15 Truths And Values I Want My Future Kids To Understand

15 Truths And Values I Want My Future Kids To Understand

You are so loved.

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Growing up, everything was laid out for you- what clothes to wear, what school to go to, which street to stay clear of, and also what you were allowed to eat. Thanks to our parents we had these embedded set of guidelines that have followed us all throughout our life.

Since we don't remember most of what was said, here are 15 things I want my future kids to know:

1. Find yourself 

Figure out what YOU are good at and what makes YOU unique.

2. Choose good friends 

Surround yourself with those that make you a better person

3. Be Honest and have Integrity 

C.S. Lewis said it best, "Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is looking."

4. Compliment Others 

See the good in others ad tell them as soon as you do. It can make someones day.

5. Go for it

Try everything out and see what you like!!

6. Study, Study, Study 

Gain all the knowledge and education you can. Trying hard will eventually pay off and gets you a long way in life.

7. Learn from your struggles

It's okay to make mistakes. Learn from them and do better.

8. Be a good friend 

Be a good listener. Stay clear from drama and always be the person who helps

9. Spend time wisely. 

Spend time living life and enjoying the journey. Don't just stay on your phone.

10.  Be kind always 

You will never regret being kind

11. Don´t compare yourself to others 

Be happy with you. Love your flaws and embrace your quirkiness

12. Have good manners

Say thank you and please. Always be polite and respectful towards others

13. Be adventurous 

Enjoy your childhood. Run. Play. Explore

14. You are LOVED 

You are loved beyond belief

15. Follow the rules

If you follow the rules you won't be worried about consequences

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The Thank You My Dad Deserves

While our moms are always the heroes, our dads deserve some credit, too.
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Dear Dad,

You’ve gone a really long time without being thanked. I'm not talking about thanks for things like opening the Gatorade bottle I couldn't or checking my tires when my car’s maintenance light is flashing, but rather the thanks I owe you for shaping me into the person I am today.

Thank you for teaching me what I deserve and for not letting me settle for anything less.

While the whole world was telling me I wasn’t good enough, you were there to tell me I was. Whether this was with boys, a friend, or anything else, you always built my confidence to a place I couldn’t build it to on my own. You showed me what my great qualities were and helped me feel unique. But most of all, you never let me settle for anything less than what I deserved, even when I wanted to. Without you, I wouldn’t be nearly as ambitious, outgoing or strong.

Thank you for giving me someone to make proud.

It’s hard to work hard when it’s just for myself, but so easy when it’s for you. All through school, nothing made me happier than getting a good grade back because I knew I got to come home and tell you. With everything I do, you give me a purpose.

SEE ALSO: 20 Things You Say When Calling Your Dad On The Phone

Thank you for showing me what selflessness looks like.

You are the prime example of what putting your family first looks like. If me wanting something means that you can’t get what you want, you’ll always sacrifice. From wearing the same t-shirts you’ve had since I was in elementary school so I could buy the new clothes I wanted, to not going out with your friends so you could come to my shows, you never made a decision without your family at the forefront of your mind. If there is one quality you have that I look up to you for the most, it’s your ability to completely put your needs aside and focus entirely on the wants of others.

Thank you for being the voice in the back of my head that shows me wrong from right.

Even though many of your dad-isms like “always wear a seatbelt” easily get old, whenever I’m in a situation and can’t decide if what I’m doing is right or wrong, I always can hear you in the back of my head pointing me in the right direction. While I may not boost your ego often enough by telling you you’re always right, you are.

Thank you for being real with me when nobody else will.

Being your child hasn’t always been full of happiness and encouragement, but that’s what makes you such an integral part of my life. Rather than sugarcoating things and always telling me I was the perfect child, you called me out when I was wrong. But what separates you from other dads is that instead of just knocking me down, you helped me improve. You helped me figure out my faults and stood by me every step of the way as I worked to fix them.

Most of all, thank you for showing me what a great man looks like.

I know that marriage may seem very far down the road, but I just want you to know that whoever the guy I marry is, I know he’ll be right because I have an amazing guy to compare him to. I know you’re not perfect (nobody is), but you’ve raised me in a such a way that I couldn’t imagine my kids being raised any differently. Finding a guy with your heart, drive, and generosity will be tough, but I know it will be worth it.


Dad, you’re more than just my parent, but my best friend. You’re there for me like nobody else is and I couldn’t imagine being where I am now without you.

Love you forever,

Your little girl

Cover Image Credit: Caity Callan

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It's Time To Address How Harmful Indian Parenting Is To Indian-American Children

The biggest mistake Indian parents made was becoming a little too close with other Indian parents, and that meant involving your kids in more competition than necessary.

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At this point, those who read my articles should know that I'm not one to shy away from seemingly controversial topics. I'm an Indian-American female, daughter to two immigrants from Tamilnadu, India. I was raised in a conservative household. My parents rarely let me hang out with friends late at night or even go to school dances. I love my parents, don't get me wrong. They've sacrificed so much for me and my brother.

