Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
A few quick things I wish I had been told
Published on September 1, 2006 By Draginol In Parenting

They say youth is wasted on the young. As I get older, I start to agree with the wisdom of that saying.

My baby daughter is barely 2 weeks old, but I have some advice that hopefully I can keep in my mind to give her that hopefully she will be able to find useful.

#1 We don't know what we don't know.

The problem for kids, starting in teens and going on through their 20s is that they don't know what they don't know. That's obvious. What's not obvious is that htey often don't realize that they are making decisions based on a lack of knowledge.  Accept that knowledge isn't the same as intelligence and that sometimes understanding simply takes time.

#2 Don't make life-altering decisions hastily.

This sounds obvious but to get more specific -- many of the decisions that we have to live with on a day to day basis for the rest of our lives are made between the ages of 18 and 25. But we are scarcely equipped to make decisions that are going to have to be dealt with for the rest of our lives.  Take care to recognize how decisions will affect the rest of your life. This is particularly true of relationships.

#3 Don't take the path of least resistance.

This is the #1 thing that I have observed that leads to long-term sorrow.  Doing something because it is easiest. Many of life's choices aren't made, people just fall into them.  The success I've had in life can be entirely put towards not taking the path of least resistance.  In my case, I was driven by wanting to have some control over my life.  But many people often end up in dead end jobs or unsatisfactory relationships because there wasn't a compelling reason not to get out of them.

#4 Decide what makes you happy and don't compromise on that.

There isn't a good reason to compromise on things that make you happy. If something makes you happy and it is not doing you any long-term harm and isn't hurting others, consider pursuing it.

#5 Don't let others determine how you view yourself.

It's amazing how people end up falling into choices simply because it is "whast is expected". As soon as you give other people control over how you view yourself you cede your own self-esteem and choices to the whims of others.

 


Comments
on Sep 01, 2006
Hello and greetings from Zhengzhou, China. Here i work as an English teacher and love it really. I liked your wisdom which you were giving to your daughter. She is lucky to have you as a dad and hjopefully as she grows up she will find more wisdom from you. Yes I like number 3 in which you mentioned about dead end jobs and relationships.

I came under both of them but did make decisions in which it took a lot of courage and much heartache but being in such relationships and a job which gave me no satisfaction I did what had to be done.

Like teaching young kids Englishhere and have been in Asia since 1990 doing the same thing and find it more rewarding than any other job I have held in my life. The work is not so bad and the kids are great but then I have a great relationship with the kids and they love me which is more important than being in a dead end relationship.
on Sep 01, 2006
I'm going to point my kids to this.

Good article.
on Sep 01, 2006
They say youth is wasted on the young. As I get older, I start to agree with the wisdom of that saying.


I never got that saying before, now a days it makes perfect sense, even if it kinda contradicts itself.

My baby daughter is barely 2 weeks old, but I have some advice that hopefully I can keep in my mind to give her that hopefully she will be able to find useful.


There was a time in my life when the thought of bringing a child to this god-forsaken world. I had been thru so many bad times when I was young that I did not wish my children go thru them as well.

Today I’m a father of 2 great kids, I still have the fear of them going thru my hard times but I guess to look at the bright side maybe they can use this to make better men of themselves, make them stronger, wiser. It’s normal human behavior to learn things the hard way and from mistakes.

#1 We don't know what we don't know.The problem for kids, starting in teens and going on through their 20s is that they don't know what they don't know. That's obvious. What's not obvious is that htey often don't realize that they are making decisions based on a lack of knowledge. Accept that knowledge isn't the same as intelligence and that sometimes understanding simply takes time.


I think that many kids do things without acquiring the knowledge first is to prove to their parents, friends and to themselves that they are capable of doing certain things on their own. Of course they are only fooling themselves. It’s up to us, parents, to make sure they have the proper education, not only what school teaches them, but basic survival skills both for in life or death situations and for todays society (which is kinda a life or death situation as well, at least teens see it that way). But sometimes it’s OK for them to make some mistakes, as long as they learn from it. Sad to say those teens who end up in jail or pregnant more than once didn’t get it the first time around.

#2 Don't make life-altering decisions hastily.This sounds obvious but to get more specific -- many of the decisions that we have to live with on a day to day basis for the rest of our lives are made between the ages of 18 and 25. But we are scarcely equipped to make decisions that are going to have to be dealt with for the rest of our lives. Take care to recognize how decisions will affect the rest of your life. This is particularly true of relationships.


I would put that age “between the ages of 18 and 25” a little farther back to about 16 maybe 15. Many teens in my time, and of my parent’s time, were either sexually active, pregnant, working, on drugs, alcoholics and/or criminals by the age of 15 and 16. Though not all of them were failures in life, most had to live the most basic of life in order to survive at all, working in horrible conditions for minimum wage, living paycheck to paycheck, having a house phone this month but getting it cut the next, paying their bills months late and their kids in torn up old clothe half the time. And those who did succeed, eventually, had to work twice as hard and make tremendous sacrifices to provide a better life for them and their children.

