Every day, as I hopped out of the car for school, my mom would always say, 'Have a good day! Make a new friend and check over your paper.'

As much as I would laugh at my mom for her repetitive nature, it sunk in. I would check over my paper and try to make a new friend. Even when I went to college, I made it my mission to meet at least one new person every single day, which some days proved to be a challenge.

I think about the power of this one sentence in my life, and now as mom of two boys, I know it's my turn to pass on the baton.

I admit, I often don't know if my 4-year-old is listening. I feel like I'm talking to myself sometimes, until I see a small breakthrough.

I hear him repeat my words to other students, his teacher, even to his trains and stuffed animals when I'm not watching at night. Osmosis is powerful.

I just hope when school gets tough - because it will - the words and actions we model at home will get them through hard times. It helped me a lot. And, to think, my mom probably doesn't think I was listening.

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