I grew up with certain sayings:
“Your family will always be there for you.”
“You can do anything you want; you just have to put your mind to it.”
“If everyone works for 15 minutes we’ll have the job done.”
I had my own bits of wisdom and mom messages; here are some that I repeated, over and over, to my kids:
“Relationships are always a two-way street.”
“I love you.”
“I will always love you.”
“Invite friends over any time.”
“If everyone helps we can _________ (go there, have that for dinner, do____).
When I was raising my third baby, my grandmother shared a saying with me that she had gotten from her mother. It went like this: “You can’t have flowers and babies at the same time.” She was talking about gardening and raising babies. It was an expression passed from my great grandmother to her daughter and it meant “You cannot do everything at once.”
The generations have always passed wisdom down in sound bites. Twitter may have thought they originated the short message. In truth, short messages are the ones that stick. All of the sayings above are well under 140 characters. We parents would do well to pay attention to that reality. Kids don’t like it when we lecture them. And they REMEMBER the pithy sayings, not the long-winded talks.
I think parents should remember that and come up with deliberate short messages to pass down to kids. Make your list now. Then start passing down the wisdom in succinct sound bites, just like the generations before us.