My boys like to say, “I know. I know, Mom” when I am trying to share some mom advice. I wonder if they hear what I am saying to them or are they just trying to hurry me along. We all have that mom/dad advice that we want to share with our kids. I compiled some of the information that I find myself repeating over and over into the 5 Sentences to change your child’s life.
- Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a battle. My boys are very black and white thinkers. They hear fighting a battle, so they assume something terrible like cancer. I’ve worked hard that fighting a battle can mean struggling with math, maybe their parents are getting divorced, or they just feel unhappy and don’t know why. I ask the boys, “How can we be kind?” The mantra be kind is all over. But what does that mean? What does it look like?
- Try to say Hi to one person every day that maybe you wouldn’t have done otherwise. This piece of advice is one way to be kind. I challenge my boys to say hi to someone. Aren’t we all guilty of falling into our routines, with our people, and just doing our thing? We could miss opportunities when we are cocooned into our habits. I tell the boys, “Put your head up three inches, see the world, and say Hey to someone.”
- Our words are powerful. Choose them wisely. And own them. This is probably the most difficult one that we have encountered in our home. The boys have enjoyed the freedom to express their opinions. However, they haven’t appreciated the consequences of this privilege. Choosing our words wisely is a work in progress. The boys were not prepared for a poor reaction to their words. Whether it be angry, upset, and hurt, they did not think through what their words could do to another person. They did not own the words once they were spoken. I saw children falling back, stumbling over, and trying to say, “I didn’t know.” When they knew precisely what was happening. Our lessons have now moved on to owning the words we speak!
- Once you know better. Do better. I am a fan of learning through every experience. We can draw conclusions and make our own connections. We will never be the same once those connections are made. We now know better so we can do better in both big and small ways.
- If you don’t know, ask. I saw both of my boys go through a phase where they were afraid to ask questions. They would come home from school, frustrated, upset, over something that happened. I would ask them, did you ask your teacher for help? A horrified gasp would escape out of their mouths, “No!” Over time, our experiences included no one expects you to know everything. It is perfectly acceptable to ask for help. Bonus Tip Laugh Daily. What a better way to enjoy our lives each and every day–find something to laugh about it.
All my best to you,