In Raising Girls, we call early adolescence “The Narcissistic Years.” They are, obviously, thinking about themselves and what other people are thinking about them pretty constantly. I recently spent time with a group of kids who were emerging from those narcissistic years. We had a conversation about things they wish someone had told them growing up. (My secret guess is that someone did…they were just too narcissistic to hear.)
So, if you’ve got a teenager or one coming home this summer who is of an age to ask for recommendations or housesit, this is a list we would recommend sharing. Add your own thoughts, too. It’s never too late for any of us to learn more awareness. As Henry James said, “Three thinsg in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”
A few thoughts on What We Wish We Had Known from the College-Aged Interns at Daystar…
· Ask questions more than you talk about yourself.
· Let rows in front of you get off the plane first.
· If you use someone’s car, fill it up with gas.
· Clean up after you babysit.
· Wash the ring out of the tub when you get out.
· Give someone a Starbucks card or small thank you gift if they write you a recommendation.
· Replace the toilet paper roll.
· Take a hostess gift.
· Don’t leave mascara on the towel.
· Change the sheets if you housesit.
· Write thank you notes for everything.
· You have a year to send a wedding gift.
· Don’t leave your toothpaste in the sink.
· Be kind.
· If you’re working in a store it’s your job to be kind.
· Always tip better on Sundays.
· Leave a 20% tip. Order less if you have to.
· Don’t leave trash in someone else’s car.
· Hold the door open for someone behind you.
· Be kind. And think about other people. That’s what they all boil down to.