This article was updated September 26th, 2017. 

The role of a parent is an honor and privilege few realize until it’s too late.

Have you ever stopped to ponder how you became the person you are right now?

Yes, you.

Right here.

Right now.

Your talents, your skills, preferences, tastes, fears, phobias, hopes & dreams…

It wasn’t a single choice or event that shaped your amazing, one-of-a-kind personality. Click To Tweet


It took a complex series of experiences over time to craft that rhythm of life we fondly call ‘you’.

If you look back over your life, you’ll see a spiderweb of events & choices…which created that irregular path, leading to where you’re sitting right now.

It wasn’t easy.

In most cases, it was probably challenging, maybe even dangerous.

Hopefully, it was deeply infused with love, laughter, and wonder!

…but one thing is certain:

Other people have played a critical part in forming the foundation of who we are.

Have you ever stopped to consider that?

You should.

Whether you’re a parent or not, you ALSO have influential power upon those around you!

What you do and say has a direct impact upon the lives you interact with.

After 20 years, parents still ask me a version of two basic questions:

  • “How do I teach my child [insert desired lesson here]?” and;
  • “How can I possibly compete against the influence of the world upon my child?”

Take a deep breath mom and dad.

It’s not as hard as you think, I promise.


This can be your child, or upon your spouse, friends or anyone else you interact with. These principles work across the board. All it takes is the application of one or more of the following principles. If you use all three, you’re virtually guaranteed a lasting memory:

Make it Personal.

A wondrous thing happens when you ease the suffering of another do for them what they cannot do for themselves. It cannot be explained in full—it has to be experienced. When teaching something, find a way to create a personal experience. The child who earns a bike will always value it more that the child to whom it is just given.

Be the Example.

We’ll never be the prophets in our own homes or among our own village. What counters this, however, is example. If you are what you intend to preach or teach, your message is more likely to be heard. This is where ‘Do what I do, not what I say’ would come into play. Kids want to know what you do and why…so show them.

Be Consistent.

Master teachers are those who teach by their very presence. It’s not what they do, it’s who they are. This is the proving ground, where you have the opportunity to show those around you why you do what you do. Show them!


I’ve asked 25 friends to share their own experiences with their parents. I wanted to know how certain teachings helped shape them into the remarkable people they are today. I then asked them to share the lesson they wanted to pass onto their own children, so I could bundle it up in a FREE pdf and give it to you =).

These are Mommy Bloggers, Family Bloggers, Popular Children’s Authors, a comic book creator (not me) and an award-winning, international, New York Times bestselling author with 50 titles and a Guinness World Record to his name, just for good measure.

So here we go!

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Name the #1 thing your parent(s) taught you, that helped you to become the person you are today.

Jon Filitti
LMHC | Founder of MINDSOAK
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I truly believe the most important thing my parents taught me was how to love unconditionally. Loving unconditionally is the foundation of any relationship, especially the parent-child relationship. 

My parents were able to develop a bedrock of unconditional love and support which then allowed them to offer up discipline and reinforcement when warranted. 

I often use the quote, “Kids don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” I don’t know who said it originally but the words ring true to me every time I hear it or say it. 

Knowing that my parents cared, immensely, allowed them to challenge and discipline me. It allowed them to push me at a young age to learn how to regulate my emotions when I was sad, angry or joyful. 

These are traits all kids need.

The ability to regulate. 

But here’s the problem. Too many times adults come at a kid with the expectation they will just “step in line” when they challenge or discipline. Just because they are the adults. Just because they said so.

And yes, I’m a parent and I’ve muttered the phrase, “Because I said so.”Click To Tweet

But here’s the difference, I’m also putting down a foundation of unconditional love, so sometimes I just get to make the choice for my kids since their brains aren’t completely developed yet. Sometimes father does know best (and mother knows even more.)

So when my parents, who by all standards were strict, came to me with an unpopular decision or a punishment, I didn’t have to second guess if they were trying to make me unhappy or if they just sucked as parents. 

Neither were true. 

They loved me more than anything and because of that unconditional love I learned pretty early on to accept their decisions. 

They also role modeled unconditional love between them and wow has it been useful in my marriage. 

If you’re married, you know what I mean. 

There are times in any good marriage where you may truly question if you can get over some argument you’ve had or some situation the two of you are working through. It gets tough.

But with unconditional love, it doesn’t matter what the situation is, what was said or what was done. As long as there’s a foundation of unconditional love for one another (and no malice) anything can be worked through. 


