#15 Say Please and Thank You

Our society seems to be lacking manners these days. Everyone expects everything — RIGHT NOW! People seem to forget that some things are privileges and we don’t always get what we want. People also forget how powerful the words Please and Thank You can be.

Saying please and thank you is more than a matter of respect. It shows that you understand someone is going out of their way (whether it be a lot or a little) to do something for you. Lets get this straight, nobody in the world owes you anything. Especially since at this point you are a crying, pooping, non-verbal animal known as a baby. Ask kindly for the things you want, and when someone does something for you make sure you say thank you.

One last thing! I don’t want you to only say thank you when someone does something big for you or gives you a gift. I want you to say please at places like the family dinner table, the store, and when you are playing with your friends. I want you to remember to thank people whether they are the President of the United States or cashier at the gas station. Who knows, perhaps your simple please or thank you could be the bright spot in somebody’s long and not-so-bright day.

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#14 Watch The Storm Roll In

From time to time sit outside or near a window (despite common safety advice) and watch a big storm roll in. Take a moment to realize the combined beauty and power that mother nature has. There is something about watching the clouds filled with thunder and rage rolling towards you, that to me will always be a bit breathtaking.  Sometimes watching something you have no control over as it unfolds is a good reminder that despite our best efforts we can’t control everything in life. Sometimes you have to sit back and let things roll on through.

So please daughter, once in a while sit back and let the earth show you a little bit of what it can do.

#13 Fall off the Horse? Get Back On!

I’m sure in a few short years I will say this to you more than once and mean it literally. You see, most horses aren’t out to throw you into the dirt on purpose (though a few are) but if and when you take a topple you don’t hop back on, your horse might learn a great way to take a vacation when it so desires. Not only that, but getting back on gives you the mental boost to know that even though you stumbled you can still ride. That is the point I really want to make.

In life there are going to be stumbling blocks. You are going to have that one class you need in order to graduate that you just can’t seem to understand. You might say or do the wrong thing and land in hot water at a job. You might let down a friend or yourself. When these things, and others, knock you down you have to pick yourself up and keep going. You can’t let the fear that often joins these moments break you and hold you back from the great things you can achieve if you learn from your mistakes and move forward. When you fail a class, take it again. When you make a mistake at work take responsibility to fix it and then work harder. If you let a friend down you need to apologize and work it out.

But really, when you are on your first evil little pony and it bucks you off, show the world what you are made of. You need to get yourself up out of the dirt, brush off your jeans, look that pony straight in the eye with a smile and get back on. Teach yourself that you are in control of each situation and your reactions to them.

Fall off–figure out what went wrong–fix it–get back on.

#12 Learn to Swim

Swimming is healthy and it is fun. I think you need to know how to swim. Obviously not right this minute, but when you are old enough you need to let your dad teach you how to swim. As I already said swimming can help you stay in shape. Swimming can cool you off on a hot day. Swimming could even earn you some money some day if you become good enough and desire to lifeguard.

Besides, we live in a sink or swim kind of world so swim baby swim!

#11 Go To College-Gotta say its a lecture.

I’m only going to say this once…GO TO COLLEGE.

I’m not going to tell you to go to college because it will assure you a job and make lots of money. There are tons of people who have gone to college and have neither jobs nor money. There are also people who have gone to college, gotten great jobs, lots of money, and have NO happiness. However in some career paths college DOES help so depending on what you want to do that may be a valid reason to go.

I want you to go to college because there is nothing else like it. During no other time in your life can you live in a 12×12 room with a complete stranger who may or may not become your best friend or greatest challenge. During no other time in your life do you ultimately get to decide what things you study into the wee hours of the night for–and what time you want to wake up to take the test to prove you studied (within some limitations). During college the only responsibilities you mainly have are the ones you pick. In order to succeed you will have to pick wisely and I hope you will.

College is one of the only times you can move every year if the place you lived the year before sucked, do an awesome program like Camp Adventure where you will work hard but also have someone pay for you to see the world and influence lives, take a class about gemstones or tennis just for the fun, join clubs about almost any topic you can think of,  and live off questionable food.

The best thing about college is the people you meet. People like Kaleigh Meyer who will laugh with you all the time and always keep it real and honest, Danielle Pogge who not only works hard but is crazy artistic and will draw your tattoo (save that for another post), and Matt Moore who will be the love of your life. Plus many more.

THAT is why you should go to college.

Disclaimer: College is a great time but is also one of the only times that appears to be socially acceptable for grown adults to take advantage of young adults by convincing them to go insanely into debt through credit cards, insane shopping sprees, and loans of all sorts.College is one of the only times that people seem to think it is OK to rack up student loans, credit card debt, and all sorts of financial trouble. Its not smart and not ok. Will college cost you money–yep–and we will talk about it later–just be careful.

FYI: When you move into an apartment and accidently put your TV stand together wrong it is totally legit to paint it with nail polish.

#10 Have a Good Handshake

You really can’t make a second first impression–and there is no quicker way to come across wrong then to have a bad handshake. At my old job we would give interviews and there was no quicker way to make me question my opinion of you or to just plain freak me out sometimes then to have a horrible hand shake.

Bad handshakes include:

1. The limp hand–you know the one that doesn’t grasp your hand back and instead just sits waiting to be shaken. The other person feels like they might crush you or that your wrist is broken by the whole floppiness of the situation. Great way to come across unconfident and weak.

2. The freakishly long shake. Take the other persons hand, go up and down once or twice and then let go. DO NOT draw out your hand shake through a sentence or two more minutes of talking. All at once the scene just gets creepy.

3. The wrong handed shake. In America you shake with your right hand. You ruin the whole shake if you grab with the wrong hand because everyone expects you to use the right hand which is the right hand. Exceptions can be made for when your hands are full or the hands of the other person are full.

My quick tips for a good handshake:
1.) Use your RIGHT hand.
2.) Use a firm (not to be confused with hulk) grip.
3.) Don’t make the shake linger too long.
4.) Look the person in the eye when you shake–it shows you mean it.

We will work on it when you get older 😉