My Daughter is Teaching Me About Discipline

My Daughter is Teaching Me About Discipline

My daughter was accepted into a leadership program at her elementary school. She is a TOT — "teacher of tomorrow" — which basically means she has to go to school each day by 7:45 am sharp to help teachers sharpen pencils, pass out textbooks or make photocopies. As part of the program, she has to wear a school spirit shirt every Monday, a TOT polo shirt every Friday, and maintain grade requirements.

It struck me as intense for a fourth grader. My sweet little baby girl just learned to tie her shoes last year (okay, we were a little late to that milestone) and now she is expected to follow a strict regimen?! Surely she isn't ready for this.

But, over the last few weeks, I've watched as Emmy spent her allowance on an old-school alarm clock, learned how to set it, and woke up early each morning without complaint. I watched her read the TOTs handbook and sign her name in her best cursive.

She's rising to the challenge, and she's thriving with the discipline. I can see her building confidence and respecting herself and her commitments in a new way.

It's inspiring me to think of discipline with fresh eyes in my own day. The power of commitment, persistence and repetition is immense. I'm testing it out by:

  • rising early to walk the dog (a habit that fell by the wayside and I've really struggled to get back into a groove with)
  • spending 30 minutes after a meeting completing any quick action items that resulted from the discussion
  • forcing myself to honor workday breaks for walks and lunch

Maybe the lessons learned in elementary school really are the most important ones.

A Resource

I've been using Octopus with a current client who has a large amount of content that we are organizing for a website redesign.

It's a handy little tool that allows you to plan website architecture really fast, hash out quick wireframes, and collaborate easily with designers, strategists and copywriters.

It's fast, clean and really effective for communication.

Random Roundup

  • I think my internet recommendations are broken, because there is not a world where I would spend $100 on a doorbell, but I do kind of love the whimsy of ​this one​.
  • Occasionally, I help clients build a website in a day. The client does some prep work ahead of our assigned day to help me understand their visual preferences and get all of their content ducks in a row, and then I block a full day and get them completely up and running. I recently got to do this for a new skincare brand. Here is the ​before​, and the ​after​!
  • I'm endlessly inspired each week by Anne Helen Petersen's newsletter, Culture Study. She can put words to cultural phenomena that I often feel but don't understand or know how to describe. Her recent article, "​The Sterile World of Infinite Choice​" has been on my mind for the last week since I read it. I loved this line: "Less things but more time with them — time spent. That’s love, and that’s investment. In the person or people on the other side of the art, the relationship, the activity — of course. But also in ourselves."

Have a great week!