I saw that with my parents. They weren’t perfect. They both made mistakes. Both as a couple and as parents. 

But you know what? It didn’t matter. 

In the grand scheme of things I knew they had my back. 


JON’S BIO: First I became a counselor. Then a dad. I created some comic books and started a private practice. And the Mindsoak podcast. And I bother you on Twitter.

Sue Anne Dunlevie
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This would be hard work and enthusiasm. You could talk about how I was the first in my extended family to go to college and that I had scholarships and loans.

My parents were so supportive and helpful, even though they never went past high school and didn’t know how to counsel me about courses to take or major I should follow.

But they taught me to work hard and always have a positive attitude in whatever I do for my career.

SUE’S BIO: Sue Dunlevie helps bloggers make money with their blogs so they can work at home, be their own boss and spend more time doing what they love.

Minuca Elena

About 15 months ago, before I started my site, my level of confidence in myself and my skills was very low. I thought I have to invest lots of money on paid courses or to spend three years reading everything I can find for free on the internet, to learn how to earn money online. 

My mom encouraged me to try. She was very persistent even when I just wanted to get a job. I kept telling her that I don’t know how and that I can’t do it because I am not famous and nobody knows me. Everything revolved around me saying I am not good enough to earn money online. And she kept replying that I can and that I should try. 

What’s amazing is that my mom barely knows how to use a PC, doesn’t know anything about internet marketing and still, she was sure I could succeed with this business model. She was right. In the last year, I supported myself only from my online income. I didn’t get a job, didn’t paid any courses, and I started earning money only two months after I built my site.

My mom taught me to have more confidence in myself and to not give up on something before trying it, no matter how difficult it may seem.

MINUCA’S BIO: Minuca is a freelance writer specialized in creating expert roundups. Her posts provide quality content, bring huge traffic and get backlinks. She also helps bloggers connect with influencers.

Nadalie Bardowell
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This one lesson my mom always reminded me of comes to mind — that no one can ever take your knowledge away from you. It’s the one thing that if you invest in learning, reading and education, it sticks with you no matter what. 

I remember any time I would say I was bored, I’d get “go read a book.” Click To Tweet

You can make money and lose it, but your knowledge is yours. It can help you to do whatever you set your mind to. As a woman, both my mother and grandmother impressed upon me the importance of being independent. They saw education as the vehicle to my independence.

Granted with two degrees and some other papers, they might be less than impressed that I’ve taken it to the extreme as a solopreneur, but I believe they’re proud.

NADALIE’S BIO: Nadalie is a creative entrepreneur who escaped the 9-5 to pursue her dreams of being a designer and photographer. On her blog, It’s All You Boo, she helps other dreamers and hustlers embrace their awesome, so they too can build their dream lives with confidence and action.

Jesse Barnett
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In 2014 I lost my Dad to a battle with cancer. In a way I lost him twice. The first time was when the illness robbed him of his strength and mobility. Then it ultimately took his life. It was a tough blow; he was my best friend and I still miss him every day.

When I thought about what my parents taught me that helped me become who I am today one word immediately came to mind: Integrity.

I am a person of faith and my parents were very deliberate about raising me to believe in God and have a relationship with him. But the broader message for me, and one that applies to anyone regardless of their system of faith, was to live my life with integrity. I’m thankful that my parents taught me to discover who I am, develop the code I wanted to live by and stay the course no matter what life throws at me.

Integrity guides every aspect of my life. It has shaped who I am as a husband and father. It guides me each day and forms the path for my life and constantly reminds me of the man I want to be.  

Integrity is a constant reminder of who I am: the son of Bill and Lynn Barnett, husband of Rebecca, father of Grace and Joel. I am a child of God. I am a carpenter, writer, minister and teacher. I have to live out each facet of who I am with integrity and sincerity of purpose. It’s ingrained in me.

Integrity helps me to stay focused on what I want to become. The word integrity shares the root with the Latin word integer, which means whole or complete. I was raised to be a complete person in every area of my life. By keeping my integrity at the front of my mind I choose each day to live fully and become all that I am meant to be.

Nothing quite puts life in perspective like losing someone you love. I’m thankful for the lessons that my parents taught me—especially my dad. If you are a parent you have an amazing opportunity to build and shape your kids so they can handle whatever life throws their way.

Take the time today to pour into your kids. Build relationships with them that will last a lifetime. They will grow up but they won’t forget what you instilled in their hearts.

