Life Lessons We Were Taught As A Kid That Finally Make Sense
When we’re young, our parents are always spouting off food for thought that we mostly roll our eyes at or ignore. And then one day when we find ourselves drowning in the reality that is adulthood, one of those nuggets of knowledge pops in our brain and we think, “that’s why my mom/dad always said such and such!”
That’s right, they weren’t trying to curb your fun, they were trying to instill values in you and raise a self-respecting adult which you now most likely are if you understand these childhood lessons.
Don’t rush to grow up
Anyone over 22 is probably shouting “hallelujah!” right now. As a kid you can’t wait to be 16, then 18, then 21; then at 22 you realize you should’ve had more fun in college. Rushing to grow up is rushing to responsibility, and frankly that’s just not fun. As a child, everything feels like a restriction, but it’s probably the most carefree time we’ll ever have on earth.
You can’t always be first
Were you the child always trying to lead the recess line, show off your artwork first, or who threw a fit when they didn’t get picked first for the kickball team? Kids throw full blown tantrums when they can’t be numero uno, but it’s one of those things we have to get used too early. With most things in life we will hardly be first, let alone top five. Someone will always be smarter, prettier, have more money, or get the thing we’ve been desiring before we do. That’s just the way it goes.
Treat others how you want to be treated
You may have passed this off as more parental mumbo jumbo, but that was likely before a good dose of karma came your way. As a kid, and even more so as a teenager, you think you can treat people any kind of way and there will be no consequences. It’s not that karma isn’t at work then, we’re just not smart enough to put the pieces together. When we get older, however, and certain situations pop up in our lives — good and bad — we tend to know just how we set those things in motion. And we’re encouraged to do better.
It’s not always about you
Most of our childhoods really are about us, which is why the first time a parent tells us “no” to something and we ask “why” and they respond, “It can’t always be about you,” it’s shocking. The truth of the matter, though, is the older we get the less things are about us. Your promotion may just be a CEOs way of weeding someone else out of a job, or your firing may have absolutely nothing to do with your actual job performance, instead it’s budget cuts. Similarly, you can’t always get your way, so despite the fact that you want the world to shout your praises and bend over backward to appease you, it really can’t always be about you — and people will let you know that. Sometimes not so nicely. It’s better to learn this lesson early on.
Use your inside voice
I say this partially in jest, although we all know people who have no regard for other people trying to work, talk on the phone, and just plain think when they’re in the same room with them. Every kid has to be told to use their inside voice at some point in time, unfortunately most adults didn’t absorb that lesson. Besides, everybody doesn’t need to hear your business!
You’ll understand when you have kids
The worry, the panic, the warnings, the fears, the rules — very little of that makes sense when we want to be young and getting it. And then the tables turn and we find ourselves worrying and panicking and warning, and fearing, and laying down rules and we realize we’ve turned into our mothers and fathers. Parenthood is just one of those things you don’t get until you are in fact a parent and though we all claimed we’d never parent like our parents did, sure enough we start following their blueprint when we have little ones of our own.
One day you’ll thank me for this
Pssh! Yeah right. That’s probably how you responded when your parent said you couldn’t pierce your top lip to the bottom one or tattoo your eyelids and claimed you’d thank them for not allowing you to one day. And then you saw someone who did just that and thought, “thank God they didn’t let me do something so stupid.” For the most part, our parents know what they’re talking about. And we will in fact thank them for a lot of things one day when we’re older.
You’re not invisible
When you’re young you feel untouchable and that you can do anything without worry. Eat what you want, drink what you want, say what you want — that’s most teens’ motto. But then you grow up and someone challenges your smart mouth, or you get sick, or you face some other obstacle you thought could never happen to you. Suddenly, you’re reminded why you were told to slow down or be more careful, or cherish every moment. You now know bad things can and will happen to you too so you attempt to curb them as much as is within your control.
It’s not the end of the world
When you haven’t experienced a number of disappointments yet, as is the case when you’re young, the first few let downs can be tremendous to our faith and self-esteem. You may have failed a test, been dumped, or had a nasty rumor spread about you and thought life was over. But then you graduated high school, excelled in college, landed a great job in a new city and realized those roadblocks were just minor setbacks. And the next time some seemingly inconceivable circumstance comes into your life, you’ll know it’s not the end of the world either. You’ll overcome it just like all of the other not-so-terrible things you’ve been through.