Advice from a 10-year-Old

My niece just turned 10. She finished 4th grade and will be starting the 5th grade come the fall. Her hobbies include soccer, playing with her friends at the playground and spending time with her younger sister. While sitting at the dinner table I asked her, what does a 4th grader think about? What do they care about? What makes them happy? What makes them sad? What are 5 things a 5th grader should keep in mind to be successful? She decided to answer the last question because she felt in giving those 5 things, she would be able to answer all my previous questions. After about 2 hours of going back and forth, below are the 5 things my 10-year-old niece told me, that I should always keep in mind.

  1. Be Smart: As a student it is important to keep up good grades. The grades are everything.
  2. Be Fit: It is important to be fit because you don’t want to get tired playing with your friends. Take good care of your body because it looks good and feels good when you are fit.
  3. Don’t worry about your future: Try not to worry too much about your future because if you worry too much, you will start to get anxious about everything. When you start to get all anxious about everything, either everything goes wrong, or you just won’t be able to do anything because you are too anxious.
  4. Get the Job Done: As a student, if you don’t do your job, you can get the good grades, and if you can’t get the good grades you will get in trouble.
  5. Be Polite: Remember your manners. This is the first thing people see from you, and if you re rude, no one will want to be your friend.

This was a conversation that went on for what felt like 4 hours. We went back and forth discussing the finer details of each point above.  I feel she even surprised herself. I could not tell if she was just trying to impress me or if these are things she thinks about when she is alone. But either way I was very impressed.


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