JESSE’S BIO: Jesse Barnett is a minister, carpenter, husband and dad. He created as a guide to equip men to strengthen their marriages and families. You can follow him on Twitter @JesseLBarnett

Tracy Lynn
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When I remember my childhood there are so many things I cherish.  I remember waking up early on a Saturday morning, eating a bowl of Apple Jacks (hey, don’t judge), putting on my Zips and heading out the door.  My friends and I would play outside all day long and head home for dinner.  After we finished eating and washing the dishes, we would all head outside again and wouldn’t return until the street lights came on.   

If you misbehaved, your parents found out before you got home.  If you and your friends got hungry you simply ate at whatever home you were closest too.  Sleepovers consisted of truth or dare and flashlight tag. Sunday mornings brought Rocky and Bullwinkle to life, a cartoon I still claim as the best of all time.  Life was so incredibly different back then and I truly feel sad that my children did not get to experience it.  

Parents raised their children so differently back then.  We were given responsibilities at a much younger age.  More was expected of us and we just did things without asking why.

Our parents walked on water and we valued what they said and what they thought.Click To Tweet  

When I think back, my parents were two of most honest people I have ever known.  I don’t think I remember a time that my parents told a lie or did anything dishonest. This had such a profound effect on me.  Even as a young child I remember finding a dollar on the ground and looking everywhere for the owner.  It just never crossed my mind to keep it without looking.  

The funny thing is, I don’t even think my parents realized they were teaching me.  That was the best part, I learned by watching their example and that was another valuable lesson.  Our children learn more not by what we say, but what we don’t say.  

This has completely shaped the way I parent. I try to live every day like my children are always looking. If what I am about to do is not something I want them to see, then it’s not the right thing to do. Try having that running around in your head all day!  It really changes the way you think.  

Integrity is one of the best qualities my parents taught me.  Doing the right thing even when no one is looking is something I strive to do every day. It’s not always easy but it does at least slow you down and cause you to think just a bit before acting.  Now I can only hope that some of this has rubbed off on my boys and someday they will do the same with their own children.

TRACY’S BIO: Tracy Lynn lives in Northern Pennsylvania with her Hubby, boys, chickens, dog, cat and loving gang of always hungry goats.  She loves to write about all things simple living, gardening, decluttering, and frugal tips with a few goat stories thrown in for fun.  You can find her on Facebook, Instagram and of course at her blog.  Simple Living Country Gal. 

Vladimir Gendelman
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Growing up in the Soviet Union, my mother often would say, “We’re not rich enough to buy cheap things.” She meant cheap products would break easily and need to be replaced, but buying a high-quality item was a better investment.

Those words guide me personally and professionally. When I buy supplies or services, I only buy long-lasting, quality products.

I also apply this philosophy to my customers: I expect they are looking for a high-quality product, not necessarily the cheapest option. Which is why I never produce a product someone with this mentality would not buy.

Even if I could lower my prices by cutting corners, my mother’s words remind me not to compromise quality just to save money. This holds my company and products to the highest possible standard.

VLADIMIR’S BIO: Vladimir is the Founder and CEO of Company Folders, Inc., an innovative presentation folder company that has won multiple awards, including ranking in Inc. 5000’s list of fastest growing private companies in America in 2015 and 2016. He is a thought leader in print design, and has published numerous articles including such publications as Forbes and Times.

Amy Webb, Ph.D.
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I would say the most important thing they taught me was to have a caring and compassionate attitude towards others.

They never taught that the “world was out to get you.”

Instead, they focused on the idea that most people tend to have good intentions and you should try to have good intentions towards others.

AMY’S BIO: Amy Webb is a scholar turned stay-at-home mom with two young sons. With her blog she brings academic child development and parenting research into the lives of parents in the trenches of child-rearing. She does not claim to be a parenting expert, but rather a translator of academic research into reader-friendly articles.

Ellen Oliveira
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I grew up privileged and the one thing that I will never forget my father teaching me about was his impeccable work ethic.

He worked really hard to achieve his dreams and it’s the same lesson he taught me and my siblings.

ELLEN’S BIO: Ellen is a stay at home mama, wife, blogger, Christ follower, music lover, singer… always searching for warm weather. I believe in enjoying the simple things in life just as long as there’s wine, cheese, and crackers in that simplicity.

Julie Wenzlick
The Day Annabelle was Bitten by a Doodlebug

My parents taught me to value creativity. 

I was encouraged to participate in all of the arts—whether through lessons on the organ, the flute, the accordion, the guitar, or through dance lessons, baton twirling classes, writers’ groups, oil painting classes–you name it, I was encouraged to try every art form to find the ones I most enjoyed. 

