20 (and counting) pieces of advice for my kids

My friend Dawn asked her readers what they would put into a letter of advice to their children. Of course I have no shortage of advice. Here are a few of my more practical thoughts. None of it is terribly original, but these are some of the things I will never tire of harping on. Many of them are things I wish I was better at or had implemented into my own life earlier. I will be adding to this endlessly no doubt. Thanks for the great prompt, Dawn.

  1. Brush and floss every day. No really. Just do it. Don't skimp on the flossing.
  2. Don't let other people's opinions of you either good or bad define the way you think about yourself. They are just human beings like you are,no better, so don't give them that sort of power. Your self image should depend on how you see yourself in the eyes of God. And rest assured, He thinks you are fabulously spectacular.
  3. If you are feeling depressed, unmotivated or anxious go for a walk or a run outdoors. If you are too depressed, unmotivated or anxious to go for a walk or run, get on some medication and into therapy as soon as possible, and then be sure to get into a regular exercise routine.
  4. Mental illness is not in your mind. It is in your brain-it is caused by the chemicals in your body being out of whack. Don't be so silly and/or arrogant as to think you can fix it without the help from professionals to adjust the chemicals. You are not depressed because you are a bad/lazy/unspiritual person, just like you don't get a cold or have bad eye-sight because you are a bad/lazy/unspiritual person.
  5. Sleeping enough, exercising regularly, eating less sugar and drinking more water will prevent/cure 90% of what ails you, physically, mentally or emotionally. Make those things a major priority.
  6. You will almost always regret the things you did say more then the things that you did not say. When in doubt, speak less or don't speak at all.
  7. In your daily life, always stick up for the underdog, seek out the lonely and unpopular and be their friend. In this way you can be an angel every day and an answer to prayer.
  8. You have a finite amount of time and energy on this planet. When in doubt, spend both on/with your family.
  9. My mom always told me to be even kinder to my siblings then I am to my friends. Don't sell your sibs down the river for a friend you might not even remember a year from now.Your siblings will be the people you can truly count on for life.
  10. Call/email/text people who pop into your head randomly as soon as you can. That happens for a reason.
  11. As Camilla Kimball said, (paraphrasing) "never dismiss a kind instinct". If you want to do something nice for someone, do it. Don't worry that they will think you are weird. They won't.
  12. Being called a nerd is actually a great compliment. If it happens, embrace and nurture it. Same with prude. Nerds don't go to jail and prudes don't get STD's.
  13. Marry someone who is kind to you. Even when they are having a bad day. I don't believe marriage should be "hard work". Marriage can and should be the refuge from the hard work of life. Being a decent person can be hard work though. If you can't be decent person to anyone else, make sure you are a decent person to your spouse. Even if it is hard work.
  14. Never miss an opportunity to cuddle compliment or kiss your children. Or to tell them that you love them.
  15. ( You are awesome. I love you! Come give me a hug.)
  16. Take lots of photos. You will never regret having too many photos.
  17. Very few things are worth going into debt for. Avoid debt like the plague.
  18. Don't take yourself so seriously. The more seriously you take yourself, the less seriously others will.
  19. Give people the benefit of the doubt. You would want them to do the same for you.
  20. Pray always, rather than as a last resort. It's amazing how well that works.

(To be continued)

I'm reading: 20 (and counting) pieces of advice for my kidsTweet this!


Jill said...

Can you guess which numbers made me cry?

Jen Lynn said...

very wise

MrsM said...

I like those a lot...college is worth getting into debt for right? Right? I guess I'll talk to myself in 7 years (and after $200,000) and finally know : )

Johnny and Betsye Park said...

So yet again, I cry...thanks for this, Kirsty! xo

Peg said...

just 80 more and you could have a best selling book..."Kirsty's Big Book of Advice...100 things to share with your kids."