My little girl, my second little love, began VPK this year. She’s four-and-a-half, and she’s spunky. She’s exceptionally stubborn, she likes things done very precisely and she is not a fan of change. No, that’s not truthful of me. She hates change. If she catches me with her bedroom furniture moved so that I can vacuum beneath it, she has a meltdown because she wants it just so. If something is not where she put it, it’s wrong. If anything in her life is not as she expects, she cannot handle it. Perhaps she’s a bit too much like me; I admit it. I like things a certain way. I don’t love change, but I understand that it’s completely necessary and always for the best. I also don’t love when things are not as I expect; and I’m sorry she inherited that trait from me.
Our sweet girl learned a hard lesson this year. She didn’t want to go to VPK. She doesn’t “go to school,” and she wanted to go to her Sunday School teacher’s classroom down the hall from the VPK room. When we told her she couldn’t, she lost her mind. She screamed, cried and tried to come home with my husband and I. The director, a wonderful woman we adore, asked us to go. She said that our girl would calm down much faster if we were not there for her to scream to, and ushered us out of the building. I come from a family filled with teachers, so I know this is true. It wasn’t easy to leave her there like that, though. In fact, it was heartbreaking. But it’s been a week now, and she’s good to go. She’s loving class and all that it has to offer, and she’s thriving.
But it was a lesson for her that took her a few days to learn; there are things in life you might not want to do, but you have to do. And it’s just the first of many difficult truths that we are going to have to tell our kids as they grow up. Unfortunately, there are many more, and we’ve outlined a few of them right here. My husband and I will do our best to teach our kids the hard truths in the easiest possible manner, the most comforting; but some they will have to learn for themselves, which is just another hard truth.
Not everyone is a good person
Sadly, not everyone in the world has good intentions, and this is something we have to teach our kids from a young age if we want to protect them. Aside from that, they will learn this for themselves the first time our daughters date a boy who wants only one thing and they refuse, or when they make a friend who betrays them. It’s life; and it’s not easy to digest when it happens that first time.
Not everyone means what they say
People lie; and not always for the greater good. Our kids will learn as they grow up that not everything that everyone says is truthful. There is a good chance they will meet someone who tells them they love them and doesn’t, or someone who promises to keep their secrets and does not. It’s not easy, but our kids are going to have to learn this life lesson.
People will hurt you
They will; whether they mean to or not. People are by far selfish, and they sometimes hurt others. Hopefully our kids will learn to distance themselves from those that hurt others on purpose, but they will still learn this lesson the hard way. Even we will hurt our kids without intent; it’s human nature.
Life is not fair
Life is not fair. Even those of us who have no real complaints still feel that life is not fair. Life wasn’t fair to me when I miscarried two babies. It wasn’t fair to my 1-year-old twins when they were born prematurely. It wasn’t fair to a friend who gave birth to a still born baby a few years back when she was full term. It’s not fair; people get sick. People die. Accidents happen, and things don’t go as planned.
Forever is very short
You never know if tomorrow is something you have, and that means you have to live life to the fullest. Unfortunately, this is a lesson that doesn’t really resonate until someone no longer has a tomorrow. For me, it was the death of two friends just a few days before we began school one summer when they were killed driving home from one of their homes after losing control of their truck. It was devastating to all of us, and it really taught a lesson we never should have had to learn.
Friends come and go
When you make friends, you have to understand that they might not be around forever. Your tastes, personalities and interests change as you grow up. Sometimes you lose friends, drift apart or make new friends, and it’s not always easy to understand or live with, but it is life.
Change is necessary
No one really loves change. It’s scary because it is unknown. However, change is absolutely necessary in every aspect of life. We have to close doors to open new ones. Chapters come to an end and we all make decisions that will rock the boat. And even though change is not anyone’s favorite, it’s usually good. It usually brings with it something amazing.
Mistakes teach valuable lessons
No one likes to make mistakes, particularly children. It bothers them, upsets them and makes them feel as if they cannot do anything correctly. But they will learn as they get older that every mistake they make in life is teaching them a very valuable lesson. It’s teaching them how to succeed the next time, even if they fail time and time again. Trust me, it might be adulthood before they fully comprehend this particular lesson.
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