I was taught to believe that imagination was extremely valuable, so I never hesitated to use mine.Click To Tweet  As an adult, my appreciation of creativity helped me in my profession as a teacher and in my role as a parent.  My children also now value creativity in their own lives.  They grew up seeing me participate in creative endeavors, and I know they benefitted from my example. Imagination can take us ANYWHERE at ANY TIME.  

JULIE’S BIO: Julie Wenzlick, a retired English and journalism teacher, enjoys songwriting and Community Theater.  She published two children’s books in 2016: The Day Annabelle was Bitten by a Doodlebug  (inspired by her granddaughter Annabelle) and Santa’s Dilemma: To Eat or Not to Eat  (originally conceived in creative writing class in 1967). Julie started writing songs in 1981, and wrote a full-length musical comedy Singles File, which she produced at three venues in the early 90s. She has two adult children and two precious granddaughters who are awaiting her next book.

Drew Briney
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“If you’re going to do it, do it right.”

Maybe this is a vestige of an old bygone day. In fact, maybe this is a principle that makes it so you can’t make as much money in the modern world!  In a world where most everything is mass-produced with little customization and very little enthusiasm for excellence, this principle has been largely lost to western civilization. We’ve exchanged it for the principle of fast paced capitalism via volume sales.  And that can make you wealthy. 

But the old adage is something that has stuck by my side fiercefully ever since my grandfather first taught it to me.  It makes me over edit sometimes. It makes me feel like I’m not quite finished much of the time.  Sometimes it makes me decide not to do something at all.  But when I do finish a big project, I often feel a satisfaction I rarely see in others.  I feel the satisfaction of knowing I created the best thing I could create.  And often, I learn so much in the process that I’m positive that I can do even better next time.  In short, it makes me a better person.

DREW’S BIO: With a visionary, unorthodox view of the future, gripping prose, and thriller paced scenes, Drew’s writing is on the breaking edge of sci-fi/fantasy writing.  Voted a Top 5 Author at and bestseller in SFF Anthologies on Amazon, Drew is working his way to the national best seller’s list.  He graduated Phi Kappa Phi from Brigham Young University before entering the J. Reuben Clark Law School on scholarship. He has published five non-fiction books, co-authored two volumes of ancient near eastern legal texts, Slice (a short story), Moon 514: Blaze and the White Griffon (a SFF novel), 5 Blades (SFF Anthology) … and a slew of short stories.

Amanda Grahovec
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The most important lesson my parents ever taught me was the power of choice.

They showed me that I had the power to choose my life by choosing how I looked at it.

When something went wrong my parents reminded me that I could be the victim or the victor. I had the power to choose my outcome by choosing my thoughts and actions. Instead of being a victim or circumstance, I am the author of my own past, present, and future.

AMANDA’S BIO: Amanda teaches parents how to choose how they experience parenting by choosing how they think, feel and act towards parenting. She is a mother of four daughters, writer, and teacher.

Andrien Walker
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Being the oldest of three, I learned to work as a team and to delegate chores such as dinner and laundry to the other core team members who were all my sisters.

Taught us responsibility and how to get along with others despite our differences and ideas on how to go about doing something.

ANDRIEN’S BIO: Adrien Walker helps new bloggers convert site visitors into subscribers by using landing page and sales page optimization. She believes offering a high-value freebie is the key to getting visitors to opt-in to your landing page thus joining your sales funnel.

Britt Burbank
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My Dad taught me that authenticity is a dying art.

You will never find happiness if you don't feel comfortable being yourself.Click To Tweet

Vulnerability is powerful. You can respect someone’s opinion without agreeing with them.

Fun is something you bring with you. 

In a world of that has every product at our fingertips via the interweb, I wonder how many people plan their lives more than they participate in them?

I see these gender reveals and baby showers that are just bananas with every Pinterest detail. That’s wonderful if that’s what you want to do. I think it’s adorable. But if I don’t feel like doing something like that, I don’t. 

I’m forever thankful that my parents did not see my weirdness as something to be fixed. Instead, they celebrated it. Therefore, I live how I want to live. Knowing that nobody is normal. I just have to be the best me I can be. 

Thanks Dad.

BRITT’S BIO: Britt is a Beach bum, Mom, Wife, Sister, Friend, Coach, Bikram Yoga Instructor, Special needs advocate, Library enthusiast,  Mom blogger. Britt lives in a barn on Cape Cod with her husband, two toddlers, and stinky black lab. You can read more of her adventures at You’re Somebody’s MOTHER.

