Sit down together and write house rules on anger. We don’t hit or bite. Do we yell and slam doors? Name-call? Say “I don’t love you” ? Bad words? What’s appropriate anger and what’s unacceptable?


Your brain seeks novelty. Try new things as long as you live. Take risks (but not safety risks!)


Be mindful of avoiding the “race to nowhere.” No sense in stressing over school and work. We get one life!! LIVE it! Work hard at what you love. There will be seasons of busting your butt, and that’s good. Just make sure it’s in pursuit of something you’re passionate about. And I hope you take seasons of rest, too. Time to recharge, reflect and decide what’s next for you.

14, 16, 18, 21

Read A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold (mother of Columbine shooter.)


There is nothing “basic” about basic human dignity. Never treat a person as though they are put on this earth for your amusement. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity because we’re all human beings. No matter their age, looks, status, even past wrongdoing, everyone deserves to be treated with dignity.


Listen to The Moth (storytelling) together.


We don’t snoop. Never read a correspondence (email, letter, text, note, etc.) that is not intended for your eyes, or listen in to a conversation that is not intended for your ears. The right to privacy is sacred. Always respect people’s privacy and set the expectation that others do the same for you.


We don’t always get what we want. Sometimes we have to wait. Sometimes we go without it. Sometimes when we DO get what we wanted it looks different than how we imagined it would. AND IT’S OK. We’re ok. The world keeps turning! That’s a huge lesson and a valuable one. Practice “pushing the snooze button” on wants. Enlist their help. “I understand you want ____. Would this be something you could snooze or do without?”

5, 10, 20

Grandpa used to keep a hundred dollar bill stashed discreetly in his wallet “for emergencies.”


Awesome game we did at preschool - play I SPY. Try with objects or emotions, such as "I spy something sad" or "I spy something joyful." To help him learn empathy.


No absolute restrictions on food but stress that some foods are “party food.” Chips, for example. (I love potato chips!)


When the poop hits the fan, that's when real discipleship begins.


Don’t use a bad word when you can use a good word.


“How we learn to hold what hurts shapes so much of who we are. What we choose to do with our pain defines us more than most things.“ -Chani Nicholas

11, 14, 17

Great article on how to explain that bodies AND brains are undergoing rapid changes during adolescence. Re-read and then chat!


If you have a goal, just dive in. It's okay if you mess up or fail. Start over, get help... but start.

13, 18, 21

Do what makes you happy. But what if you’re not sure what that might be? If you’re at a crossroads and you don’t know where you *want* to go, just go where you’re *needed.* That’s a good first step. Trust the Lord to take it from there.


At dinner time, go around the table and share your “highs and lows” for the day. (Re-ticket up to 21)




Read (or listen to) The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw together as a family. It's broken up into small vignettes so it's easy to get through bit by bit.


When it comes to judging your behavior at school/ sports/ work, ask: Was I fair? Was I kind? Did I put in the work? If the answers are all “Yes,” then rest well. If an answer is “No,” then fix it.


Fall in love with a person, not a feeling.


Always keep a clean rag within arm’s reach in the car. You never know when you might need to clean-up a spill or smash a spider while driving 50mph.


Keep a pair of nail clippers in the car - much better lighting outside. Clipping tiny fingernails is terrifying!



“The more you sweat, the less you bleed.” True in boxing and in life. Put the work in. No shortcuts.

14, 18, 21

Check out from the library or Amazon: “My First Money Book: A Guide for Parents and Children to Saving, Spending, Sharing, and Investing Your Money” by Reggie Nelson


Get talking. Trade off likes, fears, hopes, dreams, pet peeves, etc. I like... I get mad when... I dream about... It makes me sad when I see... I’m afraid of... I wonder about...

4, 8, 14

Be kinder than necessary.

9, 15, 21

Keep stories about younger years to tell them later: You used to call yellow “lellow” etc. Ten years from now you think you’ll remember this stuff but you won’t.


Be supportive of someone who is trying to better themselves.