PLEASE NOTE: This post has been updated with new information and moved to here:
40 Things We Need to Teach Our Kids Before They’re too Cool to Hear Our Wisdom
Photo by: Kevin Keller
Practical Tips for Productive Living
Written by Marc Chernoff // 63 Comments
PLEASE NOTE: This post has been updated with new information and moved to here:
Photo by: Kevin Keller
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Beautiful. Every word.
Thank you for the lovely post and family friendly wisdom. Always appreciated!
Personally, I always tell my son and daughter to take a careful consideration of what is important in life by being present in this “now” moment. The more present you are, the more things start to work themselves out, the right way, without unnecessary hassle and stress.
Following, your focus should be on appreciating every moment as much as possible, doing more of what matters in the “now”, and doing less of what does not regardless of status quo.
Susan Rae says
This could be my new favorite post on your site! I think this is a great high-level summary of many of the core principles you discus in your book (which I love by the way). And as a newer parent myself, I couldn’t agree more that these are principles we need to share with our children early and often. Simple explanations to a many of life’s biggest complexities.
You two really are making a difference. I appreciate what you do.
A life motto I try to instill in my children and myself: Great judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from lots of bad judgment. Don’t get discouraged. Learn what you can and step forward.
Josie Thomson says
Congratulations on the birth of your precious little boy! Greetings all the way from Brisbane, Australia.
Sandra Pawula says
I’m so happy for you two! I had to laugh when I read the title of this post. It’s true, we have to catch our children’s attention before they are too cool.
I fully believe that everything depends on our perception. If only all children were raised to know this. The world would be a different place!
When it comes to work, you want three things… A job you like doing, a job you can do, and a job that pays you enough to sustain the life you want. A sad reality of life is that you may have to do this backwards. Yet you still have choice. If you want to follow a low-paid dream, then feel free to do so. But do it with readiness to live your life in relative poverty.
I believe Negativity & worry are the worst enemies for a happy life. In modern society, it is so easy to get caught in the downward cycle.
We should consciously try to put our focus on the positives in life. Soon, positivity will become a habit for us.
Truly words of wisdom I hope to impart to my boys. Thank you.
Thank you! I hope to impart these words of wisdom before my sons are too big to listen.
Angela Zimmerlé says
I have to also say that is my new favourite post. It speaks volumes to me from beginning to end. Thank you for such a heart felt and informative post.
#37 – Yes, this one I’m working on.
This blog was absolutely wonderful. Both of our kids are adults now. We were lucky enough to know that communication is essential in any relationship and we did talk to our kids about many of the points you brought up. They now thank us for doing that. We are blessed with 2 very loving and giving adult children (there are still times when we are not so “cool” but not too many). Thanks for what you do and much happiness with your new little guy.
Congratulations and Thank you from the worlds happiest country (Denmark) 🙂
Even here, in the supposedly “Paradise on Earth” people can be negative, and fill their lives with selfdestructive thoughts.. Eventhough we should be fantasticly happy. After all we have everything:
The state is even paying us to go to school (1000$ a month)
1 year of paid maternity leave
6 weeks paid vacation
A huge middleclass
Very little poverty
Very few very rich
Very little crime and violence
Equality between men and woman no.8 in the world
So what is wrong with us? Nothing. We just got used to not thinking about surviving.
Then what is there left to achieve? A lot. We need to develop and expand our inner world as much as the outer world. And do lots more of the points you wrote above. But it takes time. I am very optimistic though 🙂 We-like anywhere else in the western world need to take our souls seriously. And I do that by constantly exploring and enhancing my way of being and interacting with others.
Thank you for a wonderful blog.
Best wishes to you 3
Good Going! I forwarded this to my grandchildren and their parents. I hope they all will join me as regular readers of your valuable messages. Thanks.
Sandra D. says
Do the right thing with intentionality. Many times we just react to what happens every day. I want
my children to wake up every morning with the idea that they are going to proactively seek what is good and right. My hope is that this practice will guide them throughout their lives when they make important decisions.
True love is freedom. It took me 50 years to figure this out. Think of how the world would change if everyone knew and believed this one thing. It has changed me more in the past 8 months, than anything in my life ever has. Another excellent post, thank you!
