13 things I would tell my kids:
1) Don’t grow up to fast. I know you think you want to be 18 instead of 8, but being a kid is great, and sometimes people don’t get the chance to realize that. Enjoy eating as many ice cream sundaes as you can or waking up early to watch cartoons. Stay young for as long as you can because one day you’ll wake up and be older, wishing you had appreciated being a kid while you still could.
2) When you see someone who is in pain, do your best to cheer them up. Even if it’s just a smile or a simple “hello,” you never know what could make someone smile. Sit with the lonely kid at lunch, be partners with the kid who usually gets left out. Who knows, that kid may be your next best friend some day. Hold people up when they are feeling down, and hopefully they will do the same in return.
3) Enjoy the little things. People are often looking for something big in the world, letting the small things slip by them. Smile when you see a couple holding hands, when you hear a baby laugh, or when you look up to see a sky full of stars. If you let the little things make you smile, then you won’t be sad forever.
4) Compliment people. You never know when you can make someone’s day just by complimenting them. Tell them you like their shoes, or their sweater, or their glasses. Tell them they have a nice smile or a pretty laugh. Compliments make the world go round.
5) Sing everywhere you go, even if you aren’t very good. Whether you’re riding a bus or walking down the street, sing. Sing in the shower, while you’re getting ready for school/work/the day, while you’re driving in the car. Sing as loud as you can and as long as you can. Sing like you’ve never sung before. Sing like it’s the only sound left in the world.
6) Don’t lock yourself away. Whenever you are sad, don’t close yourself in your room, don’t push your friends away, and don’t get lost in your thoughts. I know sometimes it’s okay to want to be alone, and if you feel like you need to hide under the covers, that’s okay, but don’t stay there forever. Life isn’t going to get any better if you don’t let it.
7) Don’t listen to any bad things people will say to you. Try to keep an open mind and an open heart. You’re better than the words that come out of other people’s mouths.
8) Travel as many times as you can. Go explore the world and learn through experience. It is a big world filled with endless possibilities, and it’s out there waiting for you. Don’t stay in one spot until you have a good reason to.
9) Talk to someone new every day. Always try to meet new people, because you never know when you might meet someone who will change your life for the better.
10) Love yourself to the best of your ability. I know some days you will look in the mirror and not like what you see, but don’t let that stop you from being beautiful. It’s okay if you want to wear make up, or eat healthy, or exercise, but know that you will only feel beautiful inside if you accept that you are beautiful.
11) It’s okay to experience pain. You’re going to get hurt in life. Some days will feel like the end of the world, and sometimes you’ll want to give up. Don’t. Whenever you are hurt, dust yourself off and carry on. It’s okay to take a day or two to feel the pain, but don’t let it control you. You are much more than the pain you feel inside.
12) Life is going to be hard, and you’re going to meet lots of people who will either change your life for the better or for the worse. Nobody ever said life was fair, and nobody ever said it was going to be easy. But it won’t always be this way. If you follow you heart and look at life through positive eyes, then you will overcome any hardships you might face. Keep those who make you happy close, eat the foods you love, listen to your favorite song over and over again, dance in the rain, learn to love, look towards the future, and never let anyone tell you that you aren’t good enough. You are human and you are alive. You’re made up of flaws and dreams and thoughts and likes, and that is a very beautiful thing.
13) I love you. You are loved.”