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Amidst the hustle and bustle of our daily life, it’s easy to forget the importance of teaching our kids how to live. You see, there’s a big difference between living and existing. Living is all about the journey, the experiences, the joy that comes from being in the moment.

That’s not always easy to do in a world that seems to pride itself on being virtually somewhere else at all times. Existing is just going through the motions. It’s carpool lines and grocery shopping. It’s rushing from one task to the next without taking a break or a breath. I want to teach my kids that life is so much more than that.

A little girl dancing in a grassy field with text below her.

1. Life Is Messy
I wish I could say that everything will always be in order and that there will always be a rhyme and reason to things, but that’s simply not the case. Life is messy and messed up and wonderful all at the same time. It’s filled with complications and freedoms, and can change directions on a dime. Life requires thought and awareness and a whole lot of courage.

2. Kindness Is More Important Than Winning
There are going to be times in life when the idea of winning, of beating out someone else, is going to feel all-consuming. That kind of focus and determination is great, but…just remember that kindness trumps winning. Always. If you have to push someone else down to get ahead, if you have to compromise who you are, the win is never worth it. Sometimes that’s a hard lesson to learn. I hope kindness always come first.

3. It’s Not All About You
One of the most challenging things that you’re going to have to learn about life is that it’s not all about you. I know that sounds harsh, but it’s true. The world doesn’t revolve around you and your wants. There are a whole lot of other people in this world and they have needs too.

4. You Can’t Control Others
The way people act or react to you and your actions often has nothing at all to do with you. You can’t control other people’s reactions, but you can control your own actions. So, when you know you’ve done the right thing and someone says otherwise, just remember that their reaction is often more about them than you. Do what’s right and make sure your actions reflect the best of you.

5. Don’t Forget to Slow Down
Life gets busy – much busier than you can even imagine. Your calendar will fill up and your commitments will multiply. That’s all well and good, but don’t forget to slow down. Take time to relax, laugh, and do the things that make your soul sing. Try new hobbies, read some books, and enjoy time spent wandering. If you don’t make time to slow down, you’ll miss out on what’s really important in life.

I can’t guarantee that my kids will hear me when I talk with them about life, but I know they’ll see how I model it. Even more important than telling them, I have to show them how I live life and embrace all of the messy goodness it contains. Someday they may forget what I said, but they’ll never forget how I lived.


A woman holding a baby

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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