The passing of knowledge of life’s reality checks are best reserved for fathers, rather than mothers. Before your children go off to an adult life, these are the top five most important “learn from my mistakes” lessons to pass on to them.
Whether you have a son or a daughter, they need to know that:
Real life is not fair
Children tend to believe that the world is fair, or at least they often don’t consider the gross unfairness that is our reality. Some people are born millionaires; other people will die of hunger before they turn 5 through no fault of their own. The mother of a kindergarten-friend of my son got cancer and died a year later. It’s not fair. She didn’t “deserve” it. It didn’t happen for any reason. It just did. And coming to terms with that is difficult, not just for a child, but for us adults too.
Abusive people exist
Most people are nice. With most people, you can play nice, and according to all the rules of behaviour you’ve learnt. However you will also in your life meet some people who are not nice. People who are deliberately trying to harm, cheat, fraud or hurt you. You will need to defend yourself against these people, with methods ranging from saying “no thanks” to the possibility of outright violent confrontation.
Life is finite
In the end we all die. Your time on this planet is shorter than you think. With average luck, 1000 weeks of childhood, 2000 of adulthood and 1000 of being old. That’s all. There are no retries. There are no second chances. You get one shot at this thing. And when it’s over, it’s over.
Sometimes you need to follow unfair rules
Not all battles are worth fighting. You’ll have to make your own choices about which ones to fight, and which ones to concede. Even when you’re “right”. A lot of social rules are arbitrary and unfair. Trying to fight them all, is however not going to work out well for you. You’ll sometimes need to conform, even with rules you find abhorrent.
You can’t fix everything
Sometimes a situation is really bad, yet there’s nothing you can do to fix it. Instead, you must stand by the side and watch the train crash, in slow-motion. Perhaps there’s people you love in that train. And still, you can’t prevent the crash.