My Journey from Awareness to Acceptance to Authenticity
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Hope Through Authenticity

What I Taught Kids

My last post was about what I learned from my parents. My parents died within weeks of each other earlier this year, so it seemed like an appropriate time to visit that topic. It dawned on me that maybe it would have been nice to share the list with them before it was too late. And, if they knew some of the negative lessons I was learning, they may have made some adjustments.  At least later in life, I don’t think they meant to hurt me.

This led me to ask my own children what they have and are learning from me. You may be thinking that I wouldn’t get an honest response – after all, I can always re-write my will (haha). But, for those of you that know my children, you can attest to the fact that brutal honesty is not a problem.

I will use their exact words …

These are in no particular order and I’ll let you decide if these are positive or negative lessons.

  • Music is awesome.
  • Respect is important BUT it’s also good to speak your mind.
  • Communication is important.
  • Mental health is not discriminatory or gender specific. It affects everyone to some extent.
  • Be the best Dad I can.
  • Always work hard for what I want, even if it takes years and years.
  • If you fail at something, do better next time.
  • Life can suck – but that’s life – make the best of it.
  • Do what makes you (me) happy.
  • Always find time to spend with family because you will ALWAYS have your family.
  • Enjoy the little things (now this I got from Zombieland, but that’s ok!).
  • Always be on time: 30 minutes early, actually – I will forever have time anxiety because of you.
  • Always have integrity. Tell the truth and do the right thing or else it’ll bite you in the ass.
  • Don’t gossip. That will bite you in the ass.
  • School comes before sports.
  • Materialistic items in life aren’t really that important.
  • You only need a few close friends b/c a small circle will always have your back.
  • My mom actually knows pretty much everything and has my best interest above any of my friends.
  • Good character is important in school, sports, work, life. Even if you suck at something or mess up, good character comes out on top.
  • Work ethic will take you further than skill. If I have passion and work hard, I can achieve my dream.
  • I can do anything, and I mean ANYTHING, I want if I put my mind to it.

My Assessment

What did I learn from this list? What changes do I want to make based on this?

  • First, I need to find out what Zombieland is.
  • Maybe I need to relax about being on time – if you read what I learned from my parents, you’ll see that punctuality has been handed down.
  • I like the term ‘bite you in the ass’.
  • I might need to explain to my kids that dreams don’t always come true. Sometimes hard work and passion aren’t enough. But that doesn’t mean you should give up or give in. It’s just means sometimes you have to accept what is and adjust.
  • Next time my daughter doesn’t listen to me I’m going to remind her: “My mom actually knows pretty much everything and has my best interest above any of my friends.”
  • I might to explain to my son that happiness may be elusive (I can have him read my What I Want For My Children blog).

Now that I’ve read these more closely, it seems my kids may not have been completely honest. Surely they learned some “bad” things too.

My Favorite

I am proud of these lists. But I have a couple favorites:

  • Mental health is not discriminatory or gender specific. It affects everyone to some extent.
  • You only need a few close friends b/c a small circle will always have your back.

I hope they have truly embraced these lessons and will use them to evaluate choices and decisions. I hope they will pass these lessons to the next generation (well, except anxiety of being on time).

Parenting is the HARDEST task we will ever undertake. I recommend you spend a few minutes thinking about what legacy you are creating. Ask your kids. When my kids made these lists, they were reminded of my example. Putting these lessons into words will help seal them in their minds (right?).

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  • Meet June

    June with Purple Hair

    In April 2012 I had a mental breakdown. The real thing. I have about 36 hours that I don’t remember....

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