your mental health. If you need a break, find a way and take it. Practice self-care.
What are some things you’d like to teach your kids? What do you feel is the most important they know as they grow up?
Join Sarah’s Sage Advice’s Facebook Group for moms, Finding Sanity in Motherhood.