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10 Things You Can Learn From Your 10-Year-Old

Recently my youngest child turned 10 years old. While she is not my first 10-year-old, she is my last. In general, my kids’ birthdays make me very nostalgic and sappy, I struggle a little, wanting to hold on to their littleness while at the same time, loving the evolution. And I have to say, there is something about a 10-year-old. They are in this in-between, somewhere in the middle, fighting to prove that they aren’t little anymore (even if they still sleep with their favorite stuffed animal), but not quite ready for the responsibility of their older teenage sibling. But, if you pay attention, you can really learn something from these middle-staged kids.

Some things that I am learning from my very own 10-year-old, and one of my favorite people on this planet: 

  1. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Life can be pretty funny. People can be pretty funny. Slapstick comedy is never lost on any kid, especially a 10-year-old. They know how to keep it light. Fall in public? Hilarious. Someone else’s fall in public? Even better. 
  2. Looks are overrated. Throw your hair back in a pony and live your life. My 10-year-old barely looks at the mirror before she heads out the door, and I have to say, I really like that about her. While I recognize that vanity comes at a later age, (and I wouldn’t mind her taming those locks a little more), we have something to learn from these kids. She recognizes that how she looks is way more about how she feels about herself, and that, is truly beautiful. 
  3. Use what you have available to you. My 10-year-old will make something from nothing. Your trash is her treasure. A gift out of a cardboard box and scraps of paper and ribbon ends is her specialty. She creates the most thoughtful things, using her immediate available resources. Who needs Amazon? Not a 10-year-old. 
  4. Set your feelings free.  10-year-olds don’t hold back. They feel all the emotions. All. Of. Them. You know if they are excited (spontaneous dancing/singing), sad (they aren’t afraid to cry),  happy (cartwheels thru the kitchen), angry (we hide when she’s angry) or anything in-between. They live in the moment. Feel your feelings people.
  5. End each day with a long hug. 10-year-olds still like to be tucked in at night. Mine said to me one night, “my day just ends better with a nice, long, hug.” Amen to that, kid.
  6. It feels good to give and to care for someone. 10-year-olds have learned the joy of giving. My girl loves to surprise you with a homemade gift, a flower that she picked or a rock that she found that she thinks is special. She will make you a tea if she thinks you need something to make you feel better, tucks away a random love note for you to find “when the time is right,” and wants nothing more than to see you happy. She delights in giving you these little trinkets of her affection, and shows you her love and affection in ways that are sweet, thoughtful, and oh so impactful. Wow can a 10-year-old make you feel loved.
  7. No Holiday should go uncelebrated. No one knows how to celebrate like a 10-year-old. Every holiday, birthday, anniversary is worthy. None too small! Celebrate everything! Because why not. They might even make up their own holiday. And you will celebrate. 10-year-olds are living life to the fullest. Celebrate with them.
  8. Pay attention. A 10-year-old does not like to be ignored. They also will notice you, not noticing them. It’s a great reminder to put your phone down. Listen when they talk…because a 10-year-old will become a 12-year-old, and if they think you don’t listen, they will eventually stop talking. These kids grow fast, moments slip by, so sit with them, look them in the eye, and pay attention. 
  9. Forgive and move on.  At 10, kids are on the cusp of some mood swings. They are up/down, back/forth, and they know just enough about life to make them dangerous. Sometimes, they erupt, and you might have it out with a 10-year-old. But when they come back to you, all is forgiven. They let go, they move on, all is forgiven. Grudges are for suckers, and no one knows that like a 10-year-old. 
  10. Eat the cake. There’s few things that a 10-year old likes more than cake. You know why? Cake is delicious. Cake is decadent. Cake is the ultimate treat. But what do grown-ups do? We pass on the cake. Why? Because we know that we don’t have the metabolism of a 10-year-old. Because we know we know how to make healthier choices. But, check out a 10-year old’s face when you are serving up some cake, or, when they see you take a pass. They think you’ve lost your mind. They are right. So now, I eat the cake.


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Lori E. Angiel

Lori resides in the suburbia of Western New York with her husband, their 2 children and sweet rescue pup, George Bailey (because, it’s a wonderful life, after all). When not working, she is doing the soccer mom thing on the sidelines of a soccer field, running the local trails and streets (year round in the most obnoxious reflective gear available) with her running (a/k/a support) group while they train for what is always known as the "last race we are ever doing", or shopping at TJ Maxx or Target.  Her favorite things include her training runs, skiing with her family and yoga.  She is also very devoted to drinking wine and spending as much time as possible with her friends and family.  Whenever the opportunity presents itself, you will find her sitting on a beach (applying copious amounts of sunscreen on her kiddos)....all the while writing about the little things in life that occur to her along the way.

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