Kids have many growth milestones. The first tooth, the first step, the first word, and probably the most sought-after, the first full night of sleep. When it comes to age, you hear of reaching “double digits” and the often-dreaded teen years. In our house, we’ve reached a different one. My daughter recently turned nine, which means she’s closer to the day she’s leaving our house than to the day she entered it. It’s officially “halftime” and these are 5 things I want my daughter to know are important.
1. Be Kind Even When Others Aren’t
I honestly wish that this didn’t have to be on this list. But it does. It’s the principle that the Golden Rule is based on, yet it’s still not as automatic as one would hope. This doesn’t mean to not stand up for yourself. I want my daughter to lead by example. Luckily, being kind is in her nature. I just don’t want her to lose that when others are choosing the opposite.
2. Mistakes Happen
We’ve been reading the book It’s Okay to Make Mistakes for as long as I can remember. While the book’s illustrations and word choices may be on their way to becoming outgrown, the message is one I want to remain.
3. Hard Work and Perseverance Bring Reward
This one I stole directly from my mom. If there was one quote that I heard as much as “are you wearing sunscreen?” and “did you brush your teeth?” it’s this. In today’s world, we all want things right now. Actually, yesterday would be preferred. I give many examples of others who have had success in their fields and have worked insanely hard to get there. I try to stress that even when it appears that something came easy, it’s likely the result of much hard work and dedication.
4. Beauty is Subjective
This is probably one of the toughest ones to get across. I don’t expect my daughter to understand this fully now, but I remind her of it regularly. How many of us had an idea of what was beautiful when we were younger and have drastically changed our opinion? I think I’m not alone when I say I’m really glad I didn’t pursue my middle school crush.
5. Family is Forever
With this on the list, I may be more of my mother’s daughter than I’ll admit. My mom has always stressed the fact that maintaining family relationships is really important. People outside of the family can come and go, so that is all the more reason to show respect and love to family. I agree with this on many levels. I want to help my daughter build a bond with her brother that will start now and blossom into adulthood. I’m hoping that their closeness in age will also help fuel this.
What are some things you’re working to instill in your children at halftime? Tell me in the comments below.