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The Latest Lessons Learned

Do unto others, use your manners, respect your elders, eat your vegetables, stand up straight, share, wait your turn, wash your hands, say excuse me…the list of what we’re responsible for teaching our children is a long one. I wish some parents took it a little more seriously while there are some parents who perhaps take it to the extreme. Regardless, teaching children about social niceties in their youth allows them plenty of time to practice before they’re thrown out into the cold and cruel world without their moms (or at least that’s what I tell her.)

Two of the latest lessons we’re working on, ones I didn’t really learn, believe or put into practice until my mid 20′s are “Not everyone is going to like you” and “It’s impossible to make please everyone.”

Sound harsh? I wish I would have had a little more time and guidance on these two topics.

There’s a boy in her class that doesn’t like her (or so she says.) Of course in my mind that only means that he likes her so much that the only way he can show his feelings is through making fun of her, go figure that seven year old boys are just like my seventy year old grandpa. We’ve discussed how there’s people in her life that aren’t her first choice to hang out with (the girl who stares at her during lunch and chews with her mouth open) but that it’s her responsibility to be kind to everyone. She knows how bad it hurts when someone is mean to her, and while she’s bounced back brilliantly from any first grade kerfuffles, one day it isn’t going to be so easy. I’ve tried to impart to her that when you’re kind the issue someone has with you is more likely with themselves than it is with you. (Cinderella and her step sisters are a fantastic on-her-level example of his.)

As far as not being able to make everyone happy. Oy. There is not one thing in this world that everyone can agree on. You could say “Sunshine!” but then someone would say “Skin cancer!”  to “New babies!” someone would respond “Drain on society!” The naysayers are generally the minority, but their words (unfortunately) resonate the loudest. I’ve worked with Addie to instill complete confidence in her choices.When I send her out into the world confident in herself the negative seems to bounce off of her much better. Of course on the flip side she’s had to learn that her way isn’t always the right way. Her brain vibrates when someone scribbles rather than colors in the lines, many times I have talked her down from a tizzy because “HE JUST SCRIBBLES! HE DOESN’T STAY IN THE LINES AT ALL!”

Everyone has a different way of expressing themselves. Some with scribbles, some with crazy pain splatters, some with perfectly drawn lines and realistic colors.

Nowhere has this lesson made more sense to her than at the art museum. She isn’t going to like it all, but it all deserves to be there.

I want to prepare Addie as well as I can for the struggles she’ll inevitably face without freaking her out. There are some things I wish I would have learned earlier, perhaps my parents tried and it simply fell on ignorant little ears and that’s why my mom gives me the “I told you so” look so often.

What are some of the harder life lessons you’ve tried to teach your kids?

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Find more Casey on her blog, twitter, Pinterest, Flickr and facebook.

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