For those who decide to raise children, it will be one of the most important things you will do. This isn't something to take lightly. There are certain things all children need to hear from the people that make up their entire world from the start.
My dad always said these words to me growing up. Whether something went right or wrong, my dad's words reminded me that as long as I trusted in the Universe, I would always be with whatever it is that I need.
Most of the things we worry about are insignificant. I think it is important for parents to remind their children that it isn't worth stressing about things that aren't important in the long run. Everything will work itself out, so don't worry too much.
My mom always stressed the importance of getting an education. With knowledge comes power. Educating yourself doesn't necessarily mean going to school and getting a degree, though that can be a good start. Learning can also be done by experience. Reading, traveling, and just getting out into the world and figuring things out through action is often the best way to gain knowledge. In a day and age where we have so much information in the palm of our hands, educating ourselves is easier than ever. Parents should always tell their children to stay curious and constantly seek knowledge.
Getting outside is extremely important for kids. With all the new technology that children are exposed to in recent years, many kids aren't spending as much time outdoors as they should. When children spend time in nature, running amongst the trees, feeling the sun on their skin and the dirt between their fingers and toes, and freshening up in the cool lake water, they gain a connection to nature that will last their entire lives. My parents encouraged us to constantly go outside and play. We would take family kayak trips or go camping for the weekend. I spent the majority of my childhood outside and when I have kids, I will make sure their play time is filled with as many games of manhunt, bug observing time and picnics as mine was.
Getting outside is important, and getting dirty is all a part of playing outside. I'll always remember my dad's words after a long day spent out in the elements- "the dirtier you got, the more fun you had." With sandy clothes, muddy feet, and messy hair, there's no doubt you had a good time. All parents should encourage their kids to get dirty.
Work hard and earn whatever it is that you want. A good work ethic will lead to independence, which is ultimately what parents should want for their kids.
All children should be encouraged to follow their dreams. Nobody should settle for anything less than what they think they deserve. My parents made sure my sisters and I never sold ourselves short by always reminding us of our potential to do whatever we want with our lives. Parents, tell your kids to dream big and never lose sight of the things that are most important to them.
Feeling lucky is the key to being content with life. Kids need to appreciate what they have and realize that not everyone is blessed with so much good fortune. Finding happiness in the things life has given you, will make you not only appreciate what you have, but will also make you want to give to those who may not have as much.
It is important to compliment your kids- tell them they are beautiful, inside and out. As the oldest of four daughters, I'll always remember my parents telling us how beautiful each of us was throughout the years. Hearing these words always makes you feel good. And don't all parents think their kids are beautiful? So why not tell them?
It's that simple.
Honesty is one of the most important traits to have. Children should always be taught to be open and honest, with other people, and with themselves. If people can't trust you, there is nothing there. Telling the truth will get you further than burying yourself in lies and realizing this early on is better than figuring it out the hard way.
Knowing that your family will be there for you, no matter what, is one of the most reassuring things to hear.
My dad would always say these words to me as I was walking out the door, maybe on the way to a party or going on a weekend trip with friends. While I'd roll my eyes and give him a half-smile as I'd walk out past him, these words always seemed to find their way into my head as I was likely to "do something stupid." Telling your kids to be careful, in whatever way you want to tell them, reminds them that you care about them and don't want anything bad to happen.
There are a lot of people with a lot of opinions on how you should live your life. While it is okay to listen to what others have to say, you should never compromise yourself for anyone else. It is important for parents to remind their kids that the only person who knows what is best for you, is you.
With hard work, patience, and dedication, we really can do whatever we want. All kids need to hear this.
If nothing else, just be kind. Be kind to other people, be kind to animals, be kind to this planet we all live on, and be kind to yourself. If there is one thing to instill in children, it is to be kind.
These words can never be said too much.