I suddenly feel so relieved to know that something can be right for me, even if it may be wrong for everybody else. So many times we strongly feel like doing something, but neglect doing it simply because others may not approve of it.
Bravo to this post!!
Steven Hughes says
Overall another very worthy list. I’d say the weakest message is “Accept important apologies you never received” – What? However, right below is the strongest message on this list “True Love is Freedom” – That is a home run. So true, total freedom. The best thing we experience in life. Ever.
Anger is normal – do it well. You will make parents, siblings, teachers and friends mad. Don’t take it personally, apologize for your wrongdoing, and move on. Likewise, parents, siblings, teachers and friends will make you angry. Let it out, don’t stifle it. But, be careful not to hurt anyone in your anger.
Great to hear your good news. I wish you every joy with your little Mac. Lovely strong name too! I am so lucky to have 5 children and 13 grandchildren – not without some tragedy along the way, but many many more blessings. Life is indeed good.
Thoughtful article but it’s missing a serious component. Let’s say that children start to get ‘cool’ at around ages 10-12 depending on their peer group. And by this age most kids have already spoken about birth or death in their own family or within the neighborhood. So how is this subject of the soul approached within each family? Where were we before we came here and where do we go after we leave? Proper research needs to be done so the building block to the child’s foundation is laid properly.
Congrats on changing your life forever with the new addition to your family!!!
I try to instill in my children that sometimes you need to be a leader and sometimes you need to be a follower – for some people that is a really hard concept but a true leader knows when to be a follower.
Jerry Stumpf says
A great selection of topics to instill within a child of any age. Our three are grown and have children of their own to nurture.
It is refreshing to see them as productive and dedicated to their children’s welfare.
It is wonderful to see you taking such a pro-active approach to their life.
Congrats, Mom and Dad! And I love this list. But parents should embrace this list, live it and show their children by example. That darn prefrontal cortex does not mature until age 25. You know, that part of the brain that answers the question, “What were you thinking?!”
Jerry Stumpf says
BTW, I forwarded the list on to our children.
Thanks again for your insights.
As parents I hope you take the list to your hearts and reflect upon many of these concepts for yourself as new parents.
Take each day as a wondrous experience. It does not turn out how you want it to every time but as you state in many of these thoughts, every day is a beginning point.
My advice to leave to children, even my own that are grown: Live the 4 Agreements: Be impeccable with your word, Always do your best, Don’t make assumptions, Don’t take things personally. Most important………subscribe to Marc and Angel as soon as you can read!! 🙂
Congratulations & blessings to both of you for the birth of your son, Mac!! He is going to be very happy to have you both as parents, I predict.
I have purchased 3 copies of your book for me and my 2 daughters and always love and feel inspired by your e-mail newsletters. Today’s 40 lovely gems of thought are going to be passed on to them and others.
Love and best thoughts, Hillie
Congratulations! You have the right start, you will make wonderful parents!!
As a teacher, my suggestion to all parents is basically this: you teach by example. And if you fall short of your lofty ideas (we all do), share your failures and imperfections with your child. Children become a parent’s example of self-forgiveness, self-compassion, self-care, self-love. Congratulations!
Amazing post! While these will be fantastic points for your son to absorb, they’re also fantastic reminders for any adult who may have wondered off of their path a bit.
Sandy C says
Congratulations on your new light in the world; a manifestation of love. Little Mac, welcome to this experience.
The only things I would add is:
1- make plans but let go of the outcome. Let things unfold as they will in a perfect way for each one, instead of holding onto a rigid idea of how it should turn out
2- remember that there are lots of ways to get to the same place; 360 degrees of ways, so don’t think you have the corner on what is right for everyone
3- nothing is more important than to offer and see love to everything
May you always see each other with loving eyes.
I just have a suggestion for you and Angel: enjoy every single moment and slow down!! Those are mighty big things you want to teach Mac. Right now you’re already teaching him that he’s important because his needs are being met. Keep doing that, breath deeply, and the rest will take care of itself.
Toni - Reclaiming Your Future says
Some incredible lessons to teach our future generations and one I’m certainly going to bookmark for my future child(ren)!
