The five most important things I’ve taught (or am teaching) my girls

Raising children is a big, no – huge responsibility.  In the end, nothing in my life will be more important than raising my children. Nothing. Think about all of the things our children learn from us – it would be impossible to keep track.

How to clap. How to tie a shoe. How to zip a zipper. How to get dressed. How to be nice. How to brush their teeth.  How to sing the ABC’s. How to do a ponytail. How to put on makeup. How to ride a bike. How to drive a car. How to write a thank-you note. How to say prayers. I could go on, and on, and on.

So many things.

Those are the things we really don’t even think about; we just do them. The things that just come naturally for most of us. The easy stuff.

Sometimes we teach through repetition, and for me, that makes the most sense. Tell them. Show them. Tell them. Show them. Repeat. They’ll get it. Every day when my 6-year-old leaves for school I say the exact same thing, “Have a great day, Emma. Listen to your teachers, have fun with your friends and learn, learn, learn!”  Every single day. That is what I want her to do. Today, tomorrow. Everyday.

Then there’s the hard stuff.  The stuff that isn’t a one-off. The lessons that form over time. The life lessons that help define them. The life lessons that help define us, as parents.

There are many of these life lessons, but in my opinion, there are five big ones.

Don’t judge others. Obviously, I’ve judged people in my life. I wish I could say that I haven’t. But, I’ve learned over time that it’s a ridiculous thing to do, and a big waste of time and energy. We have no idea what other people are going through. More importantly, we have no right to judge them based on what WE see. Don’t judge what you don’t understand. You don’t know their story. You just don’t. When you judge another, you aren’t defining them – you’re defining yourself.

Don’t ever let others put you down. This is so important. It’s hard to navigate your way through life. It’s hard to gain the self-confidence needed to be successful throughout life. Don’t let anyone get in the way of your happiness. Stay away from people who try and dull your shine. There’s a great saying that I love – If someone is trying to push you down, that must mean that you are above them! Walk through life with your head held high and trust your gut when it comes to true friendships. Most importantly, when you find them – nurture them, appreciate them, love them. Steer clear of the drama and naysayers.

Be strong and be nice: they are not mutually exclusive.  Do NOT give yourself any barriers or glass ceilings. Be brave, be strong, and be your best self. Don’t back down from something because it is challenging – that’s when you really take it on! If you fall down, get back up. Know that you can accomplish anything, that you have a fire, a spirit and a drive that can take you where you want to go. Be strong in everything you do and that includes loving yourself. 🙂 Just as important, be nice. Help others to realize they can reach their goals, too. Life isn’t a competitiong, there is plenty of room for everyone to succeed!! Kindness is so underrated in today’s society. It’s the backbone of our soul and without it, we can’t appreciate the best of life.

Listen and learn. Sometimes we talk to much and don’t listen nearly enough. Let others talk. Learn about other people, give them the chance to speak up and speak out. Take it all in. Gain wisdom and guidance. You will have plenty of time to talk, plenty – just wait for your moments. It’s true that the quieter you become, the more you can hear.  Be a good listener – you’re less likely to get into trouble. What’s that saying – your ears will never get you in trouble. Your mouth will! The more you listen, the more you’ll know. And the truth is … knowledge really is power.

Don’t hate or be jealous of other’s success. I know that sometimes it’s hard for people to be happy when others succeed. This is just hurting you. Success by another doesn’t impact your success. It’s petty and time wasted. Nobody deserves success more than others, and that includes you. You have to work hard – like really hard – and success will follow. But, don’t knock others down along the way – lift them up! I have to admit, I think this happens more with women; the pettiness, jealousy. Believe me when I tell you – it is a HUGE waste of time. It will fill your heart and soul with hate and leave you bitter. And they’re still going to be successful. We have to cheer one another on.  This means don’t ever be happy when someone fails, too. Celebrate the success of others the way you would want them to celebrate yours – it’s true that what goes around, comes around! There is enough sun for everyone out there. Success comes to those who work – and giving back is a part of that recipe. Don’t forget to help those who need it most – helping others will bring you happiness.


Be strong.

Be beautiful.

Be you.

Mary Friona

Mary Friona

Following my heart with my husband and four daughters. An Emmy Award winning journalist lucky enough to work in television & radio for 20 years - seeing wonderful places, meeting great people and telling their stories.

Leave a comment