Right this second my daughter is sitting in school, with probably no care in the world except how her Jojo Bow looks and how many points she will score at her next basketball game. It is noon so I'm sure she has already had lunch and spent free time on the playground with her friends. On this January day the temperature is 52 degrees Fahrenheit in this Texas town. I guaranty that she wont care if her hair gets messed up outside, and she certainly doesn't care if her socks match. But at only ten years old, those things will change...I'm sure. Don't we wish they could stay young and innocent forever so we can just bask in those sweet carefree moments?
As a Counselor I know that there are many things coming up fast in her development; puberty, trust and relationship challenges, humiliating moments, self-awareness, drama and other unavoidable situations. Even though these are situations that every human being is faced with, there are a few things I want my daughter to know.
These are just a few things I want Lyric to remember.
10. It is okay to be fragile sometimes. I went years without crying because I thought it was a weakness. But I realized there are some things absolutely worth crying about. Do not ever be afraid to show your emotions and let others know how you feel. I mean, don't be an emotional disaster all the time, but when it matters...it's OK to allow your feelings to run their course.
9. Always use a strong hand shake: It leaves lasting impression and represents self-confidence and ambition. A strong hand shake and eye contact exemplifies a mutual respect for one another and is a sign that you are friendly, trustworthy, and honest. Always Always Always look people in the eye when you talk to them. Gaining trust from people will help in all of your relationships. But don't ever allow that trust to be broken.
8. If you have the ability, always do what you can to fight for people who are unable to fight for themselves: Regardless of who they are, do not sit back and watch bad things happen to or said to someone without speaking up. Protect that weaker person if you have the ability to do so. It is the decent thing to do.
7. Treating others nicely is important, go out of your way to do this: I remember years ago, A man came into my work 2 hours late to a class that I taught that he was REQUIRED to attend after losing his job. He lived 30 minutes away, car had broke down, and I could tell by his appearance that he had been in the heat for a long time. The man was almost in tears when we began to turn him away because the class was over. Something inside me wouldn’t allow him to leave after what he'd been through. I sat with him privately in my office and quickly went over everything that was discussed in the class, made sure he understood, and gave him credit for attending. Do this for people, and when they thank you for going out of your way to help…tell them to pay it forward ;). Read my post about raising a kind child.
6. Serve God, Love God, and Mend: Shakespeare’s quote from Much Ado about Nothing was said from a man to a woman “serve God, love me, and mend”…But until you find THAT “man” always abide by the version I just created. No matter what is happening in your life, and no matter how unpopular it is to serve God, …do! You will be a happier person and it will mend all internal wombs. It will never be easy, but it will give you strength that you wont have alone.
5. Never be ashamed of who you are: My daughter truly does love what she loves rather or not others do. She doesn't care what others think and doesn't want anyone to try to be like her either. She strives for individuality. I relate (she gets it from her mom). But as children become teens there will be more peer pressure and more desire to fit in. But don't ever do something or like something just to "fit in". Be the unique you, always.
4. Allowing other’s to talk down to you will only make them feel stronger: Just walk away and let them know that you will not be treated with disrespect. Do not believe these negative things that bullies say. They are just unhappy with themselves. You are already strong at recognizing when someone is being hateful to you. I can not imagine the strength you will have as an adult.
3. Don’t let ANYONE tell you that you can’t do something: And if they do, prove them wrong. I asked you when you were 4 what you wanted to be when you grew up and you responded “a police officer just like my mommy was.” By God if that is what you want, go for it! I ask you now and you say "A baker and a Cheff like Bobby Fley". Do it! Live your dreams and never regret a single thing. Each decision you make molds the beautiful person you will be on the inside.
2. You don’t have to do the same thing every day. Try new things. If you don't like it, don't try it again. If other’s think you are “wishy washy” and unable to commit to a hobby or too picky an eater, know that you're at least trying and your entire family is proud of you for following each and every like/dream that enters your mind. Your mother has done many things in her life, things she always wanted to do. Even if I only did some of these things for a short time, I fulfilled that dream and can not say I didn’t try. With that said, I hope you commit to a job and have great work ethics. But find a job or career that makes you happy. Some people think success is how much money you make…but I hope you see it through your mother’s eyes and feel that success is the happiness you have with yourself.
1. And MOST importantly: Fall in love as many times as you can, with everything you can, and ooz passion in anything you do. Your heart will get broken, no human is immune to that. It is ok to love, but know the difference between love and other things. "Love's not times fool". When you find that true love, you will know; don't let it go.
What is some advice you would give your child(ren)?