10 things to teach your children



By Rosanne Gephart

Adapted from Huff Post’s “Ten things I want my 10-
year-old daughter to know”

1. It is not your job to keep the people you love
happy.  Not your parents, not your siblings, not your
friends. The hard truth is that you can’t, anyway. Work
on being honest, kind, and true to yourself. Those are
at least obtainable!

2. Take care of your body, you only get one!  Be
active: run, jump, climb, hike and eat well. Try to get
outside everyday. Clean air and exercise clear the
mind and heal the soul. Overcoming physical
challenges builds character and enhances your sense
of well being.

3. Share your passions and talents. You may be
shy, embarrassed, or worried, that your family or
friends will be judgmental or tease you for what you
love to do or feel passionate about. The world needs
more passionate people who share their talents. This
is hard to realize, but essential.

4. It is okay to disagree with others. Your point of
view is important.  Everyone is entitled to an opinion.
The opinion of others, while different from yours, does
not dilute or make your opinion less. All things do not
require agreement. Respect the opinion of others as
they should respect yours. You do not need to prove
you are correct.  Your perspective is both valid and
valuable.  Don’t shy away from expressing it. You can
always change your mind! Perspectives change

5. Your physical looks do not define who you
are. You are the product of two unique individuals
who love the cleft of your chin, your eyes that remind

them of an elder, and your skin is the color of your
ancestors. You are unique, someone purely you. The
body is merely a case for the true you that is within.
The clouds of society’s beauty myth may manifest in
your self-consciousness, those clouds cannot hide the
shinning of your personality. You will define whom
you are by what you do and how you act.

6. Learning is essential.  Read, explore, and learn
all you can about this world. Fiction, non-fiction,
mystery, what ever suits you! It is a way to escape,
essential for growing the mind, and will open up
treasures of the world and the world of imagination.

7. You are not your parents or your siblings. You
are your own person, entirely and completely.
Separation, from those who where part of your
childhood is one of the fundamental tasks of
adolescence. You will follow your own path, make
your own mistakes and have your own victories!

8. It is almost never about you. What I mean is that
when people act in a way that hurts or makes you feel
insecure, it is almost certainly about something
happening inside of them, and not about you. Unkind
words and actions can slice at your heart, even if your
head knows otherwise.  It helps to remember that,
almost always, other people are struggling with their
own demons, insecurities, and burdens.

9. There is no single person who can be your
everything. Be very careful about bestowing this
power on any one person.  All of us sometimes feel a
gnawing loneliness or emptiness. Trying to fill that ache

with other people (or with anything else, like
food, alcohol, and other numbing behaviors like staring

at cell phones/devices) will not help.  You
will feel let down, and, worse, that loneliness will still
be there. Instead, do something for others.
Community service often gives a great sense of
“making a difference”. Happiness comes from within.

10. Your parents (those who raised you) tried to
do their best.  Parents can be impatient and
fallible. They too are human and make mistakes.
They love you, even if they did not always act like it.
They tried to give you the best start they could.
Parenting is learned as you go, often through
mistakes and tears. Nearly all parental figures wish
they could have done better.


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