As a parent there are many things you wish to teach your children. From those first steps, manners and their ABC’s, to counting, cooking and life’s big questions there’s plenty of diverse educational moments along the way. It got me thinking what are some of the key things I would want to teach my children, even if it were advice for when they were a little older? Well, I came up with my personal top five - and here they are:
1. Don’t ever apologise for being you
In life you may run into individuals who think they know you better than you know yourself. Who think you’ll listen when they say you can’t do something. Who try to persuade you to do something you don’t want to do. Who give you the feeling they never believe in you. Who may call you names behind your back (or even sometimes to your face). Well, I’m here to tell you that those people usually don’t know s**t! You can do anything you set your mind to, and you can be anything you want to be. Your body, your mind, your rules. Be proud of yourself - you do you!
2. Let Go and Let God
When life brings you down, or something hasn’t quite gone your way, let go and let God. Your problems are never too big for God. If there is something troubling you, or you just don’t know what to do next, know that God (and mummy and daddy) are there for you. You can tell us anything - and I mean anything -and we will be there for you unconditionally. You are never alone in this life.
3. Trust Your Intuition
That little voice (or feeling) that tells you there’s something not right about something, or someone, is there for a reason. It’s called intuition. And it is usually (almost always) right about a person or situation. If you get a funny feeling remember it is always your choice to say ‘no’. You never have to do something you don’t want to, or give someone an answer straight away - you can always say “I’ll think about it” or “I’ll ask Mum or Dad”. If you’re ever unsure of this feeling, or why you might be getting it, make sure you talk to mummy and/or daddy and they (we) will help you.
4. Respect Begets Respect
As I get older it never ceases to amuse me to hear someone who is themselves very disrespectful - or just plain self-absorbed in their behaviour - harp on about respect. There’s always that old school of thought “respect your elders” - to which I say no, not necessarily. If someone does not show you respect whether they are older than you or not - or worse, who’s actions may put you in danger - that’s wrong. There’s also too many parents that demand respect from their little ones without giving it back - or more importantly without teaching them how to be respectful themselves. I have always been a believer in the fact that respect is earned, that it goes both ways. So, respect those who respect you, and gracefully ignore those who don’t. It’s not a given that ones idea of respect will be the same as yours, so always act with grace and if you find yourself faced with individuals that are rude, unkind or disrepectful of your wishes (especially if it happens on multiple occasions), simply act with grace until you no longer have to see that person. In the unfortunate event that you are dealing with someone you see on a regular basis (whether a family member, or otherwise), who fails to show respect then I recommend practicing mindfulness in their presence and know that tomorrow is another day.
5. Always Treat Yourself With Kindness
We only get one life to live. Always treat yourself with kindness. You don’t always have to say ‘yes’ to plans - especially if you are in need of a rest - take time out and take it easy when you need to. Treat your body and mind well - make sure you nourish yourself with delicious real food everyday, drink lots of water, and get a good nights rest. Think positively about yourself - there are so many people out there who love you and believe in you (mummy and daddy especially are your biggest fans!) - you’ve got this!
There are plenty more things on my list to teach my little ones, but these are the top five ‘life lessons’ that spring to my mind. There’s always the day to day learnings and milestones (such as walking, brushing teeth, potty training), but to me it is important to also teach on a more spiritual level as well. I am forever in awe of the people that my little ones are becoming and I am forever grateful to be by their side as they continue to learn and grow.
What are some of the teachings you’d like to pass on to your littles?