Five life lessons I want my children to know



What five big lessons do you want to teach your kids, to take them through their lives?

I have been challenged by the lovely Anya to consider this and take part in a blogging link-up started by Michelle over at Mummy From The Heart.

It’s been hard to narrow it down to five. There are so many things I want my boys to learn, in order to become the men I so hope they will be.

But here’s my list:


Take responsibility

Don’t make your first reaction to a situation “It wasn’t me” or “That’s not my problem”.

If you’re involved in something that’s gone wrong – be it a relationship that’s turned sour or a mistake that’s been made – don’t look to pass the buck or avoid the consequences.

It’s not always a matter of taking the blame, but of being responsible for the part you’ve played in a bad situation.

Mistakes are only human. Failing to own up to them is a choice.

Speaking as a parent, failing to make your child takes responsibility for how his actions affect others is a sure-fire way to raise a selfish, self-centred adult who shirks his obligations.

And, my lovely boys, I know you are better than that.


You never know til you try (so reach for the stars)

In life you’ll come across plenty of people who tell you “that can’t be done” or “it’ll never happen”.

They might be right. But give it a go and find out. I’ve achieved some of the best things in life after being told I was on a hiding to nothing.

If it’s physically possible, not against the law, and not likely to put you in danger, then you’ve got nothing to lose by trying.

The world is full of people too lazy to try. Even if you don’t succeed, you’ll stand out as someone who’s open to a challenge. And sometimes even getting halfway to your goal is a hell of a ride.



The world is full of people trying to put across their point of view, hell bent on shouting over each other.

Stand apart by taking the time to listen – even if they don’t show you the same courtesy.

You might not always agree. But hear them, before you make your decision. Everyone claims to listen, but they really don’t.

In relationships, in your working life, in pretty much everything you do, if you take time to listen, to really listen, before you say your piece then you’ll have more success and gain a lot of respect.


Look ‘em in the eye

Don’t spend your life staring at the floor. Be brave enough to look people in the eye and hold their gaze.

It shows confidence (even if you’re not feeling it) but most important of all, it shows sincerity and that you’re listening.

I don’t trust people who can’t look me in the eye – and I’m sure I’m not the only one.


Help people (even when there’s nothing in it for you)

It used to be called manners. Opening doors for people, giving up your seat on the bus, carrying someone’s heavy shopping bags.

Then it was suddenly “sexist” to offer a pregnant woman your chair. People shouted for equality. And in the confusion good old-fashioned chivalry disappeared.

But it comes down to helping people. And as far as I’m concerned that will never be politically incorrect.

If you see someone struggling, don’t ignore them. Offer help. They can always decline.

How can you expect others to be kind and selfless if you don’t lead the way?



What would be on your life lessons list?

Big5Meme at Mummy from the Heart

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15 Thoughts on “Five life lessons I want my children to know

  1. Another thoughtful, nuanced post, I really like it x
    Looking for blue sky recently posted…Making healthy “Twix” bars in minutes and other reasons to be cheerfulMy Profile

  2. Love these lessons, all of them! I think my favourite has to be listen though. Not enough listening goes on nowadays! :)
    Emma recently posted…Spring in Munich and a Boozy Birthday Cake…My Profile

  3. I love this post Donna, I agree with every one of your life lessons. The listening one especially resonates with me – we’re all encouraged so much to speak out that sometimes we forget that listening is an equally important part of every relationship. Listening leads to empathy and kindness, imho.

    I need to get on and do my version of this post too, thanks for the inspiration! xx
    Ruth recently posted…Old Friends New FriendsMy Profile

  4. great life lessons lovely love the manners one x
    Becky recently posted…Where to go in the UK for Summer SunMy Profile

  5. Lovely, lovely life lessons. The take responsibility one really resonates with me at the moment x
    Mammasaurus recently posted…The walk on from Pig BushMy Profile

    • Me too Annie. So frustrating when you reach out to someone and let them know how they’re actions are affecting you – and they deny everything!
      But it’s helped to teach the boys how they SHOULDN’T act towards others.

  6. Perfect! And with advice like that, how can your boys fail to be anything but as lovely their mum!

  7. Such great advice, especially taking responsibility and helping others – I hope that everyone reading this takes something from your advice.
    Boo Roo and Tigger Too recently posted…March’s #FunFindsMy Profile

  8. Ohh yes I like them Donna, they are all good but I especially like the advice to ehlpe others even when there is nothign in it for them. Like you say so many people have lost sight of this. Mich x
    Michelle Twin Mum recently posted…I only need one Reason to be Cheerful this week! My DadMy Profile

    • I love the Pay It Forward movement Michelle – but find it equally sad that we have to encourage people to do something selfless for others as a campaign – rather than it just being a way of life

  9. I love this post, but it’s so hard to narrow it down to five. I suppose my main one would have to be something that I’ve adopted from LMC’s school rules – always do your best. It kind of sums up a general attitude to life that I rather like.
    Penny Carr recently posted…Making FlopMy Profile

  10. Some fantastic lessons there, and as mentioned by penny it’s really hard to narrow it down to five but you’ve narrowed it down fantastically.

    I try using many of these lessons already to help the smalls become awesome people, even if they don’t understand them fully yet. : )
    Paul H recently posted…Daddy Fails – Party timeMy Profile

  11. I knew you’d come good Donna and astound us all with your life lessons :) Each one you’ve written is really important – and, like you say, could have been taken as read not too long ago. There’s too much passing the buck nowadays, too much judgment and laziness and too much noise. I am so glad you are imparting such good manners and sincere ambition in your boys. They will make great men :) Thank you for joining in.
    Anya from Older Single Mum and The Healer recently posted…The Big 5 Life Lessons.My Profile

  12. If everyone lived by these lessons then the world would be a much happier place wouldn’t it x
    Cass@frugalfamily recently posted…What we’re eating this week {30th March 2015}….My Profile

  13. Lovely 5 life lessons! I read Michelle’s when she first wrote her post and have been meaning to write one myself – this might give me a shove to get on with it! Trouble is, I’d have had 3 of yours, if not all! Really like the Responsibility, Listen to others, and Help others above all. Off to think about mine now…..S
    Siobhan @ Everyone Else is Normal recently posted…Ladies, let’s vote!My Profile

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