Patty Richmond
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My parents were both hard workers. My Dad worked every week, and my Mother worked part time and took excellent care of our home. I noticed their hard work while I was growing up but also learned later, that there was more that I didn’t know.

My Mom and Dad both grew up on dairy farms. So when they were married, it made sense for them to keep farming. They decided after a few years that farming wasn’t something they wanted to do for a living, so they left the farm. After moving off the farm, Dad started his new life as a “bread man” driver.

Next, he started in sales for a farmer supply company. He traveled to many farms in our area to sell his products. He must have formed excellent relationships with these farmers because when he decided to move on to try to sell real estate, they remembered him.

My father began to sell many farms and other properties successfully. By the time he retired he was part owner of four real estate offices. My Mom supported him along the way, keeping her part-time job just because she liked working away from home.

It was clear how far he had come throughout his life. It had to be tough at times living on the income of a bread man, but he kept going until he found something that worked. He left the farm to find something he enjoyed doing for work.

I learned that it can take a lifetime of hard work to get to where you want to be. It was obvious that Dad wasn’t miserable on his journey and although he made a lot of money, Dad remained very humble in how he spent it.

Sadly, Dad died at the age of 70, soon after he fully retired. His goal for a better life had left a mark with many people as at his funeral the greeting line was two hours long, clear across the width of the large church and out the door. Not only did he meet his goal, his journey toward the goal had been one of integrity and successful relationships.

My parents weren’t perfect, are any of us? But I learned that no one was going to hand me something for nothing, it is a good thing to enjoy your job, and it is rewarding to make long lasting relationships. I am truly blessed to have the parents I did. I owe it to them, to continue to move on in my life, looking ahead, and expecting good things. Life might get difficult, or the goal may take longer than I wanted, but I can certainly get there without being miserable. Maybe it’s the journey toward the goal, which counts the most.

PATTY’S BIO: Married, mother of 4 adult children, author, and owner of Life has brought Patty tremendous joy through her family, husband, and children. She also experienced considerable loss and challenges of which she reveals in her book “Justice Unknown.” Patty offers support to younger women as they journey through marriage, motherhood, and small business, especially in the ‘what not to do’ areas. Patty shares struggles that can appear from nowhere and also the ability we have to push ahead toward the endeavors we want in our lives and how to enjoy the road along the way.

Tor Refsland
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Since I firmly do believe that our most important job on this planet is to teach our kids to become wonderful human beings (and take care of the planet), I will not give you the #1 thing my parent(s) thought that helped me to become the person I am today…

…I will give you the best 3 things!

Well my parents, or more specific, my father gave me 3 awesome tips:

Never promise something you can´t keep.

Needless to say, this taught me honesty and that I always follow-through when I give my word that I will do something.

And want to know something cool?

This also applies to myself. When I promise myself that I will do something, then guess what?

I do it. Every single time.

When I was 18 years old and I asked my father if he could tell me some of the mistakes he had done in his life, so I could learn from his mistakes (and avoid them)…

…do you know what he did?

He chuckled and hit me friendly on the back, while saying: “Son, you have to do the mistakes yourself and learn from your own experience.”

Even though, I was kind of annoyed with his unwillingness to give me some golden nuggets, I learned that there is no shortcut to success.

If you want success in life, you need to be willing to put in the hard work.Click To Tweet

Yeah, I said it.

Real success isn´t achieved through Tim Ferriss´ 4-hour-workweek.

I can do anything that I put my mind to.

My father had an ironclad belief that I could achieve anything that I put my mind to.

Since my father was honest and never gave me a compliment unless he meant it, I choose to believe him.

Having ironclad belief that I can achieve absolutely anything that I put my mind to…

…resulted in the biggest transformations in my life.

When I started my coaching business a little more than two years ago, I was uncomfortable.

Nah, who are we kidding?

I was REALLY scared.

Yup, you read correct.

Who was I to charge money for my coaching when I had never had a paying coaching client before?

After the stupid voice inside my head had made several attempts to drag me down, I decided that I was going to make it no matter what.

Even though it was like crawling uphill on shards of glass in the start, I finally got the knack on it.

After a while everything changed…

One of my clients was earning $1000 per month, and after working with me for 66 days he had generated $100 000 in sales.

Another client of mine is on track to hit $3 million this year with his business, and he started to work with me when he started from scratch.

Focusing on not only believing in myself, but having an ironclad belief that I could teach my clients to get great results was the key behind me 20x my revenue last year as a business coach.

