There are five lessons every kid should learn in life. Unfortunately, many kids either don’t learn them until later in life, or at all.
1. Nothing in life is free. I don’t know how many times my kids want to go to McD’s or BK for the “free” toy. Um, no, that toy is $3.99 plus tax, plus my food, plus my time on the treadmill after eating that crap. Not to mention the “why do you always go out to eat” garbage the hubby says to me. “Save money, blah blah blah”. Wait, where was I? Oh yeah, free crap. There are plenty of things the kids want and see either in advertisements, school, etc that they think is totally free. They don’t understand that why someone may offer something for free, there is always, inevitably a catch. Even here, on our own site. I offer free gift cards, toys and more. Are they truly free? Not really. You “pay” me by clicking on an advertisers link on the site, by signing up in our forums, by following me on twitter. Might not be monetary payment, but just as important to a new-ish blogger! So, anyway (sorry, another tangent) tell the kids next time they want that “free” stuff, to earn it. Do chores, don’t whine all afternoon about doing your homework, be nice to your siblings. Those are all ways to “pay” your parents for that “free” crap you want.
2. Don’t be a follower. “Just because Billy and Sally jump off a bridge, are you going to also?” Something every parent has said, right?! Well it’s true. Just because Billy has an xbox and Sally takes horseriding lessons, doesn’t make you any less of a kid (or parent) for not having the same things. Don’t I wish I knew this in middle school. I was obsessed with fitting in. I never wore the “right” clothes or styled my hair the “right” way, and looking back on that, so glad I didn’t. It made me an individual. People earn more respect and have a much more powerful voice if they can do it with confidence and conviction. Don’t listen to Miley Cyrus just because everyone else does. Give Ozzy a try. Or Bon Jovi. Or even that annoying Katy Perry with her damn catchy tunes. Like something because you truly like it and believe in it, not just ’cause Suzie told you too.
3. You don’t have to have the last word. THIS I struggle with now, at 31 yrs old. I don’t always need to add my 2 cents to a topic. Sit down and Shut up every once in a while and I can learn more about the people I’m around. If I’m always talking, I might miss knowing that a friend is going through a hard time. I might miss that another just had some exciting news or even a third might be engaged/expecting/etc. In
arguments debates, you don’t always have to keep talking to drive in your point either. State your side, the facts that support it, then shut up. Who knows, the opposing view might be something you hadn’t considered and you may learn a lot from it.
4. Listen to your parents!!! Trust me, I rolled my eyes with the best of them every time my mom said “Just wait until you are a mother.” But you know what? (Earmuffs Mom!) She was right. There. I said it. I’m slightly ashamed of it, but it’s true nonetheless. Sometimes as a kid you think your parents have never gone through what you are. That they never felt the same way. That there is no way they would understand. Try them. They might just surprise you. I know with my kids, I try to relate by sharing a story of something I went through as a kid. Not to change the focus back on me (although I am the best topic I know. 😉 ) but to show them that I’ve been there before and know what they are going through, no matter how embarrassing the story. Sometimes it comes back to haunt me, but for the most part, they respect my honesty.
5. You do not need $120 sneakers to fit in. Or a $200 handbag, or a cell phone in 2nd grade. No matter what your friends say/have/do, you don’t need to have all those “things” for people to like you. This kinda relates to number 2. Don’t be a follower. I know in high school I HAD TO HAVE those hot, $75 white guess jeans with the triangle on the pocket or I would JUST DIE! Wanna know what happened? I got them. I got a job, earned the money, bought them and the very first day I wore them… Got into a car accident and they were stained with grease, oil and had to be cut off me. I cried. Then went back to my knock-off EJ Gitano jeans for only $20 at wal mart. (Now for you parents, a double standard here is totally is okay! Yeah, I’m kinda a jeans wench nowadays, but as parents, you earned it! 😉 )
Now take those life lessons learned to the movies and check out Nanny McPhee Returns with your parents.
Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Nanny McPhee Returns blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.