16 March 2015

The Big 5 Life Lessons.

The other day my eldest son and I were grocery shopping when he picked up a packet of well known biscuits cakes, perused the back for a good while then popped it back on the shelf.

'You won't believe what's in them, Mum!' he cried, proceeding to reel off some of the more decipherable details.  And we decided to opt for a (decent) bar of chocolate instead.

This was one of my most proud parenting moments ever, because, without a fuss or any coercion he had taken an intelligent decision about what, or, more importantly, what not to eat and I felt it would stand him in good stead for the rest of his life.

So when my friend Michelle from Mummy From The Heart tagged me in a meme she has begun - the Big 5 Life Lessons we want to teach our children, this would be one of them - and here are my others too.

1)  Read the Ingredients.  From when our children are very young - even before they can speak - it's good to start brainwashing!  When they were tiny and pointed to sweets in a supermarket, I would shake my head and say they were full of sugar and chemicals and suggest a mango or some berries instead.  Years later, we still have the same conversation, but now they know to read the labels on the back and don't argue.  They have some, of course - party bags are always jammed with them and they often get given packets of sweets, so they haven't gone without, but I always encourage (decent) chocolate or fruit.  And don't get me started on ready meals - suffice to say that the more is done to a food, the less nutritional value it has and this will be in my kids DNA long before they leave home.  

2)  Believe in Yourself.  Oh how I wish I'd been brought up to have more faith in myself, what I'm feeling and thinking and being drawn to do.  It would have saved an awful lot of heartache and people pleasing.  Although we have to give and take, to have a core belief in who we are and who we want to be can be crucial to our own happiness.  Being true to yourself is one of the hardest things to do in life, but it's where the magic happens.

3)  Go with the Flow.  This isn't an easy one for the children.  When a plan falls through they can be devastated, but I like to open their hearts and minds to the idea that perhaps it's for a good reason and something better is going to happen.  When one of their friends fell ill recently and couldn't meet up as we'd arranged, we ended up dropping by someone else's with newspapers we had been collecting for their few week old puppies and having lots of cuddles and a long play with all six of the little darlings.  This was incredibly special and never would have occurred in our original schedule for the day.  It proved my point spectacularly and I suspect it might yet have some mileage when faced with inevitable disappointments in the future!

4)  Keep Learning.  There's an old adage that we learn something new every day and never has anything been more true.  The lightning speed of technology and how quickly things change is something to behold.  It's not always easy to keep up, but no-one wants to be left behind.  I studied Chemistry and Nutrition in my thirties, Journalism plus parenting manuals in my forties and Digital / Social Media is where it's at for my fifties!  I haven't ruled out taking a degree yet, because it's never too late to learn.  It keeps life interesting and our desires change as we get older, so don't be ashamed - go for it!  Travel, too, provides massive scope for opening one's mind.

5)  Pick Someone Out of Your League.  When it comes to picking a life partner, I say go for a good person and you do the choosing.  No-one is actually out of your league - but aim for someone you consider just might be and surprise yourself.  You deserve the very best.

So they're my #Big5 Life Lessons.  I've been thinking about Mich's, plus everything else she said even just introducing them (!) and am looking forward to reading everyone else's.  Anyone can join in but I am tagging the lovely Izzie from The World According to Izzie, because her twin daughters are now grown up and she's bound to have some top tips by now,  my amazingly clever friend Tania from Larger Family, because she now has 13 children and must be able to teach us a thing or two and another of my favourite bloggers lately - Nikki from Stressy Mummy.

Plus Paul, Andrea and Donna want to add theirs to the mix!

What would you add?


Big5Meme at Mummy from the Heart

58 comments:

  1. Lovely! Lots of excellent advice in there - but I always knew you were a wise one. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah bless you, thank you. It comes with being so ancient ;) x

      Delete
  2. A great list - number one would never have occurred to me to teach my kids, although I often check ingredients myself. Thanks for the tag. Off to have a think.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you and I look forward to yours Donna :)

      Delete
  3. I love all of those! Number 2 is my particular favourite right now, and so hard to learn until you have age on your side (and I mean that in the opposite way to most people)! Brilliant life rules

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. It's a lifelong thing I think Helen!

      Delete
  4. What a fantastic idea for a meme. I love the five lessons you are passing on as well, really valuable. Emma :) x

    ReplyDelete
  5. You are a very wise lady. These are all such important life lessons as are Michelle's, it is going to be hard to whittle my own down to just 5! Believe in yourself is particularly poignant for me at the moment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sarah. It's a hard one - but you're SO worth it. I look forward to yours :) x

      Delete
  6. Lots of great life lessons in there and I'd have expected nothing less from you as you're so incredibly wise. Thanks for the tag, heads off to put thinking cap on and come up with something profound... may take a while.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're too kind. Mine took me a while but they sort of emerged while we were leading life! ;)

      Delete
  7. Some great ideas Anya. I need to learn to Go With The Flow myself a bit more too!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love the one about reading the ingredients - I would never have thought to include it but it's so important. Of course I agree with all the others as well. I'm so going to do this meme later this week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Rachel - so glad to have had some positive inlfuence from so far away! I look forward to your #Big5 too :)

      Delete
  9. Brilliant advice and I'd have picked most if not all of them myself! Thank you for nominating me to participate. I'd better think of another five now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so full of wisdom you could write a book. Oh hang on ..... you already did ;) Can't wait for your advice too X

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  10. I need to work on 2. Don't tell my husband about 5 though because I am not out of his league but he so far out of mine! It really has helped me to aspire to be more like him (he is SUCH a good man and some of my past definitely made me angry and he has helped bring the good back out in me again).
    Fantastic post and I shall consider it when talking to my own children.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No 2 is tricky, but it can be done and every little helps Joy. I don't believe for a moment that your husband is out of your league - you're a brilliant catch. Thank you for such a kind comment XX

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  11. Oh yes, yes and yes. I am loving the go with the flow one, resilience and being open to change is so important. Thanks so much Anya. I'll be pondering these more and making my kids read the back of food packets too! Mich x

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks for including me Mich - it's a great meme and has got a lot of us thinking! I love your advice - especially about resilience and I shall be teaching my kids that word, amongst others you mentioned too! X

    ReplyDelete
  13. What great advice!