And as I told my dad in my speech when he turned 60, his teaching as a parent has played a vital part of my success in life and business.”

TOR’S BIO: Tor helps healthy businesses get tons of customers with traffic from Google.

He´s a multi award-winning blogger, SEO strategist & business coach. Tor´s featured in a book with some of the best marketers in the world; Seth Godin, Chris Brogan, Brian Clark & Grant Cardone.

Nicole Akers
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My parents taught me something a lot of hard kids don’t know today.

Too many kids are entitled, They want something for nothing, and they whine when they don’t get their way.

We’re raising a society of entitled children who don’t know how to sweat and work hard for things they want in life.

Want a car?

Someone else should buy it, maintain it, license and insure it.


Because dear little Sally, or Billy Jo Bob wants it.  

Don’t want to work?

Hold out your hand and mommy and daddy will put cash in it.


Wanting something better for your kids doesn’t mean giving them everything they want.

Children need to hear no.

Character is developed when kids learn the value of money, that it doesn’t grow on trees, and there is not an endless supply of mommy and daddy’s support.

My parents taught me the value of hard work, and I don’t deserve a darn thing I am not willing to work for.

I am a first generation college graduate and I worked my tail off to achieve a degree.

I went to college with focus and was told not to screw up the opportunity to become the first female college graduate in our family.

I heard no a lot.

I didn’t go to college to have an experience. I went to work hard. I worked as a Resident Assistant and when I wasn’t working I was working on academics. I graduated in four years, with honors.

It wasn’t easy and nobody handed me anything. If I had it I earned it.

NICOLE’S BIO: Nicole is a Health Advocate and mom of 2 who studies food, and general wellness. It’s her mission to help you live a healthier life by learning about the dangers in the food you feed your family. Whether it’s meal prep or creative exercise without setting foot in the gym, you don’t want to miss her tips.

Margie Soemakno

My parents taught me that you already got the “NO”, you might get the “YES” only if you ask, work hard and believe in yourself.

What they meant with this is that I should not be afraid or shy to ask other people for help or push trough with the things I want in life. The “NO” is a guarantee that everyone has in life. However, every “NO” can turn into a “YES” if you ask, work hard and believe in yourself.

MARGIE’S BIO: Mom of three and a wife of one. I have been in Early Childhood Education for the past 17 years. I Recently published my 1st children’s book from the series “Jasmine and Kay” with the title “Umbrella”. My stories are written from an educator’s point of view.

Meenal Chheda
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Our life and personality are molded by our parents and it will probably be a giant book of sorts if we jot down all the things that we learnt from them. How many of us can pinpoint the #1 thing that made you the person you are? As I contemplated on this question I could hear my Dad’s voice saying…

“You have to learn to be like WATER!”

I smiled as I realized that just this one line has been my mantra, my code, my way of life… perhaps even at my subconscious level too.

My Dad always said that you should be able to blend in with every color that surrounds you, just like water does. Just go with the flow, just like water does. Basically, his lesson was about the value of Adaptability.

The only thing constant in life is change. As I went through the many changes in life from being a child, teen and now adult; from being a daughter, wife and now mother, I lived my life following his lesson and adapting to every situation, adapting to every person I met, just like water. 

Yes, this lesson did mold my life and formed the crux of my personality. It did bring me success in my educational, professional, and personal life. To be able to adapt and be accommodating became my strength in all walks of life. Yes, following this one line my Dad taught me has made me the person I am, the woman with some strengths and some weaknesses.

Funny thing this water is…

Always taking the shape of its container

Always going with the flow 

Always loving and giving, but yet softly eroding the mountains

Sometimes it seems serene calm & tranquil but “still water runs deep”

Sometimes it displays turbulence but you never know if it’s a playful riot or just sheer turmoil or a raving rage

But one thing is for sure it holds a fascinating world hidden in its depths.

Today as I reflected on this lesson it dawned upon me that besides all these qualities, water has powers. Not only is it an energy source, but also actually has a potential energy which if harnessed the right way is capable of fantastic wonders. 

I have lived my life like the water but never paid attention, never looked at my potential. Now though much older, I have come to realize and started my quest for unlocking my potential.

Thank you, Dad, I will continue to be like Water.

MEENAL’S BIO: Meenal lives in New Jersey with her husband and two sons. She is an Occupational Therapist by profession. She loves to read not just books but also minds of people she meets, and enjoys good music and likes poetry.

