Okay, my use of the “f” word in the title for this post, may have been a bit much — but not really since I used the mother-appropriate version. This mommy only has an occasional potty mouth and today I am keeping a lid on it.
The ABC’s are one of the first things taught to children by their well-meaning parents, experienced grandparents and skilled educators. They are important and are the root of language acquisition and development. Nowadays, even before a child enters Kindergarten, they are taught and encouraged to successfully know the alphabet — as early as while they are in a two-year-old preschool classroom. Often, once a child becomes an independent reader, their focus is no longer on those individual letters, but rather the sounds and words that they create.
Of course, I agree that we need to continue teaching phonics skills and the standard ABCs. But, I also strongly believe and suggest, that it is time to incorporate a new version of, and way of teaching, the ABCs.
What I am suggesting is that these ABC’s (below) be taught to children, then reminded to them in their adolescence and ultimately reinforced until they reach the age of adulthood. And, you know what? I also think that us, adults, could benefit from our own periodic alphabet refresher.
What ABCs do I want you all to be practicing and teaching your children? Here you go:
A: A is for your attitude, which should always be positive, as you have the power to control it. “Don’t allow your attitude to stand between your happiness and you”. – Unknown
B: B is for beauty, which you should always see inside yourself and in other people. “Beauty is what you feel about yourself, not about what you see in the mirror”. – Unknown
C: C is for courage, which you should always exude, under any and all circumstances. “Courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid, courage means you don’t let fear stop you”. – Bethany Hamilton
D: D is for dialogue, which should always be productive, respectful and maintained amongst those you interact with — most importantly your spouse, children and family. “Dialogue cannot exist without humility.” – Paulo Freire
E: E is for effort, which should always be given by you, and respected by you when you see that it is put forth by others. “Continuous effort, not strength or intelligence is the key to unlocking our potential”. – Winston Churchill
F: F is for family, whom will always be there for you and whom should always be your priority. “The family — that dear octopus from whose tentacles we never quite escape, nor in our inmost hearts, ever quite wish to.” – Dodie Smith
G: G is grandparents, whom deserve our utmost love, respect and attention for the amazing family that they helped shape. “Grandparents are a delightful blend of laughter, caring deeds, wonderful stories and love.” – Unknown
H: H is for help, which you should never feel sorry for asking for and should always be wailing to provide to others when needed. “Helping others is like helping yourself.” – Henry Flagler
I: I is for inquiring and is what you should be doing regarding anything you are curious about. “Maintain a curious, questioning and inquisitive mind so that you never stop growing.” – Ed and Deb Shapiro
J: J is for jokes, which you should always have and tell often. You also always need to be willing to take a joke. “Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it”. – Unknown
K: K is for kisses, which need to be given and accepted often, done purposefully and used to smother those in your family. “Can I borrow a kiss? I promise I will give it back”. – Anonymous
L: L is for listening, which should always be done actively and compassionately. “Every good conversation starts with good listening”. – Unknown
M: M is for moving and it is what your body should always be doing. “Moving your body is a part of self-care. It is not selfish, it is essential.” – Natalie Garay
N: N is for nice and it is what you should be to ALL people. “Being nice takes work. That’s why I really like people who are nice.” – Casey Neistat
O: O is for open-minded which everyone should be. “Your mind is like a parachute and it works best when it is open.” – Dalai Lama
P: P is for priorities — may you make them and may you keep them. “Your priorities aren’t what you say they are, they are revealed by how you live”. – Unknown
Q: Q is for quitting and is something you should never do. “When you feel like quitting, think about why you started.” – Anonymous
R: R is for remembering who you are and your values — at all times and under all circumstances. “Remember who you are and whose you are.” – Thea Bowman
S: S is for staying present, in each and every moment, for as long as you are capable of. “If not forever, stay with me the longest time you can.” – Anonymous
T: T is for time, which should be respected and made the most out of. “We all have to decide what to do with the time that is given to us.” – J. R. R. Tolkien
U: U is for understanding and it is what we should be to all people. “Sometimes being understanding is more important than being right…Sometimes we need not a brilliant mind, but a patient heart that listens…Not keen eyes that always see faults, but open arms that accept. Not a finger that points out mistakes, but a gentle hand that leads.” – Unknown
V: V is for volunteering, which most of us do not do enough of. “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi
W: W is for work and the fact that you should always be completing it to the best of your ability. “There is no substitute for hard work.” – Thomas Edison
X: Okay, I totally don’t have one for X, guys! If any of you Scrabble or Words With Friends extraordinaire have one for me, please contribute it in the comments. 🙂
Y: Y is for yes and we should all always come from a place of “yes,” when appropriate. “If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you are not sure if you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.” – Richard Branson
Z: Z is for zeal with which I hope you approach life with. “Zeal will do more than knowledge.” – William Hazilett
Now you know your ABC’s, next time won’t you sing with me…