3 Simple Lessons We Teach Our Kids…But We Sometimes Forget Ourselves!

We’ve all heard the old expression, “Do as I say, not as I do.” Yet we now know that this is completely backwards. Our children are in a constant state of observation – keenly watching how we behave to learn the do’s and don’ts of being a human being. The truth is that in many ways, actions speak louder than words.

Because of this, one of the most powerful ways to guide your kids is to simply model the behaviours you want to see more of. To be your best self, a person you are proud of, a human worthy of being watched, a mentor who actually walks their talk!

So, as a reminder, here are 3 simple lessons that we teach our kids, but we sometimes lose track of ourselves. And what is so amazing about these guidelines is that they are easy to implement, they support us to develop robust and compassionate relationships, and they actually make us feel really, really, great!



Ask most children, “What’s the magic word?” and they will respond with gusto… “PLEASE??”. Ask most children after receiving something, “What do you say” and they will instantly pipe up, “THANK YOU!” Kids are taught, often before they can even speak, to use manners at all times. As parents, we expect our offspring to be polite and show appreciation to others.

What is so very interesting is how this simple premise sometimes gets lost when we become adults. When I discuss with clients or friends what they feel they are consistently tolerating in their lives, one of the most recurring responses is a lack of appreciation. Employees feel undervalued by their bosses, bosses feel their employees are unable to conceive of the pressure they are under.

In relationships, partners often feel that their contributions to each other, to the household, to the finances, and to the family are not acknowledged or even noticed.

Parents often choose to complain about how thankless their role can be and children often believe that their efforts are completely unrecognized. Seeing as feeling this way is so detrimental to productivity, passion, and happiness, why on earth do so many adults struggle to look someone in the eye and simply thank them?

What if each and every one of us could combat this trend of feeling underappreciated by simply being mindful to use those magic words with others? What if we commit to always saying “please” so our message is received as a request rather than an expectation? What if we make the decision to notice and celebrate small, daily efforts by those around us with a heartfelt “thank you”? What if we choose good manners over demands and assumptions? What a difference we will make!


Love To Learn

Hey!  Want to learn exactly what to focus on in your imperfect parenting journey?  Check this out!  http://www.getalifecoaching.com.au/love-to-learn-landing-page/


One of the very first lessons we are taught as small children is to share. We are encouraged (or forced!) to share our toys with our siblings and friends, to split that piece of cake into equal parts, to share the blankets and pillows and popcorn when we snuggle up on the couch for movie night. So why does this fundamental life lesson so often get forgotten as we become adults?

We see it all the time in the workplace, where people often fear that collaboration and sharing resources will mean less glory for them. Or people are afraid that if they share too many ideas, they will lose some advantage, they will allow someone else to “get ahead”.

We see it in our relationships, big time, when shared responsibilities are carefully divided up into “I do” and “you do” lists, at which point we then get to moan that our “share” is greater than our partner’s. We see it in our inability to share our deepest thoughts, dreams, and fears with those closest to us because sharing those means sharing who we really are inside.

Perhaps we have forgotten the benefits of sharing as we live in a world where so many stick with the mentality of “every man or woman for themselves”. Perhaps we need to take the time to think back to childhood, to how special we felt when our friend shared their snack at recess, to the privilege we experienced when a peer openly shared knowledge, and to the sense of belonging we recognised when we were trusted enough with a secret.

It’s time to reconnect with the gratification of sharing our things, abilities, knowledge, and emotions with those in our lives – especially our children. What a remarkably effortless means of generosity it would be, don’t you think?


  1. BE NICE

When we are children, we are constantly being instructed by parents, family members, and teachers to “be nice”. We are told not to be mean, not to be bossy, not to be selfish and not to be greedy. But again, this is a life lesson that often doesn’t stick and perhaps it is a worthwhile exercise to figure out why.

The concept of “niceness” can seem a bit ambiguous – it can often be equated with qualities seen as bland – pleasant, affable, agreeable…boring, even. In today’s world, such “basic” traits may be seen in direct conflict with more dominating personality attributes – confidence, strength, independence, or courage. People who are nice are often perceived as those who are complacent, who are doormats, who are followers, not leaders.

But is that the truth? Surely being truly and genuinely nice has to be congruent with many other powerful characteristics, such as good self esteem, high levels of self awareness and the authentic ability to see and champion the goodness of others.

Think about it – if you had the ability to simple see magnificence in people and respond by being, well, nice, isn’t that a huge testament to who you are as a person? If you had the courage to consistently choose to be nice, rather than petty or selfish or jealous or self absorbed, wouldn’t that demonstrate your inner confidence? If you killed it with kindness and were giving with goodness, wouldn’t that be a reflection of your values and beliefs?

So maybe it is that simple. Be nice. Be kind. Be pleasant.


There you are – and how easy will it be to keep these three lessons as non-negotiables in your life, in your relationships, in your parenting?

What other childhood lessons might you want to remember to model to your kids? Please comment below – I look forward to learning what you think matters!


Love To Learn

Hey!  Want to learn exactly what to focus on in your imperfect parenting journey?  Check this out!  http://www.getalifecoaching.com.au/love-to-learn-landing-page/

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