A number of "top 5/10/20 things I will tell my son/daughter" lists are circling social media. I am beginning to think it is a mom-blogger requirement that you create one. I don't necessarily agree with all of the points on these lists but I appreciate the intentions of the authors as well as the effort they take to create.
I decided to fulfill my requirement and release my own list. It turns out, identifying 20 universally applicable truths is a lot. So is 10. Then I started to think, 10 things sure seems like a lot to remember. I don't want people to have to print my list and carry it around them. Instead, I wanted to come up with an overarching concept for passing on to children; a mom mantra if you will.
The more I thought about it, the more it seemed to boil down to one simple phrase: Take the dog for a walk. Don't have a dog? Don't worry, the dog is figurative.Laughing Mom's Mom Mantra: Take the Dog for a Walk
Why do I think this should be my (and perhaps your) mantra? Because taking the dog for a walk means:
- you are doing something nice for someone else.
Learning how to treat others how we want to be treated is important, but I also want to teach my children to do something nice for someone without any regard for something in return.
- you are honoring a commitment.
It isn't easy to take Fido outside everyday. It is more difficult in the rain or snow, and it can be a challenge to fit into your schedule. I want my children to know that when they make a commitment to someone else it is important to follow through with it, even when it is difficult to do so.
- you are contributing to a relationship.
Relationships take work. I want to teach my children that they should be an active participant in their relationships with others, in return, they can build relationships that last a lifetime.
- you are getting exercise.
Daily activity is important for all of us. Making it a part of daily life for my children will hopefully be something which continues into their adult lives.
- you are getting outside.
Exploration, running around, in-prompt games with the neighbors, even relaxing in the sun, are all important aspects of my children's development. (All the more so after a long, cold winter.)
- you are being kind and loving.
From the importance of sharing, to not hitting, to hugging friends when they leave, these two are constantly present in our lives. I hope you have had the pleasure of seeing the love in a dog's eyes once he realizes you are taking him for a walk. When my son brings his little brother a toy without me asking him to, insists Grandma sits next to him at supper, or gives me a random kiss on the cheek, I suspect mine and the dog's heart are as one.
There are countless things I want to teach my children. For now, I am keeping it simple. I am teaching my children to take the dog for a walk.
(as of this post, Laughing Mom is working on this mantra, while remaining dog-less).
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