Good parents are role models for their children. They eat a variety of colorful vegetables, start their day off with breakfast and a cup of milk, exercise regularly, read the newspaper, don't indulge in sweets, get a full 8-hours sleep every night, plan ahead, don't drive while distracted, and never ever yell at their children. Then there are the parents who tell their children all that while having a cup of coffee for breakfast and checking emails on our smart-phones while the driving the kids to school (late).
Those of us who fall into the not-so-perfect parents know all the rules. We know all the good things we want our children to do because they are the opposite of the bad habits that we have developed and find hard to break as adults. We are living proof that you should listen to your parents. We have the dental fillings, the bags under our eyes, caffeine-addictions, bad posture, need for extra calcium supplements, and couple extra pounds around the mid-section as evidence. We know its harder to break a bad habit than to not start one at all. Every day, I find myself reminding my kids of a few good habits that I hope they would develop so they don't end up like their mom.
- Plan your next day before going to bed for an easier morning: Pack their backpacks with everything they need - binders, books, gym uniform, homework, permission forms. Lay out their clothes for school. Pack their after-school activity bags so we can grab them quickly - swim suits, towels, choral music, tennis rackets.
- Do your work ahead of time and don't wait until the last minute, rushing to get an assignment done. Save frantic trips to Staples and Michael's before they lock the doors, pulling all nighters for a 5th grade project.
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced breakfast each morning to give you energy for your day. Eat healthy snacks and other meals, too.
- Don't argue so much with your siblings. Treat them with respect and expect that its reciprocated.
- Learn how to hold a pencil correctly, even if you are going to spend most of your life typing. Then learn to type correctly.
- Take good care of yourself, mentally and physically. Hopefully you're going to be using this body for a very long time.
- Find a reason to smile everyday.
* just joking about checking emails & texting while driving - don't do that, it could be very dangerous. Next time you are tempted, just think - if I crash and hurt someone, would reading that text have been worth it?