When Meenal found herself with nothing but her thoughts, recuperating from an illness she started jotting down her thoughts to get out of depression, spending hours in silence. Though she was deeply loved and cared for by her family, she experienced the power of prayers and the magic of love which along with positive thoughts helped her heal. Upon recovery from the ailment physically, emotionally, and spiritually, Meenal realized her one strength…Being Positive.

She now connects with those like her, striving to make a difference to millions of folks who are on this journey of life.

Bethany Stout
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I was actually raised by my grandmother more than my parents. She taught me so many lessons in life and how to be a good parent and person.  I remember one time I was really struggling in high school, I had a lot of problems (won’t get into that) but was really struggling to fit in. 

One day when I was upset she told me that I should strive to fit in but also strive to stand out.  That if everyone was the same we would be really boring and that we should never try to conform who we are to fit in with a group of friends. That our friends should love us for who we are and celebrate our differences. 

I always felt like that lesson really stuck with me.

BETHANY’S BIO: Bethany Stout, mother of four.  Bethany holds a masters degree in counseling psychology from Northwestern Oklahoma State University.  She worked as an addiction counselor for seven years and is currently retired and focusing on her family.  Hobbies include writing, photography, crafts/DIY, cooking, organization, coloring, travel, and more.

Mandy Wijn-den Uijl
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My mom taught me to not say anything if I can’t say anything nice. Being in the blogosphere for some time now. I think this is a skill a lot of people lack. It’s so easy to hide behind a profile and indirectly comment on others.

I think this trait made be a kind and thoughtful person.

MANDY’S BIO: MomMandy is a first-time mom to son Logan (2014). She’s a Forever Business Owner and lives with her husband, son and cat in the Netherlands. She enjoys Body Pump, yoga, reading, hanging out with friends and Netflix.

Kevin Duncan
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My parents taught me so many things. How to read… How to throw a baseball… How to cut an onion without crying. (Pro Tip: If you are severely dehydrated, crying is nearly impossible!)

But if I had to settle on one thing they taught me, the one thing that most helped me become the person I am today, it’s this lesson: the world does not revolve around me, and it doesn’t owe me anything.

“Entitlement” is everywhere these days. Everyone gets a trophy. Everyone gets high-fives for doing the things they should be doing anyway. Everyone gets a big, corner office.

One of the big issues with such an unhealthy mindset is people mistakenly believe they don’t have to WORK for anything. After all, if it’s all owed to them, why put forth any effort? Just sit back in your recliner, ring a bell, and surely SOMEONE will bring you a plate of cheese and fruit.

My parents taught me to be mindful of my fellow man. To look where I’m going because there might be someone else walking in that same general direction. To work hard because the desires of my heart are, inevitably, things others will desire too.

And that’s why I’m the person I am today — a hard-working, altruistic guy who can chop onions like a boss.

KEVIN’S BIO: Kevin Duncan runs Be A Better Blogger, where he uses his very particular set of skills to help people become the best bloggers they can be. His insightful and comical writing style caught Jaime’s attention, who says Kevin is one of the rare bloggers where ‘epic’ can be used in describing his posts.

Alicia Trautwein
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The #1 thing my parents taught me was hard work and respect.   

My Dad is completely blind. To this day though, he works forty hours a week.  

He taught me that no matter what excuse you had, you can always find a way through to get past it.  

He easily could have collected disability and wasted his life, but he didn’t do that. Instead, he chooses to enjoy life, take it head on, and work hard every day.  He taught me how to mow a yard, to work on the house, and not take anything for granted.  

Never once was this lesson told to me.  Instead, I learned it through his actions and the respect my mom has for him.  

They have been married for over thirty years and would give you the shirt off their backs if you needed it.  

ALICIA’S BIO: My name is Alicia and I am a mom of four amazing kids! Being a mom is by far the greatest title I have ever been blessed enough to hold. Our two youngest are autistic and it has changed our life, for the better! I have learned to see the world through their eyes, and it’s a much bright world! Our life is an adventure, and I am enjoying every step of the journey!

Heather (Oak City Folk)
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Never settle for less than your best.

They never said those words verbatim, but it is definitely a lesson they taught well.

I still distinctly remember the feeling of bringing a B home on my report card, and knowing there was going to be a long talk about it at the dinner table.

At the time, I didn’t see the value in those talks. Now, I fully understand.

My parents recognized my potential, and they encouraged me to reach it.

It’s my mantra today, and it has helped me reach new heights both personally and professionally.

HEATHER’S BIO: OakCityFolk is a DIY, lifestyle, and parenting blog. Run by a husband and wife team from Oklahoma, the site features tips, reviews, stories, and more.

