Out of the Mouths of Babes

As I’m sure you all know, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. (And if you didn’t know, consider this your warning!) While most of us celebrate the holiday with chocolates and flowers, there’s another gift that can be just as meaningful – and it’s free! What is this magical gift? Encouragement. I know, because I recently received it from an unexpected place:

Advice from my daughter Emily

Advice from my daughter Emily

This year the Matchmaker team is taking on a challenge. Every day, we’re doing at least one thing above and beyond our daily To Do list. A few weeks ago, Mary shared that her method for accomplishing this goal was to eat a frog every morning. I prefer eggs and toast for breakfast, but I like how Mary thinks.

This “one thing” exercise is more challenging than it might seem. My method involves a stack of sticky notes that I keep on my desk. They read “Do One Thing” and there’s plenty of space where I can write down my one big goal for the day. This exercise helps me stay focused and keeps my goals where they belong: right in front of me.

A few days ago, my daughter Emily was in my office. I didn’t notice at the time, but she found my sticky notes and left me a little message. Her encouragement to “do awesome things” was the best gift I could have received, and reminded me that kids are often the wisest among us. Their advice tends to be simple, straightforward, and honest, a combination too many adults seem to have forgotten. In fact, after reading Emily’s message (and vowing to follow her advice), I decided to see what other kids had to say about the world; their wisdom did not disappoint. Here are some of my favorites tips:

• If you give a dog a bath, you get one yourself. ~ Mindy, Age 14
• Never open an umbrella in the car. ~ Ryan, Age 7
• The smaller the print on things, the more important it is. ~ Julie, Age 12
• Never ride your bike in mud when you don’t know how deep it is. ~ Corey, Age 11
• One of the best ways to find out about a person’s character is to play Monopoly with them. ~ Ellana, Age 15
• You shouldn’t put your turtle in a stream and expect him to come back to you.~ Rosemary, Age 12
• Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too. ~ Greg, Age 8

For this year’s Valentine’s Day, don’t underestimate the power of a few well-chosen words.
And if you need help finding the perfect phrase, just ask the nearest kid.

Listen to your inner child this weekend,