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Life Lessons for My Children

I was up early one morning. As I sat on the couch sipping coffee I thought about what I really wanted my children to know – beyond science and literature. Those things that shape us into the people we are for ourselves and others.

It isn’t an easy list. It caused me to look at my weaknesses and strengths, and what I wanted for my children.

This is what I decided. These 5 things are what I want my children to know and understand to their core.

1. You are entitled to nothing. You are not entitled to a job, a big house, a nice car, an allowance…nothing. The second you start thinking you deserve things is the moment you lose sight of what really matters.

2. A broken heart isn’t the end. I remember that first big breakup. Oh it hurt. I watched sappy movies and schemed up ways to work things out even though I knew they couldn’t be fixed. We had dated for almost 2 years, and I was certain I would never date again. Eventually I realized how much I had learned from that relationship. Take those heartbreaks and turn them into lessons.

3. God, Family, Country, Friends, Yourself. In that order. There are very few instances where you should put yourself first {after God}. Picking a college and pulling down the air mask in an airplane are two examples. Other than that just don’t do it. Give to others, and your heart will be so full you will think it will explode. Love and philanthropy are second to none.

4. You cannot read too much. Read everything – newspapers, books, maps, cookbooks, and whatever else has words. Reading is the key to everything from imagination to education. You should read everyday. It is freeing.

5. Chivalry is only dead if you kill it. Under no circumstance, do I want to see a child of mine shut a door when more people are coming. I don’t care if it is a woman or a man. You hold doors. Boys and men stand when a woman comes to the table. You say please and thank you. Send thank you notes. Offer to share your umbrella. Just be kind.

What lessons do you hope your children learn?

Stephanie and her family live in Roswell, Georgia. Originally from the Northeast, Stephanie ditched snow for sun five years ago and hasn’t looked back. Stephanie loves the kitchen, summer dresses, and a good book. She is also active in Junior League of Atlanta and at her local Catholic Church. Armed with an English degree and a MBA, Stephanie is preparing to homeschool her young son, Samuel. She blogs at The Brunette Foodie.

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  1. LOVE this list!!!! Thank you! I’m not sure if this is the list I would come up with, but I like it and agree. Lately I am so tired I can only remind myself (and my children) that in everything we do we should (1) glorify God, (2) love, encourage and support others, and (3) have stewardship for the earth and animals…

  2. Wonderful article! Aside from knowing God, I want my children learn to have servants heart which I think you alluded to up above.

  3. LOVE your points here – great post!
    Just be kind … its like a mantra around here.
    Sometimes little ones cannot keep up with all we tell them, but kind is an easy one.
    When you are kind, you don’t lie, or gossip, or cheat, or steal …

    Entitlement – oh big where we live, hence we are off to work in service in Nicaragua this Summer – my girls are 10 and 14, my youngest is in for a shock 😉

  4. You have honestly hit the homeschooling nail on the head; regardless of what we all get caught up in. It has consistently been my experience, that when people are asked the question in reference to what they would like their children to know/possess in this life, the Quadratic Equation and recognition of a perfect preposition are not amongst them! Why? I believe it is because anyone can learn anything. Who you are?…makes or breaks everything. You, my dear, have given a poignant reminder.

  5. This is so true and refreshing to read. And if a child totally embraces these truths they will be equipped to become mature adults. Anything that they lack they will be able to find and absorb.

  6. Wow – I LOVE it!!! I have been talking with my 10 year old son about some of those very issues. But you really pointed out things that I totally agree with but had not already considered. What a productive early morning you had! Thanks for sharing.

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