Archives For advice

Listen up little dreamers

January 29, 2013

I’ve read various renditions of blogs written by someone older to someone younger. Some are written by parents to their children, while others are written by adults to their younger selves if only they could go back in time and instill advice to avoid the pitfalls of growing up. All give insightful glimpses into lessons learned.

One of the most recent and inspiring that I’ve read is called Letters to All the Beautiful Little Girls – Part 1.

Don't fence yourself in.

Dream big. Don’t fence yourself in.

I mainly blog at night, once my three kids are settled down to bed and my mind is freed up to think.

Tonight, I won’t promise to solve all their problems. I’ll simply offer up these words of wisdom.

To my daughter:

1. I wish for you the kind of love that Rapunzel finds with Eugene Fitzherbert in Tangled. But, even more than that, I wish for you to know the feeling of loving life.

2. Don’t waste a single breath complaining about your body. The boys and friends who only pay attention to you for it, and not your heart and mind, aren’t worth impressing. I know that is so much easier to preach than to practice. Mom needs a reminder herself every now and then.

3. Learn to love your crazy hair. Consider it an outward symbol of all the wild, rebellious ideas you’ve got floating around in that head of yours.

4. If wearing a dress and matching hair bows is what makes you happy, I’ll do my best to help out. Just know that your mom sucks at fashion and has a hard time understanding why people care so much about what covers their bodies. (On a related note: bras are dumb but you must wear one.)

5. Know that I love telling you that you are my favorite daughter and hearing you say that I am your favorite mom. I realize these words will undoubtedly run away during your hormonal years, but I have faith they will inevitably return.

To my sons:

1. Never underestimate the power of prayer…or deodorant.

2. You have no idea how lucky you are to share a bedroom together. I know it causes you much stress and angst now, but there will be a day when you look up and realize that your loud, obnoxious brother isn’t there. And the silence will be deafening.

3. Don’t fall for the girl who tells or shows you why you should like her. You are both smart. The best things in life are those you have to work for, including the attention of a female.

4. Know that you can remain within boundaries while helping to define them. You will face multiple paths in life. Do what feels right with the knowledge that you won’t choose right every time. Don’t be afraid to fail or you may never fully realize how far you can go.

choose your path wisely

choose your path wisely

5. When you screw up, seek out your father. When you are lauded for your accomplishments, thank your mom. Kidding…I’ve got your back no matter what.

Created by Heidi Woodard

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

apple bushel

each apple is unique in a bushel…same can be said about family

I often battle with what’s the best advice to give to my three apples. My ripest just turned 11 and is already expressing boredom with school. He’s in fifth grade.

He’s a great student who absorbs concepts and lessons quite easily. I’m not sure how my husband and I got so lucky to claim him as our own.

I remember stressing over grades because I was the type who couldn’t settle for a B. Even A minuses stung a little.

My parents never pressured me to be this way.

In fact, I recall my dad leaning over my shoulder trying to comfort me as I cried when I couldn’t grasp higher-level mathematical concepts in high school. Neither he nor my mom expected perfect scores, yet they beamed with pride when I achieved them. And having two loving parents dote on me was a feeling I strove to achieve as often as possible.

I graduated summa cum laude from a prestigious university and I honestly don’t think anyone (including myself) cared about that feat post-college. A lot of stress suffered for nothing!

So, yeah, this whole concept of “everything is too easy” doesn’t exactly resonate with me. And it’s killing me not to know how to best handle this situation. Is this a phase that I should let him weather through? Or will me intervening now help keep him focused down the road?

I’ve been reading excerpts from LinkedIn Thought Leaders, one of whom is Anthony (Tony) Robbins. He recently published an interesting piece called The Push and Pull – Possibility versus Necessity where he breaks down how different people are motivated depending on whether they are driven by a need or a desire.

I’ve always felt I’m a little bit of both. I want security and stability in life, but I’m also motivated by pushing my potential and forging into uncharted territories. I firmly believe you better yourself by embracing more of the latter.

The best thing to do with a child who’s bored with what he has to do, according to the article, is to stress the infinite possibilities open to those with a good education.

I want him to know that material wealth is not the ultimate goal. Nor is finishing at the top of the pyramid in or out of the classroom.

Yes, you must strive to earn the academic accolades that you are capable of achieving. Yes, you will need to land a good job. Yes, you (and those who depend on you) will need benefits. And school is the stepping stone for you to get those things.

Remember, however, that it is equally important to meet new people, embrace uncomfortable change, and embark on journeys that have no predetermined outcome.

Don’t settle for the status quo.

Because, dear apple, when you settle…you spoil.

Created by Heidi Woodard