Our world is a crazy place.
Admittedly, I am getting increasingly more anxious as my girls get older and they begin facing real-life situations that they
need to learn to deal with on their own... without mommy or daddy by their side.
While they are only 4 and 5, my husband and I believe they need to learn how to handle little matters themselves at an early age;
so they can learn from each situation and get comfortable standing up for themselves.
These 5 "life-lessons" I've written below pretty much go hand in hand in my mind.
I think each characteristic will help build a person who is a confident, kind and sympathetic leader.
John Maxwell said it best,
"A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way."
We feel (and hope!) if we teach them basic fundamentals while they are young, they will carry them with
them as they get older and face more complex issues. Not to mention, they will be the one standing up for others who may not have the strength or courage to do so themselves.
1. Know Your Worth
From my own experiences thus far in life, I think people don't know your worth until you
show them and tell them your worth.
I believe how people treat you is dictated solely by how you expect/demand to be treated. If you let someone know right off the bat that you demand respect, they are much less likely to disrespect you...they already know it won't go over well. It's funny because in a professional setting, I always knew my worth from early on. However, in my dating life, when I was younger (in college specifically), I allowed a lot of things to slide. I didn't fully know my worth because I let my feelings get in the way. I knew I was a good person and had a big heart, but I didn't truly know how much that was WORTH. With age comes knowledge and getting more comfortable in your own skin. I want my daughters to know from early on that they should never settle for less than they deserve.
Better yet, once they realize what their worth is, I hope they see that they deserve even more than they think they do!
2. Believe In Yourself
If you don't believe in yourself, no one else will. Again, this goes hand-in-hand with "Know Your Worth". I feel that if my girls gain confidence and self-esteem while they are young, that will build a foundation for their future. I never had a problem with this, even from as young as I remember. I was the "middle child" but never felt slighted or like I was getting "less-than" my siblings. I think believing in yourself has alot to do with attitude and vice versa. I'm very outgoing and never had a problem voicing my thoughts or feelings.
Believing in myself helped me to get good grades and be a good student. Believing in myself earned me 1 of 7 spots (out of 50+ girls) when I tried out for my high school field hockey team freshman year; and also allowed me to earn several scholarships and grants to attend a private university. My professional career and most coveted titles as wife and mommy were all possible because I believed in myself and the magnitude of my capabilities & worth; I hope my girls grow up to believe in themselves too.
3. Trust Your Gut
When I sit back and think about this one, I'm actually astonished with how many times in my own life that I did and didn't trust my gut and the resulting outcome that came from it. To cut to the chase, trusting your gut is 99.9% the way to go. I look back at certain situations in my life, and really wished I had trusted my gut...but hey, you can't win them all! Then I think about the majority of times when I did...and my gut was right.
Let's face it, as much as I'm going to tell my girls to trust their gut and if something doesn't feel right, it's probably not, they are still going to have to experience NOT doing it. This lesson is simply a part of growing up.
4. Surround Yourself with Positive People & Role Models
Honestly, I have to say, this is something that never really resonated with me until I graduated from college and my professional career was on the horizon. Luckily, I always had great friends who were reliable, good-hearted and all-around kind people & I did have older cousins and mentors that I looked up to. But it wasn't until post-college, that I learned the importance of surrounding yourself with POSITIVE people, some of whom I also considered role models. They were people that made me feel better and want to BE a better person. I think as we get older, spending time with people (other than your family) is more limited due to careers and starting families. It's not until then, that you see who is building you up and who is pulling you down. Why waste your precious time being with people that you aren't enjoying being around?
"you become like the 5 people you spend the most time with. choose carefully."
I hope my girls grow up to see the importance of surrounding themselves with positive people who encourage them,
challenge them and make them happier people."
5. happiness & Kindness Prevails
You will never regret being happy & kind. There were many times in my life thus far, and still, where I said I, "coulda, shoulda, woulda" been kinder at certain moments so I left the moment feeling happier. But I have grown and learned with each experience, that kindness will always prevail and leave me a happier person. I honestly think this is the hardest lesson to teach your kids, especially daughters, because we live in a world filled with judgement, scrutiny and competition...and girls just seem to struggle more with this than boys.
I hope to teach them that jealously and comparison will always leave one feeling empty and looking insecure- but kindness will always prevail. I hope I teach my girls that no one is perfect, but people will always remember when you were kind to them...because they will be left feeling happy.
What life lesson do you think is important or one that you would want to teach your own child?