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The older I get, and the older my kids get, the more I realize how much I should or could have done differently. One thing that has been on my mind, is the words that I chose to say and how often I said them.

If I could go back, there are so many things I would have done differently. There are so many things I would have said more often. While I cannot go back- the past is gone and we only have today, I can most certainly begin doing the things I wish I would have done. However, I cannot go back in time and say those things when my kids were little. Below, I will list 10 things I wish I would have said to my kids more often when they were young.

1. Do not sweat the small stuff.

When I was a new parent, I was very high-strung. I wanted every little thing to be perfect, and I think because of that, my kids were always a bit high-strung as well. If I could go back, I would let go of the little things that bothered me sooner and would remind my kids to not sweat the small things. Life is too short.

2. Go ahead and have fun.

Oftentimes, I was too overprotective. Before I could even stop myself, I would let my hang-ups stand in the way of my kids getting to do the things they wanted. If I could go back, I would tell them to go ahead and have fun.

3. It’s okay to make mistakes.

We all make mistakes. They are a part of life. In the heat of the moment, it is easy to lose sight of that and to get upset when things inevitably happen. I wish I would have reminded my kids more that mistakes are okay.

4. The things you worry about are not usually the things that will matter.

I have always been a worry wort. I overanalyze everything. As I have gotten older, I have realized that worry does nothing good for us. I wish I would have told my kids to worry less and enjoy their lives more.

5. I’m sorry.

I have made my fair share of mistakes. As much as I could, when I did, I would say I was sorry. But there are so many things I didn’t apologize for at the moment, that I wish I would have now.

6. You can do whatever you set your mind to.

I had a lot of fear as a parent. I didn’t want my kids to be set up for failure, but I surely could have let them know that whatever they put their minds to could be theirs.

7. I support you.

This is one thing you can never say enough. Say it every day. Say it multiple times each day. Our kids need so much to know that we support them.

8. Your anger is your responsibility.

My son would get angry so much when he was a teenager. Most of the time, he would place blame on others for his anger, and as his parent, I wanted to stand by him. However, I wish I would have emphasized more that his emotions (anger) were his responsibility.

9. Stay in the moment.

Every moment is fleeting. As a parent, I was always rushing from one task to the next and I didn’t allow myself to sit in the moment as much as I should have. If I could go back, I would have emphasized the importance of living life moment by moment.

10. We can fix this.

I have always been a fixer. If something needed to be done, I would jump right in and do it myself. However, I wish I would have not taken over so much and instead, allowed my kids to do more.

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