Getting older has never bothered me at all. In fact, I embrace it and enjoy each year older I get. Now that I have a son in high school (9th grade) and a daughter in middle school (6th grade), I’ve started thinking about all the things I wish I would have known then that I know now. Since I can’t go back in time, nor would I want to, what I can do is compile this list of 30 pieces of advice for my younger self and make sure I teach these things to my kids.
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If you have kids, you know what it’s like to try and give them advice and have them basically (or literally) tell you that you don’t know what you are talking about. We can’t make them listen and take our advice. All we can do is continue to be open and honest with them and hope that someday they will remember the things we tell them and it will finally sink it. So, for that reason, I have compiled this list of 30 pieces of advice for my younger self that I would like my kids to know.
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- Be yourself. Know that who you are is enough. If someone doesn’t like you for who you are, then they are not worth your time.
- Set goals for yourself and work to achieve that goal. If it seems like you will never meet that goal, it’s OK to reevaluate and change your goals a bit.
- Don’t make up excuses. Own your mistakes; learn from your mistakes; and move on from your mistakes.
- Surround yourself with people that boost you up. Don’t be afraid to cut ties with those that cut you down.
- You are responsible for YOU. Choose to be happy.
- Be kind to others. Especially that person others don’t seem to be kind to. People may not remember all of the mean things said to them, but they will aways remember when someone was nice to them.
- You will ALWAYS learn more from listening than from talking. So listen more.
- Don’t let failure hold you back. Pick yourself back up and try again.
- Always be grateful. Be grateful for what you have; focus on the good; let go of the bad.
- Try really really hard not to be so gullible. It’s OK to trust, but you need to learn to verify things. You do not want to be known as a gossip that spreads lies.
- Step out of your comfort zone. Try new things. Be curious.
- Learn to forgive. You may not ever forget, but forgiveness is good for the heart.
- Stop thinking you’re fat. Eat healthy, get exercise and you will be just fine. The number on the scale and the number on the tags is just that…a number.
- Change is good. Embrace change. Don’t fear change.
- Pay attention in school. School is your job. Treat it like a job.
- Respect others. There is nothing worse than a disrespectful person.
- Respect yourself. If you want others to respect you, you need to respect YOU.
- Write things down in a panner for school. Trust me. Your brain may be capable of remembering your reading assignment now, but things won’t always be that way. Train yourself to write things down NOW!
- Friends will come and go. The one thing you will always have is your sibling(s). Remember that.
- It’s fun to have boyfriends and girlfriends, but those relationships don’t always last. Everything will be OK if and when they don’t last.
- Curfews are there for a reason. Follow it. Know that it is not easy for your parents to let you go out, especially at night, alone. Save them headaches and worry by coming home on time.
- Learn to take compliments and say thank you. Don’t feel like you need to cut yourself down because someone paid you a compliment. Just say thanks!
- When it comes time for college, pursue your interests. Don’t let anyone talk you out of it.
- Being “cool” is just a matter of opinion.
- Saying “no” is fine. Learn the word. Don’t let others pressure you into saying yes for something you don’t want to say yes to.
What are pieces of advice would you give your younger self? I’m curious. Leave me a comment and let me know. There are so many times I hear myself tell my own teenager things that I then sit back and think, “wow. I wish someone would have told me that when I was his age”. So as you can imagine, when I was writing this list of advice for my younger self, I did so with my own kids in mind. Everything on this list is something I have said to them or will say to them at some point.