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7 Life Lessons My Kids Have Taught Me

By , Hillary Copsey
I just sat down on a Matchbox car. My lunch today included peanut butter and jelly. The last movie I saw in the theater was something by Pixar.
My children have changed me in many ways. My life isn't always glamorous, but it certainly is better for having my boys in it. Here are the lessons I've learned and good habits I've picked up since having kids.
Always try at least one bite of a new food.
I'm not going to lie and say my kids do this willingly. But enforcing the rule for them means I am forced to follow it, too. Reading ''Green Eggs and Ham'' a few thousand times is also a good reminder.
Wash your hands often.
I've never been a germaphobe, but if you've ever had a nasty virus sweep through your entire family, you quickly realize that it pays to take those hand-washing reminders seriously during flu season.
Eat when you're hungry; stop when you're full.
Granted, my kids--like most kids--are unlikely to turn down a cookie. But even so, kids are generally much better than adults at listening to their bodies.
Enjoy the little things.
Every day, I ask my boys whether it was a good day or a bad one and what their favorite parts were. You know what they tell me? They found a bug on the playground. They had a good lunch. They talked to a friend. They liked the book I read to them. My boys have taught me to slow down and appreciate life's little pleasures.
Use your words.
Here's another time when the rules I set for my kids are equally good for me. ''Don't flip out; ask for help'' is the motto at our house. If I had a dollar for every time I've said this to my 2-year-old, I would be a rich woman. We tell our oldest son to let us know if he's sad or angry instead of throwing a fit. I'm a grown woman, but I'll admit I need this advice just as much as my kids do.
Visit the doctor regularly.
We never miss a well-child check-up for the boys. Preventative medicine is important at any age, and it can help nip health issues in the bud before they become major problems.
Get moving, preferably outside.
I hate sports. I love being curled up with a good book. But I will always, always play catch or chase with the boys. And you know what? I feel better for it. For the first time in my life, I find myself wanting to do something that makes me lose my breath.
What lessons have you learned from your kids?

Hillary Copsey is a newspaper features editor in Florida with experience writing about everything from population trends to health-care issues. As the mother of two boys, she also is versed in searching for daycares, cooking healthy dinners on the fly and playing with trucks. She co-writes the blog Not raising brats. She writes about parenting for dailySpark and

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BLOND1E 7/15/2021
Thanks Report
MUSICNUT 2/16/2021
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
NANASUEH 12/1/2020
thanks Report
thanks for sharing Report
Great lessons! Report
Thank you Report
good job. Report
Although my kids are grown and have children of their own, these are good things to remember. Report
Have fun. Report
I learned many things from my boys. I think patience was the biggest thing. Report
Love the article!! Children are definitely a blessing!! And the greatest achievement of my life!! Report
Everyone is different. I have a girly girl who wants to change clothes 3 times a day and a tomboy who is fascinated with wearing shoes and playing outside or in any source of water. They don't always want to do the same things, but when the mood strikes them, they give each other hugs and kisses. My 4 year old even introduces her sister and my belly (her very anticipated brother) to others and is always sure to give my belly a kiss whenever I get one. Despite our differences, the whole family can enjoy getting together to do things. Report
My lesson is ... Don't spend the day in a bad mood. Enjoy the moment. My daughter can go from having the worst day to having the best day. All it takes is something good to get her attention and her worries are forgotten. I think us grown-up tend to take a couple of bad things in the morning and let it ruin the whole day. Report
...I love this...what an awesome reminder of days gone by! My kids are both in the same space as you now but I remember so well learning these lessons myself and it is always a good thing to be any age...that they are still valid.
...thanks for sharing! Report
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and actions with us.
It's good to look at common everyday things from a different perspective then we often times habitually do. Thanks! Report
My trio of boys have taught me to keep my sense of humor around. Now in their late 20s, they still enjoy hanging out and having fun with each other. Report
Even though my only son is now 25 years of age, I've done a lot with him while he was growing up. Being that he'd been involved in cubs, scouts, swimming, basketball, etc., I've never missed any of his events and was very much involved in his activities. Now, I have a 4 year old precious grandson who I do so many activities with. It's important to listen to what their needs or wants are. It's important to be involved with them, your family, their family and also friends. My grandson, Cameron, loves to help out with kitchen cooking, baking and even laundry. We do things together like walking to the park, playing tag along the way, playing in the playgrounds, hide and seek, having a 'pretend tea party' at the picnic tables. He loves being involved and so do I. Kids observe so much and ask a lot of questions. They don't go unheard in my family. Report
That we are not perfect and we all make mistakes. Including us parents.

I'm not a mommy, I'm an auntie, but I learn new things every day. Report
Something I have learned from my children is that its not all about you. Everyone matters. Report
Certainly don't over feed children. Report