Things I Learned as a Kid
It is amazing when I think back on the life lessons I learned as a kid, and how those lessons stick with me today. Here are five examples of lessons I learned very young and the stories that are behind those lessons!
1. I need to get a decent night’s sleep. I homeschooled grades 6-9, which allowed for some leniency in my schedule compared to other kids, but I was still expected to be at the desk and ready to learn come 8am. And the funny thing about having a parent as your teacher is that they aren’t afraid to slap you upside the back of the head (à la Uncle Phil) if you start acting like a fool. My dad didn’t have to catch me with my face down in a book more than a couple of times before I started getting myself to bed at a decent time. To this day, I have a set bedtime and I wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed!
2. Teach others how to treat you. I referenced this in another blog post, but I learned very young to set an expectation with others of how to treat me. It was a long lesson learned because my adolescence was littered with times where I got bullied, but in many of those cases, it was simply because I wasn’t yet sure how to express how I wanted to be treated. Even now, there are people I work with who are rude and abrasive to others, but are polite and professional with me because I insist that we treat one another with respect. And as Forrest Gump would say, that’s all I have to say about that!
3. How to fight my own battles. Oh, how lucky I was to have the mother that I do. I recall a time when I got into a scrap with another little girl, we must have been about 8. The little girl was mad at me and ran home to tell on me to her grandma. Her grandma came over and tried to talk to my mom about the situation, and my mom told that lady to let us work it out ourselves. I have no recollection of ever running to my mom to intervene in the conflicts between my friends and me. She wouldn’t have done it; she’d have given me a pep talk and sent me on my way to deal with it myself. This is why I don’t tell on my coworkers to my boss nowadays (and that’s a lesson we could all learn from!).
4. The pitfalls of buying cheap crap. I had a small allowance as a little girl, and my parents always let us spend our small sums of money however we wanted. I may have been five years old when my mom took me to the store with my little allowance and I was going to buy myself a toy. I was excited when I learned that if I got cheaper toys, I could buy two, instead of only one of the nicer ones. So, my mom said nothing when I bought the cheap toys. By the end of the night, both toys were broken. As a teenager, I had learned from this lesson. One of my first major purchases I made after I started working was a video camera. My dad helped me pick one out and I bought the best one money could buy, and it still works (though why would you need one nowadays?!).
5. Don’t worry about what other people think of you. I was attending a youth group at a church during the years when I was homeschooled as part of my extracurricular activities. I have also always been someone that people feel pretty comfortable sharing their opinions and feedback with. One even at the group, the leader asked everyone to anonymously draw a name and send a complimentary note to that person. I was eleven at the time, and scrawny and gangly and awkward looking, and was not surprised or pleased to see my note: “You look okay today, but you usually dress pretty stupid.” I took that note home to my dad and told him I didn’t want to go back to that group anymore. My dad said, “Piss on her! Why would you care what she thinks?” Well, that posed a good question. I didn’t care what she thought, and I wasn’t going to let her rude comments ruin my otherwise good time!