“Mommy, today we did math. And then we got to do something fun. First things first!”

“Buddy, what does it mean to do first things first?”


“It means you work THEN you play.”

“Yes, Buddy. Yes it does.”Washington County Fair | August 2013

Colt’s school teaches principles from The Leader in Me program based on Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. They teach and reinforce concepts like “Be Proactive”, “Sharpen the Saw” — and “Put First Things First”.

Tonight’s bedtime conversation reminded me of the refreshing and sometimes surprising wisdom of children.

From the Leader in Me parents’ guide: Put First Things First means to decide what is most important and to take care of that first.

To a kindergartener, it means work before play. Very black and white.  Math homework before Scooby Doo cartoons.

To “grown ups”, this habit is MUCH more complex than that. Work. Play. Priorities. Family. Spouse. Self. The black and white of kindergarten gets more and more gray as life goes on.

Maybe I need to read the book again.


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