8 Lessons I Want My Kids to Learn Before They’re Teens

Growing up, I wish I had known that everything always works out in the end, so there’s no point in stressing. Stop worrying about the future, don’t get upset about the past; stay in the present moment. Those were all things I wish I could have done more of. The world is so small when you’re a teenager and you think that a fight with a girlfriend — or the fact that a guy didn’t call you — is the biggest deal. But, when you get out in the real world, you realize that those things are actually very small. So, it’s important to me to teach my kids how to put their problems in perspective and to try their best, then let the cards fall where they may. I also want them to know these life lessons by the time they’re teens:

1. Be honest, always. My dad rewarded honesty. If my brother and I were honest about our mistakes growing up, chances are we wouldn’t get into trouble.

2. Respect others. The old saying, treat others as you want to be treated. It’s a life lesson.

3. Use good manners. Please and thank you go a long way. Hand-written thank you cards are a lost art but always remembered. Be little gentlemen. Hold the door for others.

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4. You can do anything you put your mind to. Your mind is really powerful. Happiness is a choice. Don’t ever forget that.

5. Work hard at everything you do. If you apply yourself and work hard, your efforts will pay off. No matter what you are doing, give it your best effort. If you give 100 percent, then you will never have regrets.

6. Appreciate the value of a dollar. I want my kids to learn how to work for what they want. There’s no better feeling than buying something you want with your own hard-earned money.

7. Never be afraid to be yourself. The little things that are different about you are what make you special and unique! Never dumb yourself down or shy away from shining brightly.

8. Everything happens for a reason. I truly believe this, even if at times it’s hard to know why. Try to see the lesson in everything.

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