David Farland
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I’m not sure if this is the most important thing that I learned, but my parents worked hard to teach me to be responsible. 

That meant that from the age of four I began taking on chores. 

By six I was working in the bean fields and strawberry fields to help out with bills.

By eight I was buying all of my own clothes.

And by the time that I was twelve, my little side jobs made me enough money so that I could buy anything that I wanted.

DAVID’S BIO: David Farland is an award-winning, international bestselling author with over 50 novels in print. He is best known, however, for his New York Times bestselling fantasy series The Runelords.

Farland has written for major franchises such as Star Wars and The Mummy.

As a writing instructor, Farland has mentored dozens who have gone on to staggering literary success, including such #1 New York Times Bestsellers as Brandon Mull (Fablehaven), Brandon Sanderson (Wheel of Time), James Dashner (The Maze Runner) and Stephenie Meyer (Twilight).

In the video game industry, he has been both a designer and a scripter and was the co-leader on the design team for StarCraft: Brood War. He set the Guinness World Record for the largest single-author, single-book signing.

Rebecca Kelso

The one thing that my parents taught me that has helped me be the person I am today is that quality of life matters.

Both my parents made an effort to finish work every day by 7pm so we could have a family dinner every night.

During that 60-90 minute period of time talk of work was forbidden. We could only discuss how we felt, what we learned, or any insights about our day. No one could leave the table early, and everyone had to participate. It was a really special time that taught me that no matter how busy or stressed out I get, I can always take the time to stop and connect with others.

REBECCA’S BIO: Rebecca Kelso (E-RYT 200) has always been fascinated with bodies. Rebecca believes that everybody has the potential to unlock fitness, health, and confidence in life and movement. 

With over 6 years of experience teaching yoga and personal coaching, Rebecca’s coaching style is challenging, transformative, and rewarding. She attended Reed College in Oregon and University of Hawaii, where she studied art, creative writing, and received her BA in psychology. In addition to yoga, Rebecca currently enjoys dancing and painting.

Jaime Buckley

My father has always been my hero and my mother, well,…my mother was a saint. I used to joke that the only people who didn’t like my mom, were people who kick puppies or drown kittens.

Yup, we’re talkin’ evullll people.

Neither of my parents were perfect, but what set them apart from other adults I knew, was that they were real.

They made mistakes and even bad choices, but they took responsibility for them. They talked to us, their children, and explained the why’s of life.

One of the things I loved most about my mom, was she always said–after explaining her views on a question I’d asked, “I reserve the right to change my answer according to the new information I gain.”

I never knew of POWERFUL that was until I became a father.

Yet the #1 lesson I learned from my parents was:

It’s not about me.

In a world that lusts after money, power, makes even the most innocent things sexual and perverted and is hopelessly stuck on ‘self’, this is a hard lesson to teach, let alone have stick.

But it did.

Nothing compares to being of service.

It opens my eyes and helps me be more grateful for what I have and who I am.

It’s blessed me with the dearest of friends and associations.

Being of service has given me a deeper sense of fulfillment than any other aspect of my life.

The happiness I experience in someone else’s well being is something that cannot be taken from me.

Best of all, I can look myself in the mirror at the end of the day and know that I’ve left the world in a better place than I found it when I work up.

JAIME’S BIO: He’s earned the titles of Author, Illustrator, Cartoonist, Game Designer, Dragon Lord, King Maker, Monster Hunter, Sliver Slayer, Trainer of Heroes, Breaker of Bridges, Smoker of Meats, Sucker of Slurpees, World Builder and Elf Friend(ish). Jaime is also known as Dad, Daddy, Poppa, Papa Bear, Grandpa, ‘sweetie’ and ‘Heya Gorgeous’. His greatest title I’ve earned to date, however, is ‘Successful Father‘ awarded to him by his own wife, Kathilynn.

Jaime currently holds Bob’s Book of World Records for sucking 42 raspberry Jell-O cubes through a straw in 90 seconds…and continues to defend his Clockworks record for back to back arm wrestling wins (97.8 gnomes). It would have been nice to say that he was also a member of the Green Lantern Corps, but they rejected his application.

Apparently, they don’t have spandex suits in 5XL (their loss).

Think about your life and how your own parents impacted the person you are today.

Taking notice of what caused such a teaching to stick is key to developing your own influence on both your children and those around you in a positive way!

What lesson did YOUR parents teach?

I’d like to hear in the comments section below!!

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