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12 Things I've Taught My 10-Year-Old

Show respect to everyone, no matter who and what they are in life; everyone has a unique story, including you.
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USA, New Jersey, Jersey City, Mother with daughter (8-9) talking on bed
USA, New Jersey, Jersey City, Mother with daughter (8-9) talking on bed

My daughter learns so much from me on a daily basis. Now, there are some behaviors that I'd prefer for her not to learn, like fussing at the car in front of me in traffic or my inability to fold clothes when I take them out of the dryer. But luckily, she has way more positives to refer to, like: praying, cooking, cleaning, reading, writing, taking a selfie properly, etc.

But the thing she learns from me daily is how to be a woman. I always tell her that each of us has our own unique way of doing things, and that's OK; it's important to embrace differences. I'd hope that the one takeaway with this would be her viewing me as the "Woman of Many Colors" (colors being a metaphor for characteristics). But there are some other things that I've taught her, and I found these to be the most interesting ones:

1. Pick a career that is worth it (worth the hard work, dedication, flexibility, etc.). Not a career that is just "fun," because your definition of fun will change as you grow.

2. Show respect to everyone, no matter who and what they are in life; everyone has a unique story, including you.

3. Rejection is REAL and it's perfectly OK; you weren't meant for everyone, and vice versa.

4. Don't be afraid to have an intense or uncomfortable conversation; it can sometimes be an appropriate way to resolve a conflict.

5. Text in full sentences so that when you are drafting an essay or email, it will come naturally to type REAL words.

6. You can't function as an island by yourself; you need to build healthy relationships and maintain them.

7. There are different religions and beliefs in the world; it's a personal choice that one makes.

8. Understand what you're entitled to and what you are not entitled to; you need to work hard for what you want.

9. Have more in your bank account than you have in material items; being financially savvy is crucial to staying above the poverty line.

10. Not everything is as quick as popping popcorn in the microwave; some things take time, and that's perfectly OK.

11. Aim to always show up at least 10 minutes early.

12. The seeds you sow will be the harvest you'll reap in this world; be the constant example of how you want others to act and also treat you.

The list of what we need to teach our kids can seem endless, but teaching them key things that you as an adult struggle or struggled with is a good place to start. Growing up, until I was about 22 or so, I struggled with rejection -- from friends, boyfriends, family, you name it. Until I finally realized, Hey, I won't die because someone doesn't like me. Imagine that! I had to change my perspective in order to function in both my personal and professional life. Now, I use these as teaching points for my daughter.

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