My family went to a wedding the other day.
Like so many weddings, it was a beautiful ceremony.
And as the bride and groom exchanged their vows, I couldn’t help but think about the fact that in about five minutes my daughter is going to be at that point in her life.
Oh, it totally freaked me out to think about that because she’s only seven, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from other parents, it’s that time flies.
You see, a seven year old turns ten before you know it.
Ten year olds are just around the corner from sixteen and sixteen year olds pretty much think they’re thirty. Like I said, five minutes…
As my head was spinning at the thought that my daughter would one day be a bride, I couldn’t help but also think of all the things I want her to know, all the things I want to teach her before her wedding day, before her first job, before she goes to college…
Now, I was really freaking out at that point! There’s so much to do!
And I realized that I don’t want to be a scene from a movie or a television show. I’m sure you are familiar with them. They go like this:
“Now that you’re getting married, honey, there are some things I want to share with you.” (cue sappy music)
“Son, since you’re heading off to college next week, I want to teach you a few things about being on your own.”
Those scenes are great for dramatic effect, but they aren’t something I want to base my parental timing on.
You see, by the time my kids are “heading off to college,” it’s too late to teach them about responsibility.
The night before my daughter’s wedding is too late to teach her about relationships…about compromise…about unconditional love.
That’s like cramming for a big exam the night before a test.
I mean, you can’t skip class all semester and then open the textbook the night before the final and expect to be successful, right?
So, don’t cram for your daughter’s wedding.
If there’s something you want to teach her, start now.
I think they’re called life lessons because it takes a lifetime to figure many of them out. I mean, I’m just now starting to understand what selflessness really means…what good relationships look like…what putting someone else first requires.
And if I can help my kids figure those things out sooner than I did, then I definitely want to do that.
You know, I’m guilty of letting teachable moments pass by though because I’m too tired or I don’t feel like dealing with it. I think to myself, I’ll say something next time. And the next time passes. And so does the next time…
But if I’m not careful, I’m going to be sitting at a steak dinner the night before my daughter’s wedding…wondering where the time went…wishing I had said and done more.
And I’ll start cramming.
You know, life is an amazing teacher. So share what you’ve learned with your kids as much and as often as you can.
And remember that showing them is even more important than telling them.
It’s not always going to be easy, but our children’s adult selves are counting on us.
I'd like to hear from you! What do you want to teach your kids before they’re adults? Is anything keeping you from starting now? You can leave a comment by clicking here.