However, I can speak on behalf of so many other Indian-American kids when I say that being raised with Indian parenting is one of the most harmful things to a child's self-esteem.

The problem stems from the fact that so many kids like myself grew up with dual perspectives. One was our parents' perspectives — how they believed their children should behave. The only lifestyle they knew was that of which they grew up around, in India. Immigrating across the world didn't magically give them American knowledge or behavior. All of us kids grew up going to temples, learning our native languages, and staying away from people of the opposite gender.

But how were we supposed to incorporate our Indian upbringing into our American lifestyles?

How were we supposed to come out to our parents and expect them to react to us the same way parents on television did? How were we supposed to tell our parents that we wanted to also go out on dates with cute boys like the other girls did? How were we supposed to tell our parents we didn't want to major in computer science and become an actor instead? The answer is, there WAS no answer. We were raised to shut up and abide by the principles of a country we didn't even live in.

And this is where the shaming comes in.

The biggest mistake Indian parents made was becoming a little too close with other Indian parents, and that meant involving your kids in more competition than necessary. Too many times, others and I found ourselves in competition with people we didn't even know that well. I can't tell you how many times I'd go to a party with other Indian families and some random kid's mom would come up to me and say,

"You seem to be having a lot of acne lately. Why don't you try this remedy with curd and mint and turmeric and some other sh*t? It'll get rid of it and make you lighter skinned!"

Did I really want you to come up to me, take time out of your day, and tell me my face didn't look like the lead actresses from Tamil movies? It wasn't just that, it was also adding in remedies for fairer skin, as if being dark skinned was bad. For some reason, some of these people thought it was okay to shame other people's children for reasons beyond their control. All teenage children have acne. We didn't ask for it. Appearance has always been an insecurity of mine because of this particular reason, and Indian parents would always find it acceptable to call out other children.

Indian kids are all raised with a template.

If you're an Indian parent, you have to send your child to a really good preschool, make sure that the child is a genius in all subjects before the age of 5, make sure that kid is GATE (gifted and talented education) identified, skilled in either Indian classical music or dance, four years ahead in math, a valedictorian with a 4.0 and 1600 (or 2400) SAT score, and a Stanford graduate with a masters in computer science, a law degree AND a medical degree.

What I'm about to say will result in an angry phone call from my mother. I'm sorry Amma, but I need to say this.

People need to hear this. College acceptance is quite possibly the number-one most harmful and stressful period of an Indian teenager's life. Here's the hard truth to all the judgmental parents out there: THERE ARE NO BAD COLLEGES. UC Berkeley is a very good school, but it is not the only indicator of your child's success. Say it after me: "Community college is OK. State Universities are OK. Attending an out-of-state university is OK."

Who gave these people the right to call out somebody else's kid on their college acceptance?

Why should they care if someone else's kid goes to a college they haven't heard of? Why don't they think of the reasons why that child might be going there? Maybe the program of study the child wants to pursue is very esteemed at that school. Maybe the child didn't want to attend any other schools. Maybe that was the child's dream school. Maybe that was the best school that child got into.

Or maybe, JUST maybe, that was the only school that child's family could afford.

Everyone's stories are different. Everyone's kids are different. If your child got into Harvard, good for you! I could care less that your child goes to Harvard, and so should everyone else as well. The last thing everyone needs is you bragging about your children, and the last thing we need is to be compared to your kids. Your child's acceptance to a top ten school does NOT demean the rest of our efforts. We're all still Dean's list-, honors program-, summa cum laude-worthy students. Name brand does NOT matter.

Your parenting is reflected in your kids.

If you raise your children telling them anything less than UC Berkeley is equivalent to failure, those kids will grow up only thinking they'll be a success if they attend said school. They'll be afraid to fail and make mistakes. They'll worry about disappointing you. And worst of all, they'll go around breaking the hearts of those who didn't get into said school. A friend of mine was literally told to her face that the school she currently attends isn't good enough to grant her a job after graduation. In my opinion, if your kid is going around bullying other children with academics like that...

You've done a bad job at parenting.

Writing this article was hard for me. I can't predict the outcome of this article. Some will dislike it, others will praise it. I might be gossiped about for it back home, which just proves everything I just said. People might call out my mother because I wrote this article, and as much as I dislike that, I don't mind. I know she doesn't need to mind either because she can sleep easy knowing she raised a very strong-willed, independent, outgoing young woman with powerful opinions. Her daughter's voicing the thoughts of thousands of people. I couldn't care less myself, because I'm 3,000 miles away from home amongst some of the most loving, accepting people.

But it had to be said. Parents need to know the extent of their words. Future parents need to know how to raise their children. Parents' jobs should be to focus on their families, their children, and their futures. Not anyone else's. Just their own.

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