    Your last point had me raise an eyebrow on first glimpse, but I realised we have a similar philosophy: nothing is out of your league till you believe it is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you - and I like your take on that last point!

      Delete
  14. Great list, Anya. I would add advice on budgeting. Being able to live within your means is one of life's essential lessons.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brilliant - of course, Sarah, thank you :)

      Delete
  15. Good list Anya. I'd add in "Let it go". Focus on the big stuff, and some of the little things just aren't worth it. Forgive and forget. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a good one too Susanna, thank you. It's so hard to see that without hearing the tune nowadays lol! You're right :)

      Delete
  16. What wonderful lessons Anya. I definitely need to work on 2 and 3 for myself. xx

    ReplyDelete
  17. Pretty impressed with your list and would not have expected the first point! Great idea.
    Believe in Yourself is my favourite. :) xx

    ReplyDelete
  18. Such a thought provoking post. I like all your suggestions, and I love the fact that your kids now look at the ingredients in things. I love your lesson about keeping learning - completely agree. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it was good to be asked and to be forced to give it some thought! Thank you :)

      Delete
  19. Thank you for the tag, I will give this some serious thought. Very wise advice there Anya I think the self-belief one is so important and one that I try to encourage with my children even if I don't have much myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm really interested in what you'd have to say Nikki - and my son sometimes reminds me to believe in myself, so it's not wasted! Try harder, lovely!

      Delete
  20. I loved reading this. This was the perfect meme for you and wonderfully wise words. Brilliant that your kids look on the labels and learning always keeps a fresh perspective on things. I have become very committed to yoga lately and I intend to keep it this way. X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I am glad you have found your groove X

      Delete
  21. Ooh, I might have to do this one. I have a lot of parenting experience, being a "seasoned" mum. Speaking of encouraging healthy eating habits, my 19 year old went veggie, which is fine, but is now asking what's in everything, how he can get protein etc. It's quite exhausting but I'm glad he's bothering to balance his diet. Problem is - he's not really fond of veggies. LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope he learns to read the labels soon then - or, better still, just to eat stuff without any! Would love your pointers :)

      Delete
  22. I love this post and I love this idea for a blog. My thinking cap is on and I agree with you on so many points here. Might add that you can't plan for everything in life, and we have no right to expect everything to go our way. Will have a ponder...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Hayley. That's a very good point too - as poignant as we could expect from you. I have no doubt you'd have an awesome #Big5 and hope you get around to writing them down for us :) xx

      Delete
  23. Oh i love this!
    So impressed your boys check the labels, my son just eats whatever he can get his hands on like a human dustbin, but hes only just about to turn 3 so i have time to turn this around!
    I love number 5 because I wish I had known that when I was younger! Still I can use it now whilst trying to find a man lol
    Thanks for joining #singleparentlinky

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you've enjoyed it - and yes, it's never too early to start - in fact, the earlier the better! And yes, I've learned the hard way too - let's hope we take a better decision next time ;) x

      Delete
  24. Wonderful lessons.. Number 4 is quite possibly my favorite. Having recently turned 30 and still wanting to venture into adult education. Really will take the leap and go for it this year :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you - I really hope you do! Let us know :)

      Delete
  25. Oh what wonderful life lessons, thanks for sharing them with us. They all speak to me, but numbers 2, 3 and 4 are particularly relevant right now and are lessons that I think we continue to come across throughout our lives. How wonderful that you have developed faith in yourself and gone on to learn new things at each stage of your life :)

    My life lessons would probably be along the lines of: It's okay to "fail"; Have patience - everything doesn't have to be done today; Be kind to yourself; Never stop dreaming; and Accept change as a natural part of life!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Amanda - yours are brilliant - they're all against the things drummed into us today - very insightful, thank you :)

      Delete
  26. What a wise woman you are! Notice how I didn't stick the word 'old' in the middle of that? ;-)
    The idea of continuing to learn is something that resonates with me. I remember when my son was little I took some courses on computers, even did a proof reading course. I am so pleased I did as it made the job of blogging an easier thing to pick up. Everything is so different to when we were both growing up. I would hate to be left standing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Trish - especially for that omission ;) Everything is incredibly now, as you say and I can't imagine you'll ever be left standing x

      Delete
  27. Absolutely loved each and every one of these, I would say be open too and redefine yourself whenever you choose! Fab post x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you - that's a great point too! x

      Delete
  28. I love the Go with the Flow one - I think we are all trying to maintain order so much we forget sometimes to just let it go don't we?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think will little ones, we have to maintain routine, but there comes a time when we need to let go - and teach them to too :) x

      Delete
  29. I love the Go with the Flow one - I think we are all trying to maintain order so much we forget sometimes to just let it go don't we?

    ReplyDelete
  30. I love the Go with the flow one - I think we all try to maintain order so much that we sometimes forget to do this don't we?

    ReplyDelete