Day 21: What 3 lessons do you want your children to learn from you?
I took the day to really think this one through. Not because I didn’t know what I wanted to say right off the bat, but to decide on which thoughts are more important ones. The lessons that will build her foundation and take her into the world as a good, strong woman one day.
So I considered my mistakes as a mother in all of this, too, because I am certainly not perfect nor have I ever claimed to be. I’m selfish and snappy sometimes, but I never strike or put her down, or curse at her to make a point. There are boundaries parents these days seems to skate right over, and it makes me sick sometimes when I see the YouTube videos. Ya know, the kinds where a 5 year old has worse language than I do (that’s saying something) while beating a neighbor’s kid. That’s learned behavior, folks.
Anyway. Here are my top 3 lessons:
- Be unafraid. Go into every new experience with an open mind and little to no fear, or at least an appropriate level of fear. But be smart, be aware. Understand that there are risks to every chance you’ll take – from roller coasters to relationships – and that knowing is half the battle. Being prepared is not equivalent to being fearful. And in a world where women are still mistreated, degraded, and victims of some of the worst crimes known to mankind, I’m raising her to *know *how to protect herself without sacrificing her life or happiness in the process. My parents did similarly to me, and I’ll be forever grateful.
- Love is love is love. I’m working to raise a non-judgmental girl who will grow into a non-judgemental woman. I don’t care how she finds her happiness or love in the future, or with whom, so long as she is happy, safe and loved. This country does its best still to make “differences” weird and I’m not a perpetrator of that mindset. My daughter will respect and treat others exactly as she expects to be treated.
- Dream big. Despite my #1 life lesson for her, or perhaps in spite of, my girl has a lot of reservations and fears. She is hesitant to try to new things, from food to rides to what have you, and it’s hard to witness but I pray it’s a phase and she’ll eventually see how holding herself back betrays who you are inside as well as what you might offer to the world. The same is true for dreams and goals and things she wants to accomplish. I want her to know that limitations live only in the mind and no where else. That she can achieve all the things she so desires, so long as her drive and determination are in sync with those wants. Teaching her to act on those dreams as well – for nothing can come without action. If she wants to be a doctor, she needs to put in the years and long nights. If she wants to run a multi-million dollar airline, she needs to start from the ground and work her way up from there. Life is a progression and so are our dreams; they don’t just land in our lap and then there we are, living happily ever after. That’s the cinema, where real people have worked tirelessly to portray unrealistic stories to inspire us out of our drab, dreamless lives.
If I can successfully do any of the above, I will know I’ve raised a kind, good-natured, smart, fearless woman. And the world is so desperate for this now more than ever.