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growing up

The One Conversation You Need to Have with Your Kids

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“Mama, is being pretty important?” my daughter asked while she watched me put mascara on tonight in front of the bathroom mirror.

“Well, baby girl, I’d be lying if I said it isn’t helpful to be pretty—but there are other qualities that are much more important.”

“Like what?”

“Well…courage. Being able to look at the things that make you scared and figuring out a way to shrink them into something small and manageable.”

“What else?”

“A sense of how absurd shit in life can be.”

READ: I Think It’s OK That My Daughter is a Brat

(My daughter gives me a whatchoo talkin’ bout, Mama look.)

“That means that things happen in life you don’t plan for and don’t want, but if you find a way to laugh at it, you’ll own it. It can also help you be brave, too.”

“OK.”

“And resourcefulness is important, too…”

“What’s that?”

“Remember the time we got locked out of the house and you suggested crawling through the window? That’s being resourceful—that’s figuring a way out of a crap situation.”

“What else?”

“Curiosity. Ask questions. And question everything you hear from grown-ups—your teachers, the government, even me and your dad.”

“Why?”

“Why what?”

“I’m just questioning you like you said.”

“Funny.”

“You said it’s important to be funny.”

READ: Your Kids Are Not That Special (And That’s OK)

At this point my son comes out and says, “Mama don’t forget the most important thing.”

“What’s that?”

“Brush your teeth and don’t be an asshole.”

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