Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Things I wish I knew when I was 17, or 7.

My duo started 2nd grade last week.  They seem so old.  No longer my little babes listening to my every words and spending all day at my side.  I both relish in and am saddened by this realization.

And quite frankly, I am challenged daily by providing them with the right advice. The right words. The wisdom they'll need to make it in the world. I fear my words fall short.

They are both adjusting well to their new classes, schedules and friends, but I worry.  Am I alone here?  I fear not. I worry they will make the right friends. I worry we are in the right activities. I worry about giving them enough freedom so they can learn to make wise decisions.  But, of course, not too much freedom.

So, I decided to sit down and try to think of some words of wisdom I thought may help them through life. Not all are appropriate for them at 7, but over time.  One of the best parenting bits I've ever received. - a big picture bit - was to think about your values and your goals for their lives and work backwards to determine how you should parent and discipline. Sometimes we are all guilty of defensive or reflexive parenting.  I prefer to be on the offensive.

So, here are some of the principles I hope to instill over the next 10+ years:
  • It's the accumulation of many small decisions over time, more so than the few big ones, that chart the paths you take in life.
  • Be grateful for every thing no matter how inconsequential it may seem. Being grateful attracts more things into your life to be grateful for.
  • There is a difference between being tenacious and swimming upstream. Learn to distinguish between the two for one leads to success and the other to frustration.
  • Work daily on your relationship with God even, if it's just a simple "good morning" and "good night", for it will provide you with a level of peace, security and contentment that no person can give you.
  • Be curious about the habits of highly evolved and successful people and apply them to your life.
  • Exercise your physical talents as often as possible because the day you realize you can no longer do that gainer off the diving board you will experience a sense of lost that's like a death.
  • Spend time with your grandparents and ask lots of questions because when you get older you will develop an insatiable curiosity about your heritage.
  • There really is such a thing as karma. You will get back exactly what you put out.
  • Your family loves you and cares more deeply about you than anyone and always has your best interest at heart.
  • Trust your instincts for they are an invaluable tool. If something doesn't feel right, it usually isn't.
  • Outward appearances mean nothing if you are not grounded and confident. It is never enough just to be a pretty girl / attractive guy.
  • No boy / girl is worth pushing your values and instincts aside for.
  • Although 'tis always nice to give people room to grow, most personalities are set by first grade. Adjust your expectations accordingly and you will save yourself a world of hurt and disappointment.
  • Your grades and study habits will shape the rest of your life and provide you the best opportunity for a life of independence and success.
  • Everything in moderation is best, time does heal all wounds and, this too will pass.
  • And my newest motto from Katherine Center - "You are writing the story of your only life every single minute of every day. And my greatest hope for you, sweet child, is that I can teach you how to write a good one."

What are some of your parenting goals? Or what wisdom do you hope to instill over the years?


Katie Lane said...

Such a great idea, I'm sure they will appreciate this one day. I TOTALLY agree with, "Everything in moderation is best, time does heal all wounds and, this too will pass" I also think that the little things usually mean more than the big things :)

Unplanned Cooking said...

I want to worry less about my kids, because I think you pass that onto them. They may not be the most popular kid in class, but are they happy? I want to use that as my yardstick, not my own fears.

Eat. Live. Laugh. and sometimes shop! said...

Agreed! Happy kids is the ultimate in mothering success!

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

Wonderful list! If only we could know back then what we know now.

Eat. Live. Laugh. and sometimes shop! said...

Isn't that the truth!

Audra Michelle said...

Oh - that last quote gave me chills. My oldest is only 22 months and I am already fretting about school.

Unknown said...

Love the title of your blog - it's should be my tagline. :) And absolutely love your post. Ohhhh, how I wish I knew then what I know now!

Anonymous said...

This is a great list. My step daughter is off to 3rd grade next week, and this comes at a good time. Thanks.

Unknown said...

Amazing advice for all ages! Great list.

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