#3 Don't take the path of least resistance.This is the #1 thing that I have observed that leads to long-term sorrow. Doing something because it is easiest. Many of life's choices aren't made, people just fall into them. The success I've had in life can be entirely put towards not taking the path of least resistance. In my case, I was driven by wanting to have some control over my life. But many people often end up in dead end jobs or unsatisfactory relationships because there wasn't a compelling reason not to get out of them.


Oh how I wished I had been told of this when I was young. Easier isn’t always better. I love making my life easy, but from a technology point of view. Not having an easy job, I like a challenge. I like the idea of knowing that I worked hard (not too hard) to earn what I have. It’s also nice to know that some day I could have it easy and still live as good or better (retirement) as I did when I was working hard for my money. Shortcuts are for lazy people. Be proud of earning what’s coming to you. Once you look back and realize what you have accomplished thru hard work it makes you feel really good. I know this know, I do it every time I get home from working 14 hours every day now. And it feels good to know. Of course I don’t plan on staying on a 14 hour shift for ever, that would just be plain stupid. I have goals and plan on reaching them ASAP, without any shortcuts. Well, at my age, maybe 1 or 2.

#4 Decide what makes you happy and don't compromise on that.There isn't a good reason to compromise on things that make you happy. If something makes you happy and it is not doing you any long-term harm and isn't hurting others, consider pursuing it.


Great advice, follow your dreams. I know I should have, never too late though.

#5 Don't let others determine how you view yourself.It's amazing how people end up falling into choices simply because it is "whast is expected". As soon as you give other people control over how you view yourself you cede your own self-esteem and choices to the whims of others.


It took me a long time to realize that this was happening to me. I always thought I was in control, that peer pressure had nothing on me, but boy was I wrong. I learned though. Now a days my decisions are just that, my decisions. I don’t dictate my life by what others think about me anymore. If you like it fine and if you don’t you don’t have to look.


This is a great article Draginol. I have had dreams of having a daughter, I sometimes fear of having another child and it not being a girl. Don’t get me wrong, I would him as much as his brothers. It would be nice to have a girl though, I would love to play the role of the over protective father, to keep every kid in the block and school up to date on how close they can actually be from her. To have a room full of dolls, ponies and bright colors. To see my credit card hit the roof, a cell phone bill that seems to have 50 people using it, a chance to throw a great sweet 16’s party, a chance to walk her down the isle on her wedding (while reminding her soon to be husband that she will always be daddy’s little girl and I have friends in the underground world).

Maybe I’ll get lucky one day. For know I’ll let you enjoy this luck and enjoy it well. I have a song that you might like to play for your daughter every once in a while as she grows up. This can be you daddy-daughter special song.

Bob Carlisle - Butterfly Kisses

If you want it I can email it to you. Just let me know. I recommended it big time.
on Sep 01, 2006
Very wise words, they would have been useful in my youth. She is lucky to have a parent who is so insightful.

I wrote a letter to my daughter when she was a year old (just in case I happened to die and someone else had to bring her up! Pessimist!)

The letter was advice about the possible pitfuls in life and advice on how to deal with and approach certain things. The advice was along similar lines to what you said just not as clearly put as yours.

Enjoy her as a baby, they grow so fast. In a blink of an eye, they are all grown up and leaving home.
on Sep 01, 2006
These are some great advice! She'll do well with your guidance.
on Sep 01, 2006
Here's what I've been teaching my daughter:

1. The best thing you can do for yourself, for your country, and for the world is to fulfill your own responsibilities and not force other people to fulfill them for you. That means you must make your own money, raise your own children, keep yourself healthy, keep yourself safe, and defend yourself if attacked. If you refuse to fulfill these responsibilites, other people will do it for you because that's the kind of society we live in. But making them do this is the height of selfishness, and if enough people do it, it will lead to the downfall of society. Be an asset to society rather than a debit.

2. If you want to succeed, you must define success by setting a clear, measurable goal. You must then create a plan to accomplish this goal. You must then follow this plan every day.

3. It's often uncomfortable, but in the long run it makes more sense to deal with reality. People who refuse to change their internal maps to match reality suffer from cognitive dissonance, and the longer they go without accepting reality, the more irrationally they act. Don't fall for this trap; accept reality, no matter how much it hurts.

4. Be suspicious if someone you don't already trust is telling you exactly what you want to hear. There is no faster, easier way to manipulate people.
on Sep 01, 2006
as a fellow father,,,congrats on bein a dad,,,i love my 2 boys very much and have given sim. advice...because it's sound advice. well done!

on Sep 02, 2006
Great post Brad, and congrats on the daughter! My son is almost 9 months old now..its the coolest thing on earth.
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