So last week I wrote an article primarily to encourage parents to speak life over their kids. I’ve decided to do a series of letters to myself at different ages, from 2016 me, giving some sisterly-type advice for kids that age to read. If you feel like it would help or encourage your kids in any way, please feel free to give it to them. Sometimes the message needs to come from a different angle for people to receive it, and I feel this might be a key God has given me, using creativity and letters to speak directly to the heart of things we face in our younger years.
Dear 8 Year Old Me,
So you’re in Grade 3. How’s that going for you? I’m sure you’re aware of the word ‘peer pressure’ by now.
I know the easy thing to do is just go along with the crowd, but learn to think independently. In case that word hasn’t been in your vocabulary tests yet, it means ‘for yourself’. God gave you an amazing brain. Think about what you’re doing. If the only reason you’re doing it is because everybody else is, ask yourself if that is a good enough reason.
I know you may have heard this a few times before from mum or dad but what’s popular is not always right and what’s right is not always popular. If you see other kids doing the wrong thing, it doesn’t mean you have to.
If you see other people, even if it’s your best friend, being mean to someone, think: would I like someone else treating me this way? It’s called bullying and if you develop a habit of it, it will lead your life in a direction that you don’t want it going in. Trust me. Wouldn’t you rather be known as the person who’s kind to everyone? So when the other girls start teasing that girl for having curly, wiry black hair in eight braids all over her head, don’t join in. Even if it does remind you of a spider. Seven years later, you will have to eat your words and apologise to that girl, who later left the school.
If you have older sisters and brothers, don’t listen to everything they say. Listen to some of it, but don’t make the mistake of assuming all of it is true. If they tell you you’re weak, or stupid, or fat, or any of those things, assume those are lies. While we’re on the topic of siblings, just because they don’t say they love you, doesn’t mean they don’t. They do; they might just not have learnt how to show it yet. The good news is you can teach them by being an amazing example.
The bible says not to let anyone think less of you because you’re young, but to be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity (1 Tim 4:12).
Before I sign off, one last thing. If you have something that you love to do—reading, playing sport, music . . . don’t let anyone’s comments or loud opinions stop you from doing that. God gave you gifts and talents and He wants you to use them, not just sit them on the shelf like an old toy left to gather dust.
Have a great day, and try not to make the mistakes I did.
22 Year Old You
Image: http://www.kairoshsp.com/letters.htm (sourced 20 March 2016).