I particularly love how you say that you need to respect and treat others with kindness, as well as ourselves; we often overlook the simplest of things in life!
Congratulations on your new bundle of joy!
My son is at an age where he thinks he knows everything and I know nothing and it can feel challenging to take a step back and let him learn from his own mistakes, after all, most parents don’t want their children to go through all the trials and tribulations of life.
But in the words of my son, ‘that’s how he rolls’
so by the looks of it, he’s willing to learn the hard way, although it doesn’t have to be considered ‘hard’; it’s all about perception. It’s just life.
It is amazing to read logical things mentioned in your post. Even if one implements 50% of what you have advice it will change the persons life forever.
David Rapp says
Wow, what a great list…for adults. I offer a more simplified list for kids:
1. Try. Its OK to not do it right, or not like it, or get frustrated. So try again.
2. Share. Its the best way to get feel good about getting less.
3. Apologize and forgive. Kids are great at it, adults suck at it.
4. Its OK to be scared. Mommy and Daddy are very scared, because we have been trusted to raise you, and we do not have the Owners’s Manual.
5. I love you, too. No matter what happens, or does not happen.
Sarah Letts says
Pay attention….notice the person/child/animal that is on his/her own, extend your hand to them physically and mentally. Let them know you have noticed them and include them if they are feeling lonely. Leave them in peace if they are happily alone. Mindfulness is the key to keeping in touch with humanity.
Hi Marc and Angel
Such a great list here. I hope to keep this in mind and come back to this list one day when I have children of my own.
Great post and congrats on your baby boy! I will definitely send this link to my friends with kids!
A grand list. I have always imparted this upon my girls as advice. .. “You can’t love everybody, and not everybody will love you, but believe in your self and move forward”
Liz G says
I try to teach my children, be friends with the people who make you a better person, who encourage you to be the best you can be and believe that you can do it. Those friends are the ones who will support you no matter, encourage you when you falter, laugh with you at your mistakes and will celebrate your successes.
Thanks for such a great post. I now want my children to wake up so I can show this to them!!
Marc Chernoff says
@All: Thank you for all the love and support. Your comments are filled with wisdom and insight. Angel and I just read through them, and we really take many of your points to heart as we start our journey of parenthood. 🙂
I am a new parent just like you…Every day I try to worry less about trivial matters because I want my child to understand that you don’t need to have much in order to be happy…you only need the right ones next to you..the ones that trully care about you.
Nice post! Here’s what I’m thinking: I’ll print it out, cut apart the list, and put one snippet at a time into my middle schooler’s lunch box. Perfect timing. Thanks!
Captain Kirk says
Marc and Angel…
Thank you for sharing your “window seat” to the world.
Congratulations on your new baby boy, Mac. Enjoy your new chapter of life!
This article reminded me of a compelling phrase that someone shared with me years ago – related to knowledge and personal growth.
“It’s what we learn – after we know it all – that really counts!”
Those that accept this undeniable truth are HUMBLE, approaching life with an open mind and open heart.
Another life-altering view of LIFE:
Every day…we begin our journey with a “blank canvas”…..throughout the day, we create a new picture, with different designs and colors (based on feelings, moods, our expected – or unexpected events, conversations, encounters, surprises, work or school experiences, etc.)…and at the end of the day…as we reflect on our personal painting….we will discover that EACH DAY, EACH PICTURE….will be different, a unique masterpiece.
Therefore, brush and splash as much paint on your LIFE that you can!
Thanks for a lovely post. It’s a real reminder to live what’s true to us.
First Congrats… Kids and info are like pyramids.. At the beginning. the base is wide and square…Info stream for you is a raging river….The older they get, the base , or source of info, from their parents shrinks.. their personalities flourish, their intelligence gathering spreads, in other directions as it should…When they become “cool”, the marketing, and systems of your info stream, needs to change to be received… it is called wonderful life evolving, growing up….
Kapil Gupta MD says
Your title was wonderfully evocative.
I need to learn about life from my children before they become adults.
Adults know the world.
Children know life.
That I love my Son Gabriel, as much as I love myself…