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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

13 Things My Kids Taught Me

Our job as parents is to teach our kids.  There is constant, self-created pressure to focus on creating appropriately behaved children, humble competitors, and future leaders of America.  Good parents work as hard as they can showing their offspring the world and how to act in it.  If you are a lucky and observant person, your children can teach you some things too.

Here is a list of what my kids have taught me:

1.  Loving unconditionally is easy.  Kids may be disappointed when they don't get their way, but they always love you.  The truth is that they always will.  I've applied that same unconditional love to my husband.  My marriage is happy.

2.  Hard work is a choice.  My daughter works out all day, every day.  She loves it.  I want to be more like her, so that my jiggle butt disappears.  She is going to be the workout boss.

3.  Sometimes it is okay for the house to be messy.  We have to let go of responsibilities every once in awhile just to spend time together.  Who's coming to see us anyway?  Nobody this week, so that donation pile remains in the corner while I play a game with these two.

4.  Every day is the best day EVER.  This is precisely the outlook of my 8 year old.  I want to be more excited about every day things.  Life is exciting if you look at it that way.  My husband has adopted this attitude too.  Work can really be stressful if you let it, but if you choose to make it the best day EVER.....

5.  Be open to new things.  My list of reasons for disliking video games is long and well built.  My kid loves them.  To be close to him in his interests, my mind has to be open.  This is mainly my husband's department for bonding, so I don't have to stare at the screen for too long.

6.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  My kids think that I am beautiful.  It is their honest perspective and it makes me feel like a supermodel.  In my mind there is a huge blemish on my face (biopsy leftovers), my pants are getting too tight (not sticking to my workout ambition plans), and my hair is flat.  I need to try to get myself back in the pretty place.

7.  Don't blink.  You give birth to your first born and 5 minutes later, his feet are bigger than yours and he's so witty that you can hardly wait to see what he'll do with his life.  Waiting is advised though because if I blink again, he'll be driving!

8.  Integrity matters.  You can't hide yourself from your kids.   They are too intuitive and will see through anything phony.  In order to be the right kind of example, you have to do the right thing even when no one is looking.

9.  Don't over-judge.  Kids only know what they see.  When they see someone smoking and are grossed out, they are judging.  What they are judging is how to NOT be THAT guy.  Some judging is necessary in this life.  The key is to remember whether judging has any effect on the way you live your life.  If judging someone else makes you mean, abstain.

10.  Strive to be the best, without comparing yourself to others.  My kids aren't competitive like me, at least not yet.  They have taught me that when someone else does something phenomenal, it is better to be a support.  Their accomplishment has nothing to do with you.  Your accomplishment has nothing to do with them.

11.  Being kind is always the better choice.

12.  Celebrate success daily.  It is a tremendous motivator to check things off of a list.  Accomplishing something every day is success.  The more you celebrate for yourself today, the better you will do tomorrow.

13.  Forgive yourself for mistakes.  If you learn from your mistakes, then they were worth the trouble.  Forgive yourself and try not to make the same mistakes as you move forward.

This list expands daily because I am paying attention the type of people I am raising.  I'm not a child expert and believe me I make my mistakes.  In no way is this job over.  If anything, it is about to get harder.  Each year new challenges make it the toughest work my life has ever had.  As they grow into the people they will become they will continue to teach good lessons.  These kids may just raise a great adult someday.

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