Our little girl turns two next week.
I could quite easily take the time to write something that still sets me off every time I read it, like the post I wrote to mark Harriet’s first birthday (see my post from 2 November 2018). However, as she gets older, more independent, with a proper little sense of humour and self developing, it got me and my husband thinking about the type of person we would encourage her to be and that’s what I wanted to write about. What qualities, beyond all else, would we want to help her foster? These were our top three.
As Atticus said in To Kill a Mockingbird
”You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it”…
The world does not revolve around you. Always think about how what you say and do will affect others. Help build people up, encourage them, thank them. While there’s a place for ‘I tell it like it is’, being honest to the exception of all else is not necessarily a positive trait. By all means say what you have to say, but read the situation and the person before commenting or responding. There are ways and means of getting your point across without having to be blunt all the time.
Be the girl who smiles at the boy who’s not looking as happy as you. Be aware that the person lashing out may not really be directing it at you, but have other things going on in their lives that you wouldn’t know about.
In short, don’t always take things personally and treat others how you expect to be treated yourself.
It’s easy to take people at face value. This can come from being trusting and honest, aware of your own abilities and shortcomings, but not everybody will project themselves in the same way. Don’t be blinded by the big ‘I am’ personalities. As your dad and I have learned, the person who appears the most confident, who can talk the talk, uses big words and name drops, more often than not, doesn’t live up to their word.
Respect people, learn from them where you can but never be too in awe. Be quietly confident, assertive and make things happen. Trust in you is ultimately about you doing what you say you will, not how much you talk about it.
Don’t let boasts other boys and girls make get you down. They may be exaggerating, they may be not. They may be better at some things than you, they may be not. Focus on what you can do and don’t let them throw you off your stride or doubt yourself.
Short term and long term. Be a do-er, not a drifter. Think about what you want to achieve and the steps you need to take to get there. I’m not just talking work-wise but in anything that interests you. Your goals may change- as you grow up; one day you may want to be a pilot, the next a nurse, but always think about how you can put yourself in the best position to achieve them. Exams aren’t the be all and end all but, if you try, and work hard, and get the best results you can, you’re opening doors and saving yourself from hurdles further down the line.
Take calculated risks. Your dad and I have had a traditional upbringing where being risk averse and steady is part of the course- something that does have its benefits, but it can stifle potential and make you a slave to the 9-5, thinking there is no other option. You can lose sight of your goals or forget to make new ones because you’re so caught up in the hamster wheel of life. This is something we’re only just waking up to…
Writing this makes it sound like, as parents, we have things sussed. We don’t. Some wisdom comes with age and you’ll need to make some of the mistakes we did… and still do! We just want you to be the best version of yourself you can be. At two years old you’re already a sensitive, loving little soul. The grandparents remark on the similarities between you and your mummy and daddy at your age, so if you end up turning out anything like us the least we can do is share our experience so far!
We love you little one. Xx