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Parental advice

Adriana Pratt | Tuesday, February 1, 2011

There’s only so much you can learn from a textbook — of which you’ll probably remember nothing — so why waste your time? The most useful lessons I’ve learned in life have been from my parents. In lieu of the upcoming Junior Parents Weekend, I figured I would pay them homage and relay some of their best advice.

1.”You Create Your Own Reality” — Dad

Admittedly, my Dad is one of those guys who thrives on self-help books and sends my family quotes of the day motivating us to do big things. Underneath all that cheesiness though, there really is some quality advice. One thing my dad has always emphasized is that if we want something, we should go for it. We determine our own happiness and at the end of the day, we answer first and foremost to ourselves. If something’s wrong, change it. If you can’t, change your attitude.

2.”You can’t always write the ending you want” — Mom

Though you do create your own reality, sometimes the situation that surrounds you isn’t exactly what you would plan for yourself. While we are in control of our own actions, we have to realize everyone makes their own decisions and accept that. When life doesn’t go your way, move on. It’s okay to be hurt, but there’s no need to prolong or indulge in the pain.

3.”Always have a PMA — Positive Mental Attitude” — Dad

As Mom said, you can’t always write the ending to certain chapters of your life, but as Dad said, you can control the protagonist’s attitude. Life can get difficult, but it’s important to remember that it’s usually just a phase. For every bad day, there is a whole series of good ones. A positive attitude not only makes you feel better, but it also helps you make better decisions. And with those better decisions, you might just get that ending you want.

4.”Kill them with kindness” — Mom

In fifth grade, I had a Hermione Granger complex and was proud when people made the comparison- and mind you, this was before Emma Watson was hot. One teacher got irritated with me and my enthusiasm for learning was shattered.

I discussed the event with my Mom and instead of deriding me for being an annoying know-it-all, she gave me an important piece of advice I still use today. When someone is mean to you, kill them with kindness.

Sometimes you make mistakes or hurt people’s feelings or get on the nerves of those around you, however unintentional it might be. Throw them a compliment and not only will you feel better about how you handled the situation, but you might just make their day- and simultaneously confuse the heck out of them.

The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Contact Adriana Pratt at apratt@nd.edu