Things I Teach My Daughter That I Have Not Learned Yet

“Those that can not do, teach.”  That has been the cop out of my life.  I have a degree in elementary education and teaching experience in a million different ways under my belt, but I have most been a teacher as a mom.  Why, oh why, like the Apostle Paul, can I teach without doing it myself?  I am the biggest of hypocrites!  Here is a list of the things that I teach my young daughter that I have not yet learned myself:

1.  Be YOURSELF!  This is such an old, feel good saying but it is so true!  I look at my daughter and she is so amazingly beautiful inside and out and she is trying to figure out who she is and she struggles with learning her own identity and I want so much for her to just be herself!  She loves animals.  She knows so much about them.  There is not a single animal in this whole world that she does not find interesting, and yet, she has learned that some people find many of them gross.  I have seen her pretend to be scared of a spider and I want to say to her, “BE YOURSELF!” but it is something that she has to learn.  I can not learn this for her.  But as I guide her in the journey of discovering herself, I see that just now, in my thirties I am learning who I am.  Who am I?  I am a child of God.  This is the most important thing about me.  I do not really care if that offends you because it is me and it is right.  I am a writer.  Oh, how I love to write.  How many writings I tossed because I did not think they amounted to anything.  I love coffee.  Lots of it.  Black.  I love chocolate.  Dark chocolate.  90% cocoa.  Where have you been my whole life?  I am a wife.  I love my husband.  So much.  I do not deserve him.  He is amazing.  We are one.  I am a mother.  Thank God.  I am a mother.  It is a miracle.  I am an introvert.  This is ok.  Sometimes, ok, a lot of times, I just want to be by myself.

2.  Everyone makes mistakes.  Everyone makes mistakes.  What matters is if you learn from it.  My adorable little girl will trip in public and the first thing she does is look around to see who saw her.  IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT ANYONE ELSE THINKS!  I tell her this over and over.  You will make mistakes.  It is ok.  It really is ok.  Admit it.  Say sorry, if needed.  Then move on and forget it.  Why can I not do this myself?  Why do I dwell on it for so long?  I wonder what people think about me all the time.  Why can I not learn from it and move on?

3.  Do NOT do something to make yourself happy.  Do what is right and it will give you JOY.  That is so much better!  “Sweetie, pick a healthy snack.”  “Let’s get some exercise.”  “Introduce yourself.”  “Say sorry.”  Sometimes, oh so often, things are hard.  Life can just be hard.  But do not approach any situation to make yourself happy, approach the situation doing what is right.

4.  Jesus has never failed me.  The church has.  Christians have.  Family has.  Security has.  Money has.  People have.  But Jesus has never failed me.  Ever.  

5.  A million billion other things.  I am still learning every day.  It is an incredible, immense blessing to be a mother.  I am thankful for my daughter every single day.  I always knew I would love her.  I always knew I would take care of her.  I never ever knew how much I would learn from her!  Thank you Jesus!

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46 thoughts on “Things I Teach My Daughter That I Have Not Learned Yet

  1. I’ve thrown out whole journals because I felt like my writing wasn’t good enough!

    Someone told me “be your own best mother.” I love that…we have to nurture and teach ourselves the way we nurture and teach our children!

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  2. Wow, reading this, I felt I could have written it. I feel the exact same! In every way except, of course, the husband thing. LOL! I’m in my forties and still don’t know myself. Trying to figure that out still. Madison sounds just like Hallie. I think we must be sisters. 😉 *hug*

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  3. I’m pretty sure God knew Joy and I were in no way healthy enough to be parents. I always heard him saying, “We’re just going to break the chain of weirdness right here. Period. Oh, okay… You can have a dog. But no kids.” And that has pretty much worked out for us. So I salute you.

    And the way I always heard it was, “Those who can’t do, teach. Those who can’t teach, administrate.” But then again, we never had kids so we can joke about that stuff. Hope you’re feeling much better, kiddo.

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  4. I’m sure your daughter sees your example of you being you. Words are not as powerful as the real thing. When you finally know yourself, you radiate that to your world. There is no easy or straight forward way to find this inner truth, and please don’t be too hard on yourself, because that distracts you from enjoying this beautiful journey 🙂

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  5. Caroline, I really like the subject of this post. It’s clever, honest, and insightful.
    Oh, and I just turned 30 this past February, and I admit I am scared because I feel like it may be a more composed mess of your 20’s trying to figure things out.

    In closing I enjoyed this post.
    Thanks!

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  6. Your blog is inspiring! I love the idea that we teach our children things we do not yet know ourselves. It is so true that our children watch what we do so much more than they listen to our words. Thanks for visiting the Noontimes. It gave me the opportunity to find you. You are in my prayers.

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  7. Wow. Great list. I have three daughters. I have not internalised a lot of this list but no. 3 is especially powerful, and runs against our culture so much that is will seem foreign to our children, and even to us. But it’s important for us to get our heads around the principle of serving others and glorifying God – and it model for our children. So much of parenting amounts to ‘do what I say, not what I do’ and this point in particular is hard for all of us. Thanks for the reminder. Thanks for being so open. It is a blessing.

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  8. What awesome advice for your daughter. Hey, you mothered me a bit through this post as well. Thanks Caroline. ;=) BTW I really enjoy your writings, to me they are hilarious and so direct like I’m actually in a room talking with you face to face. Well, thanks for sharing.

    Be A Blessing!

    LaTrice

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