10 rules for life…from my favorite 10 year old

I sat there taking it all in.  She found herself in a flurry of friends and hugs and “happy birthday” exchanges.

That’s when IT happened.  One of the fourth grade boys walked into the room and locked eyes with me.  He moved closer and placed his hand on my shoulder.  He sighed gently, looked at my daughter and then back into my eyes and calmly explained, “You’ve done a great job raising that one.”

I had no words.  I still don’t.  I sat there completely dumbfounded that this little 4th grade prophet and I shared this moment.

He’s right.  Or at least God took my scared, trembling entrance into parenthood with this wildly wonderful lady and He’s raised us both using the other.   That sounds more like it.

So today it is my great privilege to introduce you to my firstborn.  She is fire and joy and kindness and hilarity and I hope you will take the time to open your heart and receive her beautiful words.


Hannah’s 10 Rules for Life

  • Be forgiving: if you hold onto every single mistake you or your friend has made, you will begin to judge yourself [or your friend] and it will be miserable. ;(
  • Don’t have a bad attitude to yourself or others. Then you will be angry at yourself for making those choices.  It will also cause a chain reaction that will break bonds from not only your parents, but your friends and others. And refusing others it is not fun.Because you need them.
  • Play: if you don’t, you won’t be getting the fun or the exercise out of it.Or if you are a mom you won’t develop any good memories or, a true bond with your child [or children]
  • Don’t give up no matter the cost. God has a special surprise for you just around the corner.  Just hang on.
  • Just because you look different or have a ‘weird’ talent does not mean you should be teased. Stand up and say….  I AM NOT WEIRD.  I BELONG IN THIS WORLD. I AM MADE IN GOD’S IMAGE, I AM SPECIAL IN HIS EYES.
  • Help: even if you just help with the dishes or stand up for a kid that helps make the world a better place.
  • Stop for a moment and look around and embrace what you have around you.
  •  Don’t smoke; it is bad.  You can die. And it is not healthy for you.
  • Try: even if you mess up you will have the memories.
  • Listen: even if you do not understand someone should have your attention.
  1. Laurenpauls says:

    Words to live by indeed! Love your thoughts Hannah and they warmed my heart. You are wise beyond your years… And also CLEVER AND FUNNY beyond your years

  2. Judi says:

    Wow – such grown up thoughts. I am impressed~
    There are a lot of adults that don’t have the understanding that you have.
    You are as awesome as your Mom!

  3. Joyce says:

    Amazing Miss Hannah! You are a very wise little lady!! Your mom and dad are amazing parents which is why you yourself are amazing!! Keep up the positive, loving energy kiddo!! You are going to go far in your life!
    Sending lots of loving energy your way! You are a beautiful soul ❤️

  4. Ivy says:

    She’s just as sweet and wise as the last time I saw her years ago. Those are words to live by at any age. Great girl and great mama!

  5. Sherri says:

    You are just precious! I knew from the moment I locked eyes with you that you would be great and do amazing things in this world. Keep it up little lady and hopefully one day you can come back to your first nail artist and let me do your nails once more

    • amypaulson says:

      Hannah: Thank you for taking the time away from running around chasing your 6 kids and writing that really kind comment. I will come back to you. We are going to be in Michigan for the summer. And I am going to a theater camp in Chicago. We’ll come by.
      From Amy: Thank you for helping me even begin to know what to do with her from the very beginning. You are a gift, sweet friend!

  6. Anaya says:

    Hannah, you are one amazing human, and although I never get to see you, I feel so blessed to know that you have a presence in my life. Your parents mean the world to me, and so do you and your siblings. You have this phenomenal ability, at 10 years old, to know truths, and speak them. An ability that has taken me 30 years to learn (and probably another good bit of time to learn how to fully live them). You are a blessing to everyone who gets to know you. Thank you for sharing yourself and teaching those around you how to work toward being their best selves. I can’t wait to see what else you contribute to this world.

    • amypaulson says:

      Hannah: Once I get a car, I am going to drive all the way to Colorado and come and see you. In 6 years… Thank you! You are so loved, Anaya. Though some of the world doesn’t see that I will.


    Hannah, Thank you so much for sharing. These are so profound and relevant for everyone. Good has gifted you with compassion and wisdom… Keep sharing. Now I’m going to get off my phone and go make some memories with Will! In Him, Danielle (Riley and Will’s mom)

  8. Jessica Williams says:

    I really appreciate your advice to play and to try. You are brilliant! I hope my two year old and 4 year old grow up to be as smart. I was great friends with your mom when she was about 10, and it’s so much fun to see that you are a lot like her – so smart and very thoughtful. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

  9. Jana Goetz says:

    I’m convicted, Hannah. I need to work on numbers 3 and 9. Here’s my plan: I’m going to play with sidewalk chalk with my 7 yr old after school today and I’m going to sign up for the 5K I’ve been avoiding for YEARS. Thanks for your insight and being willing to share the wisdom God gave you! I’m motivated to improve 🙂

  10. Cheryl says:

    Hannah!!!! Wise sage lady!…… I hear stories from your mom about the awesome things you do and say and this list is perfect!! I might have to print it out and keep it where I can see it every day. Also you better believe I’ll be sharing this list with Sabina and Téa. And maybe you can hang out with them some time to help them be super duper awesome too. You are so loved!!❤️❤️❤️❤️Also give your mom a big hug for me! And come back to DC!! Stat!

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