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When my kids were young, it seemed like things would be the way that they were forever. However, life has a way of slipping by you.

In very little time, our kids grow up. They go from needing us and listening to us, to becoming their people. There is nothing wrong with this, but as a parent, I have found that now that my kids are older, there are many things I wish I had done or more specifically said to them when they were smaller. There are so many missed opportunities. Below, I will list 5 things I wish I had said to my children when they were younger.

1. I’m sorry.

When my kids were little, I used to try to maintain the facade that I always had altogether, even when I didn’t. However, there are aspects of this that I regret. For example, I wish I had owned more of my mistakes and said I was sorry more often when I was wrong.

2. Go for it.

I was always hesitant to let my kids try things that could fail. I was afraid for them. I now realize how wrong I was for that, though. I should have encouraged them to try more things.

3. The things you worry about are never the things that end up being a big deal, after all.

When my kids were worried or anxious, I always wanted to make their pain go away. Thinking back, I could’ve given them one gem of advice more often: the things we worry the most about are never the things that matter.

4. Screw ’em.’

It’s normal to want your kids to fit in, but I wish I could’ve told my kids more often that others’ opinions do not matter. If I could go back, I’d say, ‘Screw em’, live your life.”

5. You are responsible for your feelings.

Far too often, I would come to the rescue in the wrong way. My youngest always had emotional problems and was quick to anger and frustration, and I always tended to try to excuse it. However, I realize now, I should’ve helped him to realize and understand the control